12.12.2020 Views

Help! I'm A Graphic Designer!

  • No tags were found...

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.



For Speaker,

Spainhour,

and Dorn,

who got me this far.

And for you,

to help you

go even farther.

I’m so proud of you!


The Roadmap

A.K.A. THE TABLE OF CONTENTS


6 60

CHAPTER ZERO CHAPTER FOUR

Hey There!

When You Get Stuck

10 66

CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER FIVE

Project Time

Finish That File!

Client Contracts

Magnificent Mockups

Client Responses

Imposter Syndrome

20

CHAPTER TWO

The Beginning

Ideating

34

CHAPTER THREE

Paper Sizes

Bindings

Finishings

Images Sizes

Keyboard Shortcuts

Typography

Color

Illustrations

Keep Going, You Matter

74

STICKER TIME


Chapter Zero

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY

6



Hey There!

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU

Welcome to the graphic design family,

we’re all crazy! But it’s like a fun Thanksgiving

dinner crazy. Let me introduce you to

everyone. There’s your wild wine aunt

who uses Comic Sans. Over there is your

overachieving cousin who makes her own

paper for each project. And I’m your design

big sister, a little annoying sometimes but

really wants the best for you and has your

best interests at heart. I’m your biggest

fan, and can’t wait to see the amazing

wonderful things you are going to create!

8


“It is very

important to

embrace failure

and to do a lot

of stuff

—as much stuff

as possible—

with as

little fear as

possible.”

STEFAN SAGMEISTER


Chapter One

SO YOU HAVE A PROJECT

10



Project Time

WHO IS IT FOR

Ooh, what are you going to create? A sick

website for a local business? An album cover

for your favorite band? An entire magazine

about dogs? Whatever it is, I’m sure it will

rock. Let’s get going, we’ve got ideas to

come up with and projects to make!

SCHOOL PROJECT

So, you’re a graphic design student who

just received their project brief from your

professor. Super exciting! Make sure

you take notes on all of your project

requirements, make a list of what you need

to get done, circle the deadline on your

calendar, and get going on researching!

CLIENT WORK

Whether it’s your first-ever freelance client

or your 24th, here are some key things to

include in your contract. Learn from my

mistakes and make sure to include these

so you don’t have a five-month-long

unresolved client project (what...no...I’m

not speaking from experience…)

12


“Good

design

is

honest.”

DIETER RAMS


Client Contracts

FOR EVERYONE’S SANITY

Okay, I’m definitely speaking

from experience. My first

freelance client contract left

out way too many important

aspects that led to a less than

ideal experience. Hopefully this

list will help your freelance jobs

go a little more smoothly.

The next page has a list of

some of the most important

items to include in a contract.

DEADLINES

The most important thing to

include (besides payment) is

the deadline. Make sure you

and your client agree on

the deadline, that way you

aren’t rushed in designing

and your client can hold you

accountable. Don’t provide an

unrealistic deadline; make sure

to add at least three days to

the amount of time you think

it will take you to complete

the job, emergencies happen

(computer crashes, WIFI going

out, files getting lost, the list

goes on and on!). Also, if

you have trouble with time

management, list out a few

milestone deadlines for

individual aspects of the

project. Informing your client

of when you will provide mood

boards, sketches, progress

updates, and then the first

draft can help keep you

accountable and on track

to complete your project.

REVISIONS

Ensuring you include the

intended amount of revisions

you will provide to the client

will help both you and the

client stay on track. Without a

set number of revisions, the back

14


and forth between you and

the client will be endless.

When you set a limit of three

revisions, it ensures the client

takes the time to fully air all

of their desired changes, and

you then have the time to

make them all. It’s a win-win

for everyone!

PRICING

Whew. This is the hard one.

Pricing varies per designer;

there isn’t one right answer

to how much you should

charge. However, there are

two basic ways to go about

pricing your work: by the hour

or a flat rate per project.

A flat rate per project is, in my

opinion, best for smaller jobs,

like a single logo, social media

graphic, or one page design.

The benefit of a flat rate price

is that you are able to get

paid a defined amount no

matter how long it actually

takes you to complete the

job. This is also good when

your client has a set budget

that you need to fit within.

However, don’t undervalue

your time by working many

hours for a flat rate. You want

to ensure that your investment

of time in the project is equal

to your compensation. The other

method is an hourly rate,

which is what I prefer, as you are

being more accurately paid

for the work you complete.

