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Thursday, December 10, 2015

What makes a good Designer?

Fletcher Ward Design has been producing high quality, fast, Design & Artwork for over 40 years now, and those years of experience, contemplative meditation and gallons of coffee all help for sure, but we soon came to realise that good design comes packaged with some universal truths.

So here we expose some core beliefs that all great designers share.

1. It’s not just about pretty pictures.

Design concepts must start with a close understanding of the client, their products and the people they are trying to reach. The marketing puzzle that needs to be solved must first be understood.

The information, details and insights discovered in this process of understanding then add fuel and creative direction to the project.

2. Start with thoughts and words and end with graphic impact.

Strong ideas come before execution. Avoid the temptation to put together a design solution straight away.

Thinking about attributes, associations, strategies and creative metaphors can reveal the truth about a product's direction - ask questions, “does this feel more like Steamboat Willie or Toy Story”

Strategy comes before layout.

3. Swimming against the tide.

Every designer is into fads and fashions, ‘flat’ design is everywhere at the moment, but try and remember that a design solution must be driven by the client's project.  Don’t be afraid to rock the boat when there is a marketing reason to do so.

Embrace the trends, and reject the trends as needed. Trends should be approached as a tool not the tool box.

4. Honest hard work will drive ideas, honestly.

Dozens of ideas will be thrown out, reasonable solutions will be ditched, but until the right one is discovered there is no substitute for hard work.  Occasionally you hit the target early, but be prepared to down the caffeine.

An honest work ethic drives great ideas.

5. Perfection is your obsession

OK, so most people aren’t this OCD. But this is what makes us Designers. A designer knows how much details make or break a design project.

The client often doesn’t realise or even notice but proper attention to the finesse of layout, typographic perfection and graphic rules will make your work stand out.

6. Telling and selling.

You never bought anything without being sold the idea first - even if you didn’t realise it.

The truth is that ultimately you need to sell your client's product.

Your skill is in the art of making the client's consumer see your ideas as the driving force for their desires. As a designer this is part of your daily routine.

7.  Design smart

A good designer knows his or her creative tool box.  Software, Typography, graphic rules, layout, inspiration, ideas and personality will help drive a project to success.

An honest message that is spoken through a smart and clean design is what the market will respond to best.

A major faux pas of the average designer is the over use of graphic content, whether it is font, imagery or colour and effects. A smart designer does not cram their design with confusing content that oversells a message, leaving no room for the product to breath.  A great design usually involves as little ‘design’ as possible. Remember, white space is one of the most important design elements!

Above all, a good designer knows DESIGN MATTERS.