2 Freedom or Limitation in Graphic Design – Too much is too bad!

Graphic design is a vast field and its bounds are nearly limitless. Similarly, there are no limits to the degree of creativity of a graphic designer. Most designers believe in freedom in design, while at the far end, some follow design limitations. But…anything done in excess is bad.

The followers of design limitations hold firmly to the set rules and principles as laid out by the book. While at the other extreme, supporters of design freedom advocate that it gives them the opportunity to explore their creative instincts and come up with better designs. While both aspects are significant in their respective domains, excess of both freedom and limitation can spoil the design.

Drawbacks of freedom in Graphic Design:

Let us first analyze the freedom aspect of designing. How is excessive and uncontrolled freedom in graphic designing a bane?
  • Time consuming:

Having said that freedom in graphic designing gives you the liberty to explore new and unique trends, it also can be a time waster. Lack of restrictions enables a graphic designer to think of more and more concepts. The more the concepts you think of, the more the choices you will have at hand. The more choice you have to select among, the more time is exhausted on the project. Sometimes freedom in graphic designing becomes detrimental when you have to meet project deadlines.

  • Wandering away from the subject:

Graphic designing is such a diverse field that excessive contemplating the design concepts can result in deviating from the project itself. Without any bounds, when a graphic designer starts conceptualizing the design, one idea is superseded by another. In this way, he deviates from the main subject and gets lost in the thought processes.

  • Confused concepts:

It is an accepted fact that freedom in designing broadens our horizons and gives us the opportunity to think out of the box. But too much thinking leads to confusion. Sometimes when you get involved in excessive freedom, you come up with various choices to choose from. This can be quite confusing for graphic designers to choose the best alternative out of superfluous options.

  • Leads to regret:

The worst part about being liberal in graphic design is that there are more chances for cognitive dissonance to arrive. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling that arises after taking a certain decision. Sometimes after selecting one design, graphic designers lament…“If only I had chosen the other design”. When there are more choice to select from, the grief of not selecting the other designs is more.

Drawbacks of Limitation in Graphic Design:

After having discussed the drawbacks of freedom in graphic design, let us now analyze the other extreme. How does design limitation cause problems for graphic designers?
  • It bounds creativity:

While design limitations are good to the extent that they save valuable time, excessive design restraints bound the creativity of graphic designers. It undermines the ability of graphic designers to fully utilize their creative talent and try out innovative ideas and styles. Graphic designers can come up with creative ways only when there is a certain degree of liberty for new ideas and concepts.

  • Inflexibility creates boredom:

A designer bound by design limitations is like a lion trapped inside a cage. Excessively working in limited domains creates boredom and dullness to the job. Graphic design is in no way a dull and boring field and hence working within design limitations can be quite frustrating for graphic designers. When you work within specified constraints, it becomes a monotonous and tedious endeavor.

  • You don’t make a distinction:

Imagine if all graphic designers work on the same design principles and are bound by the same design limitations, then there would be no difference between any of them. Although personality types of graphic designers are different, they are distinguished by their style of work. Operating under design constraints disables the designer to exploit his unique skills and limits him to the fundamentals. Hence nothing innovative is to offer to the customers can distinguish them from their competitors.

  • Don’t think out of the box:

The best part of graphic design is that it lets you experiment with new trends and techniques. With design limitations and strict regulations, you don’t think out of the box. To get noticed, one has to come up with innovative and revolutionary ideas. But with excessive limitations around a graphic designer, this task is quite hard to accomplish.

  • Hinders progress and development:

One of the major setbacks of design limitations is that it creates hurdles in the way of progress and growth as a graphic designer. Since you stick to the fundamentals of the design and don’t explore new trends and practices of the industry, you are likely to lag behind as a graphic designer.
About The Author

This blog was created by ELO DESIGNER to share his wealth of knowledge and researches with other designers and design lovers, to give them guidance and inspiration. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated. Thank you. Follow my daily design links on Twitter or Add me on your social network.

If you enjoyed this post, please retweet or stumble to say thanks!

0 8 Types Of Graphic Designer You Should Avoid To Be

Most of us have had, or have been, that friend warnings were issued about. The bad influence whose behaviors the older generation were so afraid others would begin to emulate, and then it would all be downhill from there. Well they are back! And here come the warnings to prevent as many of us in the design community as possible from following in their damaging footsteps. So take a look below at the breakdowns of those types of designers you should strive to not be, and see if you fit into any of the categories.