You may run into an issue with

this method of payment if your

client has a more restricted

budget. To calculate your

hourly rate, you must take

into consideration your level

of experience with the value

of your time. Personally, I charge

time and a half from my regular

‘day job’ for freelance work,

as that is a job I complete

in my off-time. This will be

different for everyone, but trust

me when I say, don’t be afraid

to charge people! Your time is

valuable, and you deserve to

be accurately compensated

for your creativity and ideas.


Don’t let someone undervalue

your skills just because they

exist in the realm of the arts!

COMMUNICATION

This may come about naturally

when coming into contact

with your client, but in this age

of social connection, I think

it is important to establish

modes of communication

with your client. Whether this

is restricting contact to just

email, or providing your

personal phone number

or Instagram page to stay

connected, figure out your

communication comfort level

and set those boundaries with

your client from the beginning.

16


“Great ideas

come from

problems. As

designers, we

call problems,

briefs, and we

call reactions

to problems,

concepts.”

KATE MOROSS


Client Responses

WHEN WORDS ESCAPE YOU

Often I don’t know what to say when

a client has a request or crazy idea.

These responses are for when you don’t

know what to say. Feel free to rewrite,

copy, plagiarize, and steal to your

heart’s content.

CAN YOU MAKE THE LOGO

BIGGER?

Hello there! In regards to making the logo

larger in your design, I have attached some

options for how large I would recommend

making your logo. I want to make sure we

are utilizing space the best we can for you,

which means making sure we have space

to include (either other elements of the

design, or blank space for the viewers’ eyes

to rest). Let me know what you think of

these options, I’m sure we can find a

well-balanced option for you.

CAN YOU MAKE THE LOGO

SMALLER?

Hello there! Unfortunately, when you apply

18


your logo in this size, it will not be legible

to the viewer. I’d recommend one of these

sizes, as it helps make sure everyone will

be able to identify this (insert product or

design here) as a part of your brand!

I’LL KNOW WHAT I WANT

WHEN I SEE IT!

That is totally understandable! However,

I want to make sure I successfully create

(insert project here) for you, and it is

difficult to draw from nothing. Here are

some sketches and inspiration (either that

you created or source images you collect)

for you to look over and let me know what

speaks to you!

WE CAN PAY YOU

IN EXPOSURE!

Hello! As I am a freelance/student/

professional graphic designer, my rates

are already established to ensure I am

fairly compensated for the work I provide

you. I have listed them below for you, let me

know if these are within your company

budget. (Insert flat or hourly rates here)

I look forward to hearing from you!


Chapter Two

RESEARCHING

20



The Beginning

DEFINE, DEFINE, DEFINE

The dictionary is a very good place to

start! The best way to get started on a

project is to define your terms. It’s way

less intimidating than jumping straight

into a blank sketchbook page! Whether

these are words connected to a school

assignment, or just general terms your

client said they wanted their logo to feel

like, start with the origins. Then move on

to synonyms and antonyms to broaden

your search. (Throw in a quick idioms

search as well, you can find lots of very

interesting phrases you’ve never heard

before!). Once you have some words

surrounding your field/topic, these words

can help lead your ideating process.

Need a place to jot down these notes?

The next pages are for you!

22


“Good

design

is

honest.”

DIETER RAMS


Ideating

TIME TO GET THINKING

WORD MAP

Can’t get past your first ideas? Let’s move

on by mapping out some connected ideas.

Start with a word in the middle of the

map. Then, think of the first word that

comes to mind in an attached bubble.

Keep going outwards until you’ve filled all of

the bubbles and have some completely new

words to get inspiration from! Here, I filled

out an example one for you to help get

you started!

FREE WRITING

Literally, write anything that comes to mind

when you think of your topic. Even if you

are creating packaging for snacks, if a moose

comes to mind, write it down. It helps. Put in

your headphones, and brain dump on the

next page.

24


Wow these are some great ideas!


26 Ooh, this page is going to be full of great thoughts.


Keep going, you’re onto something!


STRANGE CONNECTIONS

Okay, hear me out. Do you have exercise will help spark some

two completely different (or even new paths to follow.

just slightly different) topics for

your project that you don’t Oh and just in case you can’t

know how to connect? Then this find your sketchbook, the next

is the ideation process for you! pages include some grid paper

for sketching!

