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Important Concepts

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Renniks, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    So after recieving some criticism lately elsewhere (whispers no no I dont use another forum, honest) and being told to start over, from what I believed to be a good starting point, I've decided I need to rebegin learning everything design related...

    Any of you who have read my other posts know that this is crucial over the next year if I want to be able to get further in life with my goals.

    So I was thinking what makes up the crucial concepts of design that change something from being amazing to being rubbish.

    Heres a short list of very broad things that I think make up the basis of design. All with lots to read into and with some cross over, but have I missed anything?

    • Typography
    • Layout
    • Colours
    • Use of programs (illustrator program / graphics editing progam / text editing program / good use of WYSIWIG etc.)
    • Usability
    • Writing (only matters if you are creating your own content)
    • Logo creation (or criticism)
    • and something I personally find very difficult - Self-criticism
    Obviously this is all complimented by a good understanding, good vision, good ability to get inspiration.

    Any thing I've missed that I should definately learn?

  2. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    Standards coding aswell I'd say.

    Good luck with it.
  3. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    Ah yes, coding would be useful too ;) especially to standards. But thats something I feel I can do well (obviously not as good as some people but still)
  4. berry

    berry Active Member

    First Thing I saw to anyone is buy this book £5.99 and 30 minutes to read. Gets your head focussed before your mouse. Ideas come from the brain, stimulate the grey matter and the hand will follow.

  5. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    personally I think this has more to do with the creative ability of the person/team than a particular thing.

    Ok I'm just going to add onto the below my views :)

    • Typography - obviously typography, font choice etc is important and has to fit into the work style etc.
    • Layout - you have to have a layout that works so its kind of fundamental to the designs. With my 3D work I treat each rendering as a photo, applying lights etc as I would if I was in real life.
    • Colours - you need a good grip on this area.
    • Use of programs (illustrator program / graphics editing progam / text editing program / good use of WYSIWIG etc.) - personally I don't think these have anything to do with design, they're a tool, same as pen and paper, yes its a good idea to be able to use them but its not what makes you a good designer.
    • Usability -
    • Writing (only matters if you are creating your own content) - poor English doesn't set a good example.
    • Logo creation (or criticism) - how is making a logo any different to any other design, they all go through the same processes?
    • and something I personally find very difficult - Self-criticism

    (I'm going to add) Ability to transfer/communicate the idea, either from mind to paper or paper to digital. Its all very good having a design but if you can't get that idea across to your client/staff then your idea is pretty useless :)
    Obviously this is all complimented by a good understanding, good vision, good ability to get inspiration.

    Always have something with you so you can jot/sketch it down, you never know when that idea is going to come along.
  6. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    Thanks for the replies, will have a look for that book berry, and thanks for your in depth reply levi, I agree with what you are saying completely! :) But my point on logo creation was more that even if it is the same process, its a whole skill in itself, many great designers cant make logos and many great logo creators cant create other design pieces, looking into it can only increase my other design skills aswell.

    Thanks for the added concept.
  7. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I wouldn't say that if you're a logo designer you can't design a website or design for print, and vice-versa, as has been said in this thread and others, as a designer your job is to communicate the message. Some designers will specialize in particular areas of design, this is often true of freelancers, but I think that usually based on personal preference of what they like to work on rather than a necessity as they can't design for other mediums/purposes.

    It's the concept, the idea and the thought that makes a strong design :)
    You can teach anyone to use design software, it doesn't mean they will suddenly become a better designer.

    Sorry if that's repeating what's already been said, but a good thing to repeat!
  8. berry

    berry Active Member

    Idea first, software second

  9. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    I have that pic saved to my computer from when it was posted before. I agree software doesnt make a designer, but being able to use the software helps rather than not being able to. A great paper designer who cant get it on to a computer will struggle
  10. berry

    berry Active Member

    A crap paper designer who does get it on computer will struggle even more.

    Too much crap being produced by people with computers and no ideas. That's why everyone is struggling and drowning in a sea of mediocrity - And why 95% of graduates will never get a design job
  11. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    And that is why I need to make sure my skills as a paper designer are up to scratch, my inspiration flows, and my understanding of techniques as good as possible, so I dont come up short and fail to get where I would like.

    However my skills with photoshop + illustrator are quite lacking and this couuld hinder me aswell.
  12. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    I really dont think you can "learn" any of your bullet points - everyone bangs on about grids but at the end of the day its whatever suits the project. Things should line up reguardless of the media - its common sense, that said - look at the tv show 24, the unconventional, misaligned grid has become ICONIC.

    Typography again is something that should just look and feel right, the same with colours. You shouldnt be over thinking these things, nor should you be consulting a book for "perfect colour combinations" or similar.. its different for print I know, but think freely. you CANNOT teach design. you can merely teach someone to use the tools.

    Inspiration is the biggest driving force in any design industry - get yourself out there, look at all areas of design no matter how irrelevant you think it may be - somewhere you'll notice something and it'll trigger new ideas and processes.

    Dont be scared to go against what "everyones doing" thats how you progress.
  13. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    Re-begin learning was probably the wrong phrase, I was just after the keypoints of design, that could be worked upon, improved, built upon.

    Usability, use of programs, writing can all be learnt aswell.

    The others are learning the current take on things, learning techniques and methods of showing what you want to show, creating inspiration from what is considered top of the range rather than mediocre.

    Also understanding what is not good is just as beneficial (maybe more so) than understanding what is good, as anything that isn't bad can be amazing if done correctly.

    Red on blue will rarely if ever work.

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