Archive for March, 2012
Aristotle, the great philosopher, once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.”
Graphic designers cannot attain excellence unless they develop good designing habits. Unfortunately, there are many designers out there who do not follow good designing habits and end up creating problems for their professional growth. This post highlights 13 bad habits of graphic designers. Read on and make sure you do not practice any of the following habits:
1. Reacting on Criticism: Good designers never react to criticism, be it constructive or otherwise. Bad designers take criticism personally and may even get downright rude with the client.
2. Unaware of Industry Updates: Bad graphic designers hardly know about the designing world let alone the people who make up the industry or the newest software updates and trends. If a designer is lacking in essential industry knowledge, s/he cannot be described as an innovative designer.
3. Not Sketching Designs: Professional disaster. Every graphic designer must know how to sketch at least a rough draft of the project and have a proper design process they follow.
4. Procrastinating: Procrastination is a bad habit and those who stick to this habit often come up with substandard work and are unable to meet deadlines.
5. Disorganized: Losing important details, forgetting dates, mixing up project details etc. won’t make you look good as a designer.
6. Lacking Creativity: Not bringing new ideas to the table, not learning new tricks or trying out new schemes because it requires extra effort. Using common derivative concepts is a sure sign of lack of sheer creativity. No one wants to hire such a designer!
7. Careless Attitude: Lazy graphic designers don’t care about a client’s deadlines or their project completion. They delay deadlines, give substandard work and absolutely don’t care about clients.
8. Submitting Low Quality Images: Sending clients low resolution images which are difficult to scale and impossible to enlarge. Submitting images in both vector and raster format is the right thing to do. You never know when the client might need to print the design on a different medium altogether.
9. Being Smug: One of the characteristics of bad graphic designers is that they are smug and overconfident about their work. They consider themselves the best and even charge an exorbitant price for their substandard, derivative designs.
10. Copying Work: Wannabe designers are the most active at copying concepts. They lack a creative drive which is why they prefer to copy other designer’s, claiming it as inspired art, instead of creating their own.
11. Not Using Correct Software: Bad graphic designers fail to understand the significance of using specific software for various services. For instance, they will create a logo design in Adobe Photoshop and send the client raster files.
12. Lack of Color Understanding: Designers must have a strong understanding of colors, contrasts and combinations that can appeal to the viewers. They must also know that web design templates are preferred in RGB while Pantone color standard is the best for logo design.
13. Being Unprofessional: When dealing with clients, being professional is necessary. This includes using a formal language rather than using slang. Designers who practice an informal code of conduct harm their reputation and gain popularity as being unprofessional.
Unintentional mistakes are forgivable, but continually practicing these poor habits makes you a bad designer and bad graphic designers are NOT allowed anywhere in the professional world!
March 30th, 2012
Ever had one of those days when it seems impossible to do anything productive? Ever felt completely down in the dumps and failed to come up with the simplest of solutions? If you are suffering from symptoms similar to these then don’t fret, it’s nothing uncommon – You are simply down on your Mojo.
If you are a graphic designer experiencing creative loss, there is good news! It’s temporary and you can get your mojo back. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you get back on track.
1. Breathe – Now Get Up and Take a Walk!
You can’t get your creative mojo back by sitting and staring at the computer screen. Once you realize that you are facing a creative block you need to do something refreshing to overcome it. Many designers tend to go into denial and force themselves to work on a project. If your creative juices aren’t flowing, let it be! Get up, shake yourself, put on your shoes and go out for a walk. Wander around your city for hour or two. Sometimes vigorous exercise helps too.
2. Relax – Grab Your Pillow and Sleep
If walking doesn’t work then simply shut down your computer, switch off that loud TV and take off the thundering headphones. Staying away from the digital demons sometimes helps take a load off of your mind. Opt for a good and relaxing sleep instead. You will wake up refreshed and perhaps even calmer. The main idea is to let your mind move away from work for some time and sleep is one of the best ways to do it.
3. Identify Triggers – Deal with Stress
You cannot relax if you don’t deal with the triggers that cause you to stress and keep you from working properly. Most of the times, our personal problems and conflicts are the reasons behind a creative mojo loss. Could it be a recent breakup, a conflict with someone close, a failed exam, a lost project or even a dissatisfied client or job? Any of these can trigger a block.
4. Hang Out – Go See Fun People
The best thing to do when you are low on your mojo is to find people who can motivate you without adding to your depression. Spend time with fun people (be it family or friends) go watch a movie, enjoy a drink, or just relax – it won’t be long till you have your groove back.
5. Believe – Trust Yourself and Your Abilities
Just because you have had a few ups and downs lately doesn’t mean that you are a failure. You need to believe in yourself and in the fact that no one is perfect. Trust in your abilities and know that you can handle the problematic issues of your life without losing your self confidence. This will help you take a breather for a while.