Start with your two words,

and those synonyms we looked

up earlier. Put one word on the

left, with its synonyms below it,

and do the same on the right

with word two.

From there, use the blank spaces

between the words to find a

connection. In the example on

the right, I started with hope

and book. but I’ve ended with

many more words that even

if they don’t lead to anything,

could inspire further research

and thought.

Use the blank spaces on the

next page the next time

you are at a dead end,

and hopefully this ideation

28


Hope

Improve

Growth

Self-Help

Book

Ambition

Grades

Graduation

School

Textbook

Promise

Vows

Wedding

Bible

Volume

Goal

Achieve

Career

Creativity

Portfolio

Optimism

Feelings

Poetry

Progress

Writing






Chapter Three

LET’S GET BUILDING

34



Paper Sizes

ALL THE PAPER, ALL IN ONE PLACE

Here we go. It’s time. Time to

bring your idea to life and

start building! First off, let’s

start with the size of your

project. Crack open your

Adobe program, find the

right size, and create your file!

NORTH AMERICAN

SHEET SIZES

The North American Sheet

Sizes are based on the

measurement of 8.5x11 inches,

but not really. I don’t even

know. The metric system

makes so much more sense.

However, if you live or work in

North America it’s what we

use! Here are the typical sizes

of paper for your standard

design projects.

LETTER

8.5x11 inches

Great for a flyer, handout,

or fold in half for a brochure.

LEGAL

8.5x14 inches

Good for...slightly larger

brochures?!

LEDGER

11x17 inches

Standard size for

regular posters.

POSTER

18x24 inches

Slightly larger posters!

36


INTERNATIONAL

SHEET SIZES

Spoiler alert: these paper

sizes make a lot more sense,

in my opinion. International

Sheet Sizes are all based on

the metric system, and are

multiples of one meter. The A0

size is one square meter and

every size down is one half of

the size above it. The same

goes for the paper sizes larger

than the A0, they are two times

larger than one square meter.

2A0

1189x1682 millimeters

A0

841x1189 millimeters

A1

594x841 millimeters

A2

420x594 millimeters

A3

297x420 millimeters

A4

210x297 millimeters

A5

148x210 millimeters


Bindings

KEEPING IT TOGETHER

Making a book, magazine, or other kind

of publication? Here are the most popular

binding options to keep in mind.

PERFECT BINDING

Once you fold your pages into stacks

(called signatures) the spine side is milled

down to remove the folded edges. Glue is

applied to the edge of the spine and the

cover is wrapped around the book.

SADDLE STITCH

For a saddle stitch bound book, the book

cover and signatures are nested within

each other, and then stapled through the

center of the fold.

PLASTIC COMB BINDING

A common binding for presentations or

folders, the plastic comb binding is readily

available at most print shops. The cover

and pages of the book are assembled,

holes are drilled into the paper’s edge.

Then the plastic comb is inserted into

38


these holes and then closed to create a

bound edge.

SPIRAL BOUND

Yep, it’s pretty much exactly what it

sounds like. The cover and pages are

assembled in order, holes are drilled into

the paper, and plastic or wire spiral is spun

through the holes. This holds together

the pages and cover, and can easily be

removed to add more pages to the book.


Finishings

GETTING FANCY

There are many ways to add unique

elements to your designs, finishings being

among them. These finishings listed below,

when utilized well, help your print designs

stand out!

EMBOSSING

Embossing is a super cool way to add

interesting textures to your printed materials!

To emboss a design onto a piece of paper,

the paper is pressed between two molds to

leave a raised impression. Fun Fact: If the

impression is made lower than the paper’s

surface, it is called debossing.

FOIL STAMPING

Ever wanted to make invitations with shiny

metallic gold borders? Foil stamping is how

you make that happen! For foil stamping,

heat is used to press paper against a thin

film containing colored metallic pigment.

The heat transfers the pigment to the paper,

resulting in an opaque layer of shiny foil.

40


DIE CUTS

A die cut uses a specifically shaped piece

of metal (like a cookie cutter) to cut a

shape out of the designed object. If that

seems kind of vague, that’s because it is.

Die cuts vary so much, it’s hard to narrow

them down! But everything from a window

cut into the front of a greeting card to

cloud-shaped stickers use a die line. Fun Fact:

When you make a sticker sheet that the

stickers peel up from, that utilizes a kiss

die cut, as it doesn’t cut through the entire

sheet, just the sticky layer!

