Keeping a Creative Journal

I’m going to share one of the most important tools I have used for my work over many years: a journal of creative ideas. Keeping this journal is a habit I am glad to have developed early in my life; for me it has been a useful and rewarding form of professional development.

Why You Should ALWAYS Check the Details … Again!

image by Warren Brown Designers can be a finicky bunch. We can spend hours poring over Pantone colour books or font catalogues to get the right look for our work. A lot of us still put in the time to make sure a website looks the way it was intended even in Internet Explorer 6 […]

Website Checklist: What You Need to Get Your Site Launched

image by alibree I find checklists useful when I’m planning a new project on a big scale, and let’s face it: a lot of websites fall into the category of big projects! I’ve compiled this checklist to assist anyone who’s planning to get a website for their business or professional activities. It helps to have […]

Design Inspiration: Pattern-Style Drawings & Busy Illustrations

The crossover between line illustrations and patterns is a trend that’s been developing for a few years. It’s playful, and frequently naive in style. What’s especially interesting is how this style of illustration is successfully being applied across a broad range of design media, from murals and wallpaper to packaging, from t-shirt designs to the […]

What design really sticks in your mind?

image by VoxEfx When was the last time you saw a piece of design which really ‘clicked': where, for whatever reason, you felt such a connection that a little photographic impression of it has been etched inside your brain ever since? Have you even realised it was happening? I recently discovered that those questions can […]

Window-shopping: the Future of Design?

image by Chor Ip Graphic design is a fast-moving industry, and one of the biggest trends in recent times has been the emergence of “try-before-you-buy”: crowd-sourcing companies and ready-made design retailers. These companies allow prospective buyers to view designs before paying any money, and the asking price is almost always low. That’s very attractive to […]

What are the worst conditions your design can handle?

image by Diana Lili M I know nothing about Hungarian politics, but that doesn’t matter; I just love this photo and the story it tells. Someone tried to rip down this billboard poster of a political candidate, only the discover that the previous poster, concealed underneath, was another advertisement for the same person’s campaign! It […]

Busting the myths: what Graphic Design ISN’T

image by nicolasnova For a bit of fun I’ve put together a list of things that Graphic Design Isn’t, based on my own experiences and those of others. I hope this will be helpful for designers and clients alike.

How twitter broadens my horizons

Like many designers, I gain lots of inspiration (large volumes of it, in fact) by going online and looking at the work of others. There are plenty of websites set up to showcase design, but I’m finding that one of the nicest ways to come across great work is through twitter. When I joined twitter, […]

Urgent! How to handle those last-minute design requests

Image by Alex Kehr Good designers know how to make realistic deadlines and then stick to them. But there are times for every designer when an urgent job materialises and must be squeezed into the work schedule. Some designers dread getting the phone call or email requesting work to be carried out at breakneck speed; […]

Provocative street art in label design

Osama bin Laden is a popular subject for graffiti artists: his image is highly recognisable and can be guaranteed to evoke a strong response. Coincidentally, those can also be desirable attributes for someone fronting a product promotion … but bin Laden on a wine label? In fact it’s a stencil image of bin Laden, with […]

More Fantastic Illustration Resources

Learning how to draw, from the basics to the finer points of illustration, is a popular activity which brings a lot of people online searching for as much information as they can find. A few months ago I wrote about some great drawing tutorial sites I had found, and that post continues to send a […]

E-cards or traditional cards: which are better?

If you’ve been participating in the holiday season, it’s likely you’ve been part of the seasonal exchange of greeting cards. Most are traditional paper-based cards, although there are also plenty of e-cards landing in in-boxes at this time of year. That’s no surprise, as many of us are spending increasing amounts of time communicating via […]

What is the cost of compromising on good design?

Image by tanakawho Let’s face it, there are times when designers and their clients don’t see eye to eye over a project. When all else fails a designer may comply with client requests which are at odds with their own professional judgment, simply to make the client happy. But is this an ideal solution in […]

Steps to choosing a successful colour scheme

Image by woodleywonderworks Choosing the right colour scheme takes a combination of research, design know-how and inspiration. Whether you’re creating a website or a print publication with lots of white space, your choice of colours is an critical element to the overall design. It’s important to do this early in a design project, in order […]