The Browse and Biter

First up we come to the nefarious Browse and Biter. This designer-type is characterized by their tendency to browse the web for ‘inspiration’, and they end up biting, borrowing, or simply flat out stealing the styles or designs that they see there. No matter how pure their intentions may be, this type of designer never learned the difference between being inspired by and, well, copying another’s work. Taking a look through their portfolios, one sees a lot of familiar looking or feeling works that they know they have seen somewhere before.

They see a design they like, and they just have to copy it. Image Credit

Tips to Avoid Being a Browse and Biter

These unfortunately unoriginal folks have a way of upsetting the understood natural order of things with their browse and bite ways, so it is best to learn where those lines are, and stay on the right side of them. Know where inspiration ends and your own voice and work begins. Know the difference between an homage and an ‘Oh, my god they ripped me off!’. Understand that if you admire someone and their work, the right way to honor them in your design is to use the way their work makes you feel and voice that through your work. Not duplicate what they have done. That tends to not be looked on as an honor. So be original, not a browse and biter.

The Stag

Next up, we have the Stag. This type of designer is mostly known for having a really specific style that never really grows or evolves. They just get to a point where they become satisfied with where they have gotten to, and they just stay there. Being stagnant. Soon all of their designs begin to feel stale, as no new ground is really ever broken in their work. And each ‘new’ piece that they craft feels very close to the last piece they just finished before it. And the one before that. And so on, ad nauseam. With this designer-type good becomes the enemy of great. They become satisfied with good and they never strive to be better. To be great.

Tips to Avoid Being a Stag

Now this is not to say that as a designer we should never be happy with the levels to which we have progressed. It is simply saying that we should always strive to be keep progressing. Growth is not a journey’s end, it is a never ending journey. A quest to always be learning more and evolving our skills. Nurturing them so they can rise to the next level and us along with them. And when we finish a design and begin a new one, we should always try to begin anew, as it were. To start fresh, and give each design a chance to be unique and not just a variation of our last piece.

The Boxer

Another designer-type to avoid becoming is the Boxer. These designers tend to be completely boxed in by the field, and for some unknown reason can not allow themselves to ever think outside the proverbial box. These incessant rule abiders become so caught up in the rules and principles of design that they never dare to break outside of or think beyond any of them. While Boxers may exhibit a technical proficiency, and their galleries may be full of precise, sharp designs, the work itself will have no heart. No daring. And as most of us in the field can attest, usually the pieces that have a lasting impact, tend to be those with heart.

For the boxer, everything makes sense in the ‘ring’, and they can’t bring themselves to step outside of it. Image Credit

Tips to Avoid Being a Boxer

While it is easy to see how a designer can become so enveloped in the basics and those standard design practices that they forget about actually ever trying to push any envelopes through their work, it can be overcome. Design is a dynamic and versatile field that is built on those rules, but they are meant to be more of a guide for us than an absolute. As long as we have an understanding of them, then we can try pushing beyond them every now and again to find our way to true innovation in our designs. Think of the box as our arrival packaging into the design world. Now that we are here, we are not going to stay in our original packaging. We are going to unpack the box and use those things inside the way we best see fit.

The Safe-Player

Not moving on very much, we come to the next designer-type you want to avoid becoming, and that is the Safe-Player. This is actually somewhat of a variation on the Boxer. These designers do want to push the envelopes, and take huge design leaps of faith, but alas, they are too scared, and as a result they reel it in and always end up playing it safe. When you look through their work, you get that comfortable safe feeling exuding from all of it. None of the designs feel like they dared into any new or unfamiliar territory. This often stems from the designers desire to not make any mistakes, so they opt for the safer route. Forgetting all the while, that we need to be making mistakes so we can learn and grow.

Tips to Avoid Being a Safe-Player

For the most part, the advice here follows in suit with the tips for avoiding the Boxer model. However, we should stress that if you want to cast off these Safe-Player shackles, then you really need to be comfortable taking risks in your designs. You cannot let fear of mistakes or failure keep you from trying something new. Not if you want to stand out from the masses.