SCORING

Scoring is the act of gently creating a

crease in your sheet of paper so that ink

that has been printed on it doesn’t crack

when fully folded. I’d suggest using a

bone folder and using the edge to press

a line on the paper where the fold will be

before fully folding the paper along the

ridge. Then, once the paper is fully folded,

run the bone folder along the top edge

of the fold to make sure it’s pressed into

place. Definitely use scoring when folding

heavy cover stock paper or a design with

a lot of ink on the paper. This will improve

the overall craftsmanship of your project!


PERFORATION

Perforation is the act of utilizing a line of

small holes to make tearing your paper

easier. Small holes are punched in the

paper in the desired shape, so that a

certain part of the paper can be torn

away. Perforations are very helpful when

your design has a specified area that

needs to be removed, like a coupon in a

magazine, or information ticket at the

bottom of a poster or flyer.

DRILLING/PUNCHING

Since certain binding methods require

holes to place a spiral or plastic comb

through, drilling and punching are more

common finishings. Printers use a drill to

create these holes before binding the

project together.

42


“Everything

is designed.

Few things are

designed well.”

BRIAN REED


Image Sizes

FOR THE INTERNET

Yes, the Internet changes every day so

these may go out of style soon. But here are

the most common design sizes for the web

and social media. These measurements

are all in pixels, not inches, as they are being

designed for the Internet. Upload quality is

the most important aspect of web sizing,

so make sure you double-check before

you design!

WEBSITE IMAGES

Image the width of the browser:

2500 pixels in width, height can be

whatever you want!

Image is less than the width of the

browser: 1800 pixels in width

Thumbnail images:

1500 pixels on longest edge

BANNER ADS

Large Rectangle: 336x280 pixels

Medium Rectangle: 300x250 pixels

Leaderboard: 728x90 pixels

44


Skyscraper: 120x60 pixels

Large Mobile Banner: 320x100 pixels

FACEBOOK

Profile: 170x170 pixels

Feed: 1200x630 pixels

Banner: 820x312 pixels

Event Cover Image: 1920x1080 pixels

Highlighted Image: 1200x717 pixels

INSTAGRAM

Profile: 110x110 pixels

Feed Landscape: 1080x566 pixels

Feed Square: 1080x1080 pixels

Feed Portrait: 1080x1350 pixels

Stories: 1080x1920 pixels

TWITTER

Profile: 400x400 pixels

Banner: 1500x500 pixels

Feed: 600x335 pixels (This is the size of the

image preview. As long as the image is a

16:9 ratio it will be able to be viewed larger

when clicked on.)

LINKEDIN

Profile: 400x400 pixels

Banner: 1548x396 pixels

Company Logo: 300x300 pixels

Company Cover Image: 1776x444 pixels

Feed: 1104x736 pixels


Article Cover Image: 2000x600 pixels

YOUTUBE

Profile: 800x800 pixels

Banner: 2560x1140 pixels

Video Thumbnail: 1280x720 pixels

PINTEREST

Profile:n165x165 pixels

Pin Images: 236 pixels in width, height

will be different depending on where the

image is displayed, recommended ratio is

1:3.5 to 2:3.

SNAPCHAT

Geofilter: 1080x1920 pixels

Image Ad: 1080x1920 pixels

46


“Design

is thinking

made

visual.”

SAUL BASS


Keyboard Shortcuts

FOR THE BIG THREE

The amount of times I search up the

keyboard shortcuts for the same actions

on each of these programs is astronomical,

so this list is just as much for me as it is

for you! Here are the basic keyboard

shortcuts for Adobe Illustrator, InDesign,

and Photoshop.

