I was once asked to come up with a set of 10 design commandments as part of an interview process.
These come from 15 years of experience and lots of reading / following some art + design greats. To name a few: Austin Kleon, Corita Kent, Andy J Miller, Ade Hogue, Jim Borgman, Julia Cameron, Elle Luna, Antionette Carroll, and Ellen Lupton… there are many, many more.
Have a clear grasp of the problem and all constraints before building the solution. You can’t think outside the box without establishing one first.
Focus on the overall layout/idea/campaign before getting caught up in the details.
If you find yourself getting too fussy with a design, step back. Take a break. Go on a 5 min walk. Get a fresh pair of eyes on it.
Creativity and editing are necessary for good design, but can’t successfully happen at the same time. Be fully creative. Step back. Then thoroughly edit.
So don’t let them limit your creativity. You are the designer and have more tools available than just a computer. Use them. They can also be jerks, so back up often.
You never know what can inspire new ideas. Get out of your phone and look around at the world. Stop and take a picture/note of things that grab your attention.
Ask questions. Do the research. Google it. So what if it’s learning more about 17th century wigs? Allow yourself to keep learning new things. Wonder, don’t just jump to conclusions.
Not only do you continue building your skill-set, like the scientific method, it makes it easy to know if the new thing helped/harmed the outcome.
There is so much freedom and growth on the other side of this phrase. Ask knowledgeable colleagues, look for tutorials, books, podcasts or any other resources on the subject.
Pay attention to the work you admire from peers and experts. Pull their work apart to understand what makes it good. Have they ever been interviewed? Find out! Learn as much as you can about their work and process.
©2020 Jessica Paterik. All rights reserved.