Take it Easy – The next time you lose your creative mojo, don’t panic. Take a few days break from designing and just relax. Most of the time a mojo loss is just your mind’s way of asking you to take a well deserved break. You need to understand that a creative block is just a bad phase which will evaporate if you let your mind off work for a while. Look at your loss of mojo as a temporary blessing in disguise. You get time to enjoy and do things which you would not have done otherwise!
What helps you get your Creative Mojo back? Share your story with us.
March 22nd, 2012
If you don’t know about colors, you’re going to have trouble becoming a professional designer. It is crucial for designers to understand the meaning of color and its impact on design. Lack of an understanding can result in undeveloped and redundant color combinations which can label you as an amateur designer. As a graphic designer you must study, research and find ways to use color to bring your designs to life.
Various Color Representations in Logo Design
Here’s a brief look into the emotions represented by the ten most common colors and their use in logo design for specific industries.
Represents: Authority, Power, Mystery, Boldness, Elegance and Sophistication
Black is used to commonly target youth and a high-end audience. It creates a mystery while representing power, authority and elegance in the logo.
Represents: Passion, Love, Anger, Hunger, Health, Excitement and Life
Red has the power of attraction and is one of the most popular colors. Used mostly in food, health, beauty and entertainment logos, it grabs the attention of the consumers. Several red foods, such as red peppers or red wine, are known to help increase metabolism. This is one simple reason that some restaurants prefer to use red for interior décor.
Represents: Happiness, Warmth, Innovation and Caution
Yellow is a warm color that invokes the feeling of happiness, warmth and relaxation. Generally it doesn’t play a central role in logos and is sparingly used to highlight important features of a logo. Used alone in bright shades, the color can be overpowering which is why it is a difficult color to use. Yellow is most commonly used by the automotive and food industries.
Represents: Professionalism, Trust, Authority, Power and Loyalty
Blue is used in corporate logos as it creates a sense of security while showing loyalty and professionalism. This color is used by various businesses related to software, finance, pharmaceutical industry, government and banks.
Represents: Harmony, Natural, Healthy, Renewal and Plentiful
Green is mainly used to represent eco-friendly companies or businesses revolving around agriculture, recycling, landscaping, gardening and solar power. It is the color of nature and gives a calming effect while representing growth.
Represents: Vibrant, Playful, Happy, Artistic and Energetic
Orange is another beloved color of the food, art and the sports industries. While in one sector it evokes an appetite, in others it suggests playfulness, creativity and energy. Being bright makes orange the favorite color for industries dealing with kids’ products and foods. Some creative industries also love using orange to help them stand out and show off.
Represents: Royalty, Luxury, Celebration, Education and Elegance
Being a color of royalty, purple is mostly used to represent religious institutes and educational organizations. It is seldom used for commercial services, unless it can clearly represent the main essence of the company it stands for. Chocolate is one food which is often represented by purple logos. There’s no need to shy away from purple and limit it to represent feminism, luxury and beauty only.
Represents: Pure, Peaceful, Spiritual, Clean and Goodwill
White is a neutral color that implies purity. It is also the essential color in negative spacing logos. The FedEx and the Adobe logo make the best use of white. FedEx has a white arrow while the ‘A’ in Adobe is designed in white over a red background.
Represents: Feminism, Innocence, Youth and Beauty
Pink is often taken to be a feminine color, which is why it is popularly used in logos related to beauty, fashion and others. It is also used for companies dealing with children’s clothes and accessories. Because it is playful and innocent, it is not suitable for the corporate or industrial unit.
Represents: Reliable, Solid, Masculine and Earthly Aura
Brown is a neutral color that is reliable, solid and dependable. This color is most commonly used for agriculture, construction and legal industries. Some food related products like coffee and chocolate are also best represented by brown.
Colors play an important role in giving your logo life. If you want to create a winning logo design, play with colors, experiment with various shades and see which of them best represent the essence of your client’s company. Be sure not to forget the target audience and how they will relate to the colors in the logo design.
March 19th, 2012
Many people ask what fascinates me the most about graphic designing? Quite honestly, my answer has always been ‘colors’. The gradient shades and mix of rainbow tints have always appeared magical to me, inspiring me even as a kid. However over the years, I learnt that being fascinated with colors was not enough when you are a graphic designer. You need to be color educated and have a good understanding of color psychology to create winning designs.
Being part of the LogoDesignGuru design community, I decided to bring this knowledge to our valuable designers through a series of posts on color psychology. Hopefully, you will gain a profound insight into the world of colors and will be able to make fantastic designs.