ILLUSTRATOR

Bring Forward: Cmd + ]

Bring to Front: Shift + Cmd + ]

Decrease Type Size: Shift + Cmd + <

Deselect All: Shift + Cmd + A

Direct Selection: A

Duplicate: Opt + Shift + Cmd + D

Ellipse: L

Eyedropper: I

Export: Cmd + E

Gradient: G

Group: Cmd + G

Hand: H

Increase Type Size: Shift + Cmd + >

Magic Wand: Y

48


New File: Cmd + N

Open File: Cmd + O

Pencil: N

Pen: P

Print Project: Cmd + P

Rectangle: M

Rotate: R

Save File: Cmd + S

Select All: Cmd + A

Send Backward: Cmd + [

Send to Back: Shift + Cmd + [

Scale: S

Selection: V

Show Grid: Cmd + ‘

Show Guides: Cmd + ;

Type: T

Ungroup: Shift + Cmd + G

View Actual Size: Cmd + 0

Zoom: Z

INDESIGN

Add Page: Shift + Cmd + P

Bring Forward: Cmd + ]

Bring to Front: Shift + Cmd + ]

Check Spelling: Cmd + I

Deselect All: Shift + Cmd + A

Duplicate: Opt + Shift + Cmd + D

Export: Cmd + E

Find/Change: Cmd + F

Forced Line Break: Shift + Enter


50

Group: Cmd + G

Hand: H

Hide Guides: Cmd + ;

Increase Kerning/Tracking: Opt + Shift +

Right Arrow

Increase Leading: Opt + Down Arrow

Increase Point Size: Shift + Cmd + >

Lock: Cmd + L

New Document: Cmd + N

Open Document: Cmd + O

Package: Opt + Shift + Cmd + P

Paste in Place: Opt + Shift + Cmd + V

Place Image: Cmd + D

Print: Cmd + P

Rectangle Frame Tool: F

Save: Cmd + S

Select: V

Select All: Cmd + A

Send Backward: Cmd + [

Send to Back: Shift + Cmd + [

Type: T

Ungroup: Shift + Cmd + G

View Actual Size: Cmd + 1

Zoom: Z

PHOTOSHOP

Brush: B

Clone Stamp: S

Crop: C

Decrease Brush Size: [


Dodge/Burn: O

Eraser: E

Eyedropper: I

Gradient: G

Hand: H

Increase Brush Size: ]

Lasso Tool: L

Magic Wand Tool: W

Move Tool: V

Pen: P

Rectangle: U

Rectangle Marquee Tool: M

Spot Healing Brush: J

Zoom: Z


Typography

MORE THAN PICKING A FONT

Every designer has a love/

hate relationship with type.

Sometimes you get along

great, and sometimes you’re

screaming at Montserrat on

your computer as if it can

hear you and kern itself.

But take my word for it. If you

take time and put in the

work, it can be a wonderful

marriage. (Yes, a marriage,

unfortunately there’s no

getting away from type as

a designer.) Just in case you

forget which is which, here

are the different kinds of

typefaces, as well as a hit list

of my personal (and therefore

universal) worst typefaces.

SERIF

A serif typeface is based on

Roman chisel-cut letterforms.

The little extra strokes on the

ends of each letter are called

serifs. These typefaces feel

more handwritten and are easy

to read, making them great

for large paragraphs of copy.

SANS SERIF

Sans serif typefaces, you guessed

it, are sans (or without) the serifs.

So, no strokes on the ends,

which helps these typefaces

be more legible in larger

applications. Headers, titles,

billboards, everything benefits

from a sans serif!

SLAB SERIF

Slab serif typefaces are the

strict cousin to regular serifs.

These typefaces seem similar

to a serif, but a slab serif is

much bolder and blockier.

A slab serif has the small stroke

on the ends of letters like

52


a regular serif typeface but

they are much thicker and

more squared off, creating a

sometimes imposing typeface.

While often overdone, a nice

and polished slab serif can

help a headline stand out,

or create clarity in small

amounts of body copy.

SCRIPT

Script typefaces are tricky.

They are trying to emulate

something analog, the cursive

handwriting, but digitally.

As you can guess, this results

in a wide variety of script

typefaces but very few decent

ones. Script typefaces are best

in very specific applications,

like wedding stationary,

where an elegant and flowing

hand-lettered look is desired.

Be choosy when deciding on

a script typeface; better yet,

just write it yourself!

every typeface on Dafont.com.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a

pretty big fan of the wacky

typefaces that website has

to offer. However, there is a

certain time and place for

a typeface party. These

typefaces are each usually

created for one purpose and

one purpose only, unlike a

good sans serif that can be

applied across many types of

projects. Be especially careful

with choosing decorative

typefaces, sometimes they

hurt more than help!

DECORATIVE

Ah, the wildcard, decorative

typefaces. Also known as,


Type Tips

ONE

It takes time to develop type

skills and type sophistication,

practice makes progress.

