Design Essentials 3: Accepting Criticism

In the previous two chapters of Design Essentials, we covered topics that dealt with the quality of your design: Originality, and Attention to Detail. While today’s essential design tip will help your designs look better in the long-run, this chapter deals primarily with the design process and how to openly accept criticism of your designs. Good criticism vs. Bad criticism First, it’s important to understand that there is good criticism and bad criticism. Accepting criticism does not mean you have

Building your freelance design business by outsourcing

Studies show that nearly 70% of readers here at Graphic Design Blender either own their own freelance design business or hope to start freelancing in the near future. Something that many freelancers fail to do, however, is work effectively with others to reduce workload and increase income. If you’re anything like me, you started your freelance career with hopes of getting paid to do what you love most while maintaining a fairly flexible schedule. Unfortunately, you only have so many

Designing through the eyes of a non-designer

Think of your favorite children’s song. Now grab a coworker and tap the tune of the song on their hand while you sing it silently to yourself. After you finish, ask them to name the song you just tapped out. According to “Made to Stick“, a book I recently read about why some ideas thrive and others fail, your friend will most likely not know which song you were tapping. Why? The curse of knowledge. The designer’s curse of knowledge

Finding your voice in the design community

If the online design community were an actual city, it would be a thriving metropolis. Complete with skyscrapers, huge arenas and enormous shopping centers. But as in any large community, the value of the community lies in each person–each individual, contributing member.Sometimes you may feel like all the “skyscraper” designers crowd out your little back-alley shop or street-corner soapbox. Perhaps you blog and tweet trying to share your opinion in the design community but people figuratively walk by, occasionally dropping

Design Essentials 2: Originality

This chapter of Design Essentials will cover the topic of  Originality in design. Originality is the ability to think independently and creatively. So why is it so important that we, as designers, are original thinkers? Put most simply, original designs are more effective. Let’s take a look at the concept of originality in design: But don’t great designers copy? It’s been a popular topic of discussion here on GDB and throughout the design community: do great designers really copy other

Design Essentials 1: Attention to detail

This chapter of Design Essentials focuses on Attention to Detail and the important role it plays in the design process. Attention to detail makes for a better experience in any industry. A candy on your pillow at the hotel or a mint with your check at a restaurant makes for a more enjoyable traveling experience. Detectives and law officials know that it is in the details of a crime scene that they find success. Engineers and architects know that the

The beginner’s guide to blogging about design

So you want to blog about design, eh? You’ll have to take a number and wait in line because, frankly, there are thousands of blogs about design out there. Starting a successful design blog is like learning to walk: You will most likely fail a number of times, you’ll need a lot of patience, and you can’t do it on your own. This article will give you a few pieces of advice to help your blog be as successful as

What to do when a client wants you to copy other designs

Coming from LinkedIn? Let’s get connected! In the graphic and web design industry, we like to think of ourselves as “creatives” who constantly keep the creative juices flowing and come up with original, well-thought out ideas. So why is it that even the best of graphic and web designers are approached by a client now and then who says something like: “I really like the look of this design. Can you just copy it?” I was asked about this just