The Offended Defender

Now we move into the next warning section, that of the Offended Defender. These designers are usually characterized by their offended defenses of their work against any criticisms. Even those that are intended to help the designer make improvements. And they may actually be a good designer by and large, but the fact of the matter is, that they could be great if only they knew how to take and use these critiques of their work. As you look through their gallery, you wonder why some of the works seem like they could benefit from some slight tweaking. You might even go so far as to send them a polite note suggesting one such tweak. That is when you learn why those designs are and will forever stay that way.

It does no good getting all offended and in someone’s face because they tried to help. Image Credit

Tips to Avoid Being an Offended Defender

The main thing that one can do to step out of this less than favorable light, is to learn how to take criticism without imploding or defensively clinging to the critiqued element and allowing the work to suffer due to some over-inflated sense of ego or pride. And that is unfortunately the way that some designers take it. Even in the harshest of critiques we can often find some useful tips or hints to take away. We just might have to dig down to find it. We also can not let someone else’s negative tone let us get defensive and tune out to what useful tidbits might be buried underneath it.

The Apt-less Pupil

Now we come to the Apt-less Pupil designer-type. Now here it is not that these designers are so much slow learners that makes them less than desirable to become, it is just that they never quite get there, but think that they have it. There is nothing wrong with being a slow learner, but clients and colleagues working with you on a project should not have to suffer through your learning curve. These designer-types also can reflect poorly on the industry overall, as they introduce a segment of the market who call themselves designers, and hire themselves out as designers, but they are not quite designers.

Tips to Avoid Being an Apt-less Pupil

Basically, learn the field before stepping onto it to play in a game. Plain and simple. Also, do not take a job that you are not yet fully qualified to be taking, and you will steer yourself clear of this label easily.

The Underwhelmer

Now we come to the next designer-type, the Underwhelmer. These not-so over-achievers are mostly recognized by their tendencies to effectively under-deliver for their clients. In fact, they even tend to talk a really good game, which makes them hard to recognize to most. But even though they themselves have set the bar of expectations they rarely, if ever, live up to their own hype. Where most designers will tell you that the secret to success is to always over-deliver for your clients, this flock tend to fall short of that mission statement.

We want to make the best of impressions all the way through the project, not completely drop the ball by under delivering on their expectations. Image Credit

Tips to Avoid Being an Underwhelmer

To keep from baring this brand, again you have to know your limits and not let yourself get in over your head. Whether it is by committing to a project that you do not have the design background or know-how to come through on. Or whether it is by taking on too many clients or projects so that you end up coming up short on one or more of them when the deadlines roll around. Make sure that you can stay ahead of your workload, and have enough skill to deliver on all of your promises, and you might be able to keep from falling into this category.

The Space Cowboy or Cowgirl

Moving on, we come to the Space Cowboy or Cowgirl types of designers. Sufficed to say, their heads are far beyond just being in the clouds, they have left our general atmosphere and are floating in space. These designers are typically characterized as promisers of the moon, without any consideration given to the coding that will have to breathe life into their designs. Also known as the Coder’s Nightmare. Most designers for the web understand that some level of coding background is necessary so they can proceed somewhat reasonably. The Space Cowboy or Cowgirl makes no such concession.

Tips to Avoid Being a Space Cowboy or Cowgirl

Basically, to keep from wearing this dreaded label you need to be informed. Come down from those heights and plant your feet on the ground for a spell. Walk a mile in a Coder’s shoes. Then give them their shoes back and work together to make the most of the design project. Be reasonable in your expectations from the coders, just as you would expect from your them, or as you would expect from your clients.

About The Author

This blog was created by ELO DESIGNER to share his wealth of knowledge and researches with other designers and design lovers, to give them guidance and inspiration. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated. Thank you. Follow my daily design links on Twitter or Add me on your social network.

If you enjoyed this post, please retweet or stumble to say thanks!

14 40 Inspirational Photography Business Cards

Creating a logo for a photographer is an interesting experience. As a creative, a photographer is likely to have more ideas and want to have more input on the process than most other clients. You’ll no doubt have to talk them down off the cliff on some ideas, and yet they’ll likely have enough design knowledge to talk you out of some ideas. Enjoy

Don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS-feed and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for recent updates.
About The Author

This blog was created by ELO DESIGNER to share his wealth of knowledge and researches with other designers and design lovers, to give them guidance and inspiration. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated. Thank you. Follow my daily design links on Twitter or Add me on your social network.

If you enjoyed this post, please retweet or stumble to say thanks!