FOUR

Sick of using the same three

typefaces? Branch out by

utilizing the favorite typefaces

of @Typetopia on Instagram!

TWO

Type pairings can be hard!

Check out Typewolf.com

online for their great type

pairing resources.

FIVE

Typography is synonymous

with concept, the concept is

reflected in the type chosen

THREE

Immerse yourself in the field to

find success, find the masters

and follow them!

SIX

From vintage to script to holiday

typefaces, Losttype.com has

some great typefaces you can

download for free, definitely

check them out!

54


Typeface Hit List

Just don’t use these, this is the opposite of

a Top 10 Typefaces list. In my opinion good

typefaces come and go, but bad typefaces

never change.

COMIC SANS

PAPYRUS

COMIC PAPYRUS

CURLZ

TRAJAN

Zapfino

AMERICAN TYPEWRITER

BRUSH SCRIPT

Lucida Calligraphy

BRADLEY HAND


Color

CULTIVATING COLOR PALETTES

The saying goes, ‘Graphic Design is my

passion’, but I actually think creating color

palettes is my passion. A great color palette

can make a design, so check out these

great resources to help you form yours!

COOLORS.CO

Nothing beats Coolors, they make

creating a color palette so fun and easy!

Create palettes with multiple colors,

export the builds in RGB, CMYK, HEX,

and more. You can even drag in a photo

for Coolors to help you make a palette

from it’s colors.

PIGMENT.SHAPEFACTORY.CO

A wonderful website with a great user

interface to help find the exact right

shade for you!

COLORHUNT.CO

Search through recently created color

palettes, or sort by most recent, trending,

or random for new palettes.

56


DESIGN-SEEDS.COM

This website features color palette

inspiration based on photography

and cultivated by season.

COLORS.MUZ.LI

A great website to visit if you know what

initial color you would like to work with,

as it provides additional colors to match.

The site also generates a mockup interface

to show what your color palette would

look like applied to design.

PANTONE.COM/COLOR-FINDER

A super helpful website if you are

needing to find a specific Pantone

swatch, or need to match your color

to it’s Pantone equivalent!


Illustrations

WORDS MADE VISUAL

Sometimes a clean icon or illustration is

the key to a successful project. Here are

some great places to visit to find free

graphics to kick-start your inspiration

or finish out a design.

UNSPLASH.COM

THENOUNPROJECT.COM

VECTORSTOCK.COM

FLATICON.COM

VECTEEZY.COM

COLORS.MUZ.LI

VECTR.COM

58


“God is

in the

details.”

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE


Chapter Four

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

60



When You Get Stuck

ART BLOCK IS THE WORST

Art block can hit you like a

train, one minute ideas are

flowing and you’re tracking

along just fine. The next minute

you’re stuck and it’s like your

brain has never had an original

or creative thought in its

lifetime. It feels impossible to

think of anything, or when you

do have a new idea you are

quickly reminded of where you

got that inspiration from. And

your idea is a little too close

for comfort.

I’m here to remind you that

this is a problem almost

everyone struggles with

(I can’t speak for everyone,

unfortunately). You are not

alone if you feel stuck. In fact,

it’s so normal, it was a natural

inclusion in this book about

the design process. At least

once during each project

62

or job I feel like i shouldn’t be

allowed to be a designer anymore,

because surely a real designer

doesn’t feel like this. But since

I haven’t figured out how to

completely get rid of art block

forever, here are my best ideas to

help you overcome your art block.

VIEW SOMETHING NEW

It may seem simple, but often I

find that my art block is caused

by looking at the same pins on

Pinterest, or design accounts

on Instagram. It’s true that it’s

incredibly difficult (or impossible)

to have an original idea, but taking

inspiration from more sources results

in more informed ideas. Flooding

your brain with new and exciting

work from other designers modern

and historic, can help wash away

the stagnant thoughts currently

occupying your brain. Your brain

only has so much real estate,


and those old ideas haven’t

been paying rent in a while.

EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS

Okay, definitely getting closer

to cliché with this one, but don’t

discredit the power of other

methods of art when looking

for new inspiration. Pick up

some watercolors or pastels

and just dump what is in your

head onto paper. Hands-on

art can help you mindlessly

sort through your thoughts

and set your mind back on

the right track.