The History of Colors – Long hiSTORY Short
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to accredit Sir Issac Newton with the discovery of the color spectrum. From gravity to motion, light to sound and anatomy to color, he is the pioneer of many scientific facts. While he didn’t exactly “discover” colors, he did identify the components of colors and its seven shades. He identified the seven major colors to be red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
While Newton is accredited with the identification of the seven colors, it was the early Egyptians who actually studied the power of colors long before this discovery and applied it to every aspect of life their lives. Color art that we practice today has its origins dated nearly 2,000 years ago.
Science of Color Psychology – Moods & Impulses
There is no specific origin of color psychology as a subject, because it is a natural energy that has been studied and adopted by Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, Greeks and all ancient masters. According to experts, we all are our own color psychologists, because our emotions are related to colors.
Color is light and energy that influences and stimulates our brain through the eyes. When light falls on the retina, the wavelengths are converted into electrical impulses that are then passed on to a part of the brain (called Hypothalamus) that governs our hormones and endocrine system. When color signals trigger the hypothalamus we feel sad, happy, hungry, elevated, furious and even cold or warm – each color signal leaves its impact.
Red color might make us feel happy, excited or furious, while black color can make us feel sad and depressive. Though these are all natural emotions, there is a scientific explanation to how color affects our moods.
Over the centuries, it has been proven by various experiments how colors affects the world we live in. For designers it is necessary to recognize this, so that they can relate the right colors to various industries and use it to impact the target audience and their choices.
Hope you had a good dose of color science for today! Our next post will be all about the seven colors, their meaning and uses in various industries.
March 16th, 2012
No one likes being criticized. Whether it’s a boss criticizing an employee for doing a bad job or a client disapproving a designer’s work, it is human nature to take criticism negatively. When criticized we automatically assume the worst, get disappointed and damage our self-esteem in the process. What most of us don’t understand is that criticism is crucial for personal improvement. Without it we will become over-confident, egotistical and never improve.
Look at it this way, criticism is what keeps us grounded. How we perceive it is entirely up to us. If you stop being self-conscious and open your mind (given that the other party hasn’t badly treated you), you will be able to gather benefits from it.
Here are five steps you can take to effectively deal with criticism:
1. Don’t take it Personally – Your client probably doesn’t have a grudge against you. Whatever s/he says typically comes from his/her experience and understanding, so don’t take it personally. Reacting emotionally never helps and can make the situation worse. Really try to listen to what the client wants and take it objectively.
2. Avoid Immediate Reaction – There is no need to get defensive. Listen carefully, take a deep breath, count to ten and think about your answer. Allow yourself to calm down and you will avoid any unnecessary resentment due to an impulsive reaction. Remember, criticism is just another person’s opinion. Once you realize that it’s only feedback, your defensiveness will start to fade away.
3. Put Yourself in the Critic’s Shoes – Instead of considering the client your enemy, try to put yourself in his place to understand his/her point-of-view. Take criticism as a suggestion or recommendation, instead of reacting harshly. Criticism can bring new ideas and create solutions to existing problems which can lead to success.
4. Deconstruct Criticism – It is very important that you listen to the critical view carefully, instead of reacting harshly. You should seek clarification by asking specific questions, keeping an open mind to the critic’s opinions and viewing your work from a third person perspective. This will help to analyze the constructive criticism better. It will also help to teach you to work outside your comfort zone and grow as a professional.
5. Be Willing to Improve – Criticism should help you improve your flaws, while increasing your knowledge and experience. Take it as a challenge. If your work is not up to par, your client is likely to let you know. Instead of acting rude, ask how you can correct your mistakes so the next time around you will succeed.
Embrace criticism instead of shying away from it. Paying attention to criticism by following the above five steps will help you handle this feedback and show you areas where you might need improvement.
Be Confident in yourself and avoid repeating the mistakes that might provoke negative feedback. Understand that there is a fine line between being self-confidence and egotistical. Even if some criticism feels negative or harsh remember, you have the power to think positive and turn it into constructive criticism.
He only profits from praise who values criticism. ~ Heinrich Heine
March 7th, 2012
We are excited to share with you an event that was held in Indonesia, celebrating our designers! Thanks to designer Octopus, 37 Logo Design Guru and MycroBurst designers were able to get together.
The group of designers, they call themselves MBI (MycroBurst Indonesia), hosted the event to get to know one another. The time was also used to learn from one another.
Discussion was flowing as they spoke about things such as their first time participating in a logo design contest. But that wasn’t all … tips about logo designing were shared, music was played and a magic show was even performed!
The meet-up was a success and I’m sure they’ll have stories to tell for awhile!
All of us at Logo Design Guru and MycroBurst are THRILLED to hear our designers have been getting together to meet and help one another! We’ve heard the whisperings of other areas doing the same things and we can’t wait to hear all about each event!
We hope you enjoy the pictures of MBI’s gathering as much as we do!
March 1st, 2012