Weekly Inspiration #2

This week’s inspiration features my favorite video of the week, awesome typography, packaging, animations, feminism, street art, the amazing Paula Scher, and GLOW, the best new show on Netflix!

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5 Steps for a Great Design Process

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One of the many tools in a designer’s wheelhouse is having a design process. Developing a design process is extremely important for establishing an efficient workflow. It will keep you well organized and sane.

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Deciding on a Graphic Design Career Path

Whether you’re deciding if you should to go to school for or have finished your degree in Graphic Design, if you’re just starting your career you probably have a ton of questions about what your career path could look like. It can be a little overwhelming to narrow your focus down to just one area of design, so here is some information to give you a clearer picture of what your design future could hold.

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6 Basic Graphic Design Principles

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Learning and following a few basic design principles is the best way to instantly improve your designs. Most of the top designers in the world follow these rules – and that is why they’re the best! They also know how to break the rules, which is something you’ll be able to do successfully once you’ve mastered how to follow them.

 

BALANCE

Balance is the equal distribution of visual weight in a design. A large shape close to the center can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge. This provides stability and structure to the design. If the user’s eye is drawn to one side of your design more than the other, and information is being missed, you may have an imbalance of visual elements

 

PROXIMITY

Proximity is all about creating relationships between elements. Grouping elements that are similar creates a focal point and guides the viewer through the page. Utilizing this principle can also ensure your user isn’t missing any important information.

 

ALIGNMENT

Alignment helps create order and organization. Aligning elements correctly helps guide the users eye and creates a visual connection between elements. At best, poor alignment can be distracting, but worse, it cause confusion and frustration and lead your user away from your design.

 

REPETITION

Repetition is used to tie individual  elements together. It helps to create association and consistency. Repetition can create rhythm and place emphasis on certain elements.

 

CONTRAST

Contrast is using opposing elements, such as colors, values, weights, or directions. Contrast can be used to emphasize or highlight key elements in a design. For example, using dark text on a light background makes the text stand out and easier to read.

 

SPACE

Space is the distance or area between, around, above, below, or within elements. Both positive and negative space are important factors to be considered in design. Using space wisely can help guide the user through the elements, creating hierarchy and conveying the most important pieces of the message.

 


When designing, be sure to refer to these basic principles. Keeping them in mind will help you create a compelling and effective design. Happy designing!

You might also want to check out one of my favorite books on these (and other) design principles:

Weekly Inspiration #1

This week’s inspiration features my favorite video of the week, awesome typography, animations, logo designs, vintage art, some really cool UX, green/environmental design, and one of my favorite books for logo design!

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Top 11 Best Design Resources

As a designer, it’s important to have good resources in your wheelhouse. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to use the plethora of free resources and tools that are out there. There are some things that you can get from stock sources that will save you hours of work. Here are some of the best design resources I’ve come across over the years.


 

Where the best designers go to find photos and graphics

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This site is a stockpile of stock image sources. I have found images for many projects from sources on this site.


 

Adobe Color

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Formerly Adobe Kuler, Adobe Color is a great resource for creating color schemes and saving them to the libraries of your other Adobe products.


 

Book Cover Archive

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This is a great resource for amazing book cover design. It allows you to search by book title, author, and designer.


 

Fonts In Use

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Fonts in Use has a great typography archive. It’s a great source of inspiration when you’re trying to find a good font pair.


 

Dribbble

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Dribbble is a community of designers sharing screenshots of their work, process, and projects. It’s a great place to showcase your work, find designers for projects, and find jobs in your industry.


 

Flickr Creative Commons

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Flickr Creative Commons is great for finding stock photos without worrying about infringing on copyright laws.


 

Lynda.com

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Lynda.com is a place to improve your skills. It has thousands of tutorials made by experts in many fields. Lynda is a subscription-based site, but it is well worth the price!


 

Design Cuts

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I found Design Cuts recently, but it is a great resource for free and cheap design elements, assets, tutorials, and mockups.


 

Behance.net

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Behance is another great portfolio site. It’s a great place to share your designs and get and give feedback from and to other designers.


 

Creative Bloq

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Creative Bloq is a great site for design news, tutorials, videos, and information.


 

Panda

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Panda is a curated feed for your specific interests within the industry. It’s a great source of news and resources.

 

There are many other resources out there, and these aren’t the only ones I use. They are some of my favorites! If you know of any other great resources, feel free to add them in the comments!

Hello! And Some Graphic Design Advice

Hi! My name is Sheana Brown and I am a graphic designer.

I love all areas of design, but I’m most interested in graphic and web design. I’m starting this blog with the hope of inspiring young designers and sharing tips, tricks, and resources. I hope by sharing I can impart some wisdom on designers who are just beginning their journey, and I really hope they can teach me some things too!

A little about me: I moved to Santa Monica, California from a small town in Western North Carolina a little over four years ago. At the time, I was working in retail and was absolutely miserable. I decided I had to make a change and spent a few weeks researching career paths. When I read about the graphic design program at Santa Monica College, I got really excited about the idea of going back to school and enrolled for the Fall 2013 semester. I’m now in the final class of the program and I have learned SO MUCH! I may get the chance to learn even more next year if I get accepted into SMC’s pilot Bachelor’s program in Interaction Design (fingers crossed). The classes I’ve taken have gotten me a pretty great part-time job at an environmental nonprofit called Heal the Bay in Santa Monica. I started interning there in February of this year and got hired in June. My duties at my job include, but are definitely not limited to, designing graphics, updating our website, maintaining our social media presence, and occasionally working company events.

When I decided to become a graphic designer, I knew that I had good ideas but absolutely no skill to turn them into good designs. I still have a long way to go to reach the skill level I aspire to, but looking back at my first several projects–well, it’s safe to say they’re just bad designs. And that brings me to my first point: If you’re passionate about design and this is something you really want to do, do not let your lack of knowledge or skill stop you from pursuing it. I had never touched an Adobe product prior to Fall of 2013, and now I know those programs like the back of my hand. My advice for you is to keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep an open mind and welcome feedback. One of my favorite quotes is by Joseph Chilton Pearce, “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” He’s referring to child development, but I think it applies to designers too. You will be wrong many times and you will fail many times, but you have to learn to get back up and try again and again. When you finally create something great, it will be so much more rewarding because you fought for it.

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Thank you for visiting my page! I hope this helps you in your journey. And for fun, here is one of my very first design projects (eek!):

tl;dr THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF VERY BAD DESIGN FROM MY FIRST SEMESTER OF THE GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM! NEVER GET DISCOURAGED!! 🙂

-S