Even if you aren’t really into

fine art, I’d highly recommend

taking a break from digital work

on your computer, even if the

extent of your exploration is a

coloring page and crayons.

READ A BOOK

Alright, now I’m really going to

sound like your mom. I promise

I just want what’s best for you!

Sometimes, usually a lot of the

time, you need to just take a

break from design to be able

to do design. Watch a new

movie, embroider a hat, read a

classic novel, go rock climbing.

Look to the rest of the world

around you, after all, they are

who you are designing for.

Spend time in the world

outside of design, so you have

new resources when you go

back into the design world.

These experiences are what

you can fall back on, when it

feels like you are stuck in the

same place.

DIG DEEP

Sometimes to overcome your

art block, you have to face the

root of your block. Is it the fear

of not being able to execute

your ideas perfectly? Is it fear

that your work will not be good

enough? Or maybe your work

has failed in the past, and you

just know it will again. Is it

laziness? The want to put off

completing your work until

tomorrow can’t be overcome.


These feelings of resistance

manifest in the form of art

block. While it may not be fun

or great to sit and figure out

these ugly roots of not having

an idea, identification is the

first step in overcoming.

to your work refreshed and

brimming with ideas.

Once you’ve dug deep,

reflected, and identified,

you can move past. You can

conquer like the incredible

designer you are. Past fears

can be put to rest by the

reassurance that growth

happens through failure.

You can hold steady in the

fact that each design is a step

towards your future, a building

block that must be completed

one step at a time.

Take a deep breath, you can

and will do this. Even though it

may be hard, you’ve identified

your source of resistance. You

have the tools to overcome,

so go out, cultivate new

horizons, and come back

64


“Styles come

and go.

Good design

is a language,

not a style.”

MASSIMO VIGNELLI


Chapter Five

THE FINISH LINE

66



Finish That File!

SAVING OUT PROJECTS

Well, almost! Make sure to hit

save on that file...but wait.

How should you save out your

file? Listen, we’ve all been there.

We’ve all forgotten they stand

for. It’s okay. We have this list

now. Take a deep breath,

we’re almost there.

AI, PS, INDD

The main characters, these file

types are the default file types

for each program.

AI stands for Adobe Illustrator,

PS is Adobe Photoshop, and

INDD is Adobe InDesign.

JPG

The same as JPEG, it stands

for Join Photographic Experts

Group and is the most widely

accepted image format. It is

such a widely used file type

because the file size is usually

small enough to store and

share easily. On the flip side

this compression reduces the

quality of the image, so be

careful if you lower the file

size too much!

PNG

One of my top favorite

file types, PNG files have

lossless image compression.

PNG stands for Portable

Network Graphics, and PNG

files can have transparent

backgrounds. PNG is best

for detailed, high-contrast

images, especially those

that need transparency.

Use a PNG when exporting

something with a transparent

background into another file!

68


PDF

The Portable Document

Format, or PDF, file type

is the standard for most

documents including text

and/or photos. You and PDFs

will get very close, they’re the

most common way to save

out multi-page publications,

brochures, and presentations.

SVG

The SVG file type stands for a

Scalable Vector Graphics file.

These files use a text-based

format to describe how the

image should appear (yeah it

blows my mind too). This results

in the image being able to

be scaled without losing

any quality. These are best

for web and print graphics

that may need to be resized

for different applications!

I always download SVG files

from thenounproject.com,

as I can open them in Illustrator,

scale them to any size and

then edit them easily!

EPS

Last but not least, the EPS,

or Encapsulated PostScript

file! This file type is typically

used when saving out vector

illustrations as it prints them

at the highest resolution.

As vector graphics are scalable

without losing quality, they are

great for logos, graphics, or signs

and banners that are going to

be used in many sizes.


Magnificent Mockups

TIME TO SHOW OFF

You have your final project, it’s all wrapped

up and finished right? Nope! Show off your

work to your client or professor, then share

it with the world! Below are some great,

mostly free, mockup resources to make

your projects feel real and to make your

portfolio look BOMB.

CREATIVEMARKET.COM

GRAPHICPEAR.COM

MOCKUPWORLD.CO

UNBLAST.COM

GRAPHICBURGER.COM

PIXEDEN.COM

70


“There are

three responses

to a piece of

design, yes, no,

and WOW! Wow

is the one to

aim for.”

