Why having a creative block is really a good thing

If you’re a designer, it’s very likely that at one point or another you were working on a project and felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. It’s almost like all the ideas get sucked out of your head with a giant vacuum and no matter how hard you try to think you just can’t come up with a clear direction to go. While creative blocks may cause tension headaches and severe irritation, I’d like to offer you a new perspective

How sketching will take your design process to the next level

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For a long time now it’s been evident that soon technology will rule the world (if it doesn’t already). It seems as though every day surprising amounts of new electronic gadgets are introduced, and the good old pen and paper get forgotten in the attic to collect cobwebs and mold. This article will address why you should turn off your laptop, put away your tablet, and go back to the basics during your design process, as well as provide some

When design clients come back from the dead

Doesn’t it feel great when you complete a major project for a client on time and without any huge hang-ups? Of course it does. But what do you do with clients who come back from the dead? Just so that I don’t get in trouble with the law or scare any clients away, a dead client is simply one with whom you do not currently have an open contract. This article will discuss the best practices for the occasion when

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

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

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

Avoid design burn-out by limiting client revisions

Beginning a new design project is always exhilarating. You’re energized and excited about working on the project and creating something effective and beautiful. But have you ever had a project that, by the end of it, you just “want to get it done”? You stop caring so much about the design because you’ve been forced to change it so many times since the original concept, you don’t even feel like it’s your work anymore? I’ve been there. This article will