MILTON GLASER


Imposter Syndrome

IT’S REAL, AND IT SUCKS

I would hazard a guess that

almost every artist has, at one

point or another, felt the

crushing weight of the Imposter

Syndrome. Comparison is truly

the thief of joy and is often

the thief of productivity and

the cause of stress, worry,

and anxiety. This weight of

measuring your work to your

peers, your favorite artists,

or anyone else can quickly

overtake and feel like it’s

suffocating you. I know my

design friends and I have all

felt it at one point or another.

I’m even feeling it right now as

I’m writing and designing this

book! It can come and go,

or stay a while, but how do we

get cure Imposter Syndrome?

Can we cure this feeling of

dread and worthlessness,

this anxiety that you are

just pretending to do art and

someone will surely find you

out soon. It can feel like drowning

in expectations and standards

that you place on yourself,

with no life guard to help bring

you back to the surface.

While I am no expert by any

means, I hope that I can help

you realize the root of these

thoughts (spoiler alert, it’s fear)

and help you take the steps

to reassure you of your worth

(spoiler alert, you matter a

whole lot!),

I’ve read a few books on the

feeling of comparison and

resistance in art, and the root

of these feelings is almost

always fear. This fear can come

from many different sources,

but it does seem to be the

common denominator when

72


having feelings of being less

than or worthlessness. These

fears manifest themselves in

thoughts of not being enough.

But what causes this fear that

leads to Imposter Syndrome?

Well, it can come from many

sources, fear of your credentials

not being enough, fear that

you don’t have enough natural

talent, fear that you will be

surpassed by your peers, fear

your work isn’t ever perfect,

fear that you aren’t meeting

expectations, and even fear

that your work won’t be liked.

These fears usually stem from

fears about yourself, or fears

about others, both of which

(while natural) are not often

founded in truth.

Fears about yourself often

connect your worth or value

to the things you create.

This simply is not true. You are

not only what you create.

If that were true, you could

boil people down to soap

packaging and highway

signs. But that’s ridiculous!

You are a person, filled with

thoughts, ideas, a beautiful

personality, an incredible

brain, and probably some

really funny jokes. You are so

much more than your work,

even though you create your

work. Your value is not directly

connected to how well you

design, you are worthy and

valuable. Period. End of story.

Fully believing in your value

and yourself is the first step

in moving past feeling like an

imposter in design. Because if you

have value, then you add to the

world of art, you belong there.

Another place fear stems from

is the fear of others, whether or

not they will like your work, is their

work better than yours, will they

get a job and you won’t, the list

can go on and on. And just like

you have to disconnect your

own value from the value of


your work, you have to disconnect

others from your work. To a

degree. While I’m not saying

that what your professors

or boss say about your work

holds no water, I am saying

that your fear of what they will

say shouldn’t hold you back.

Once you realize that you

and your work are valuable,

outside of what others think,

it helps combat those feelings

of being an imposter.

Design is all about creating

for others, balancing making

effective work that is helpful,

while still detaching your value

as a human from the success

or failure of what you create.

I try to remember, when a design

piece ‘fails’, gets a bad grade,

or a client doesn’t like what I

made, that it just isn’t the right

solution yet. It needs improvement

before the piece serves the

client the best that it can.

Failure is a step in the direction

of growth, and I firmly believe

that it is better to experience

failure than compare yourself

to a peer that hasn’t. You will

learn so much more from failure

than from easing through design,

always going with your first

idea and never digging deep.

Hopefully, these ramblings

will help you see that Imposter

Syndrome is rooted in fear,

fears that don’t have much

of a basis in reality. I hope you

see your value outside of your

design work, and how the act

of disconnecting the two will

go a long way in you feeling

confident in yourself and

combating fear. I hope you

fight fear with the truth,

embrace failure, strive for

more, stay curious and

remember that you are not

an Imposter. You create art,

you are a designer, and you

are valuable, no matter what

anyone else, or your inner self

has to say.


KEEP GOING, YOU MATTER

You did it! You’re done! You made

a wonderful project and it looks

amazing. Now, it’s time to go

do it all again. This may seem

exhausting, but it is the greatest

part of design, is that it’s never

done. The world is never done

improving, and designers are

on the front lines of creating

change. Take a minute (...or a

day, or a week...) to rest, refill,

and then jump back in! You are

doing productive and important

work that is uniquely you.






Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!