Welcome to the Designer’s Blog. This blog was created to share design ideas, tips and tricks. Look for new posts once a week.
You speak to a client. All is well, you feel confident that you have the job and then the dreaded sentence “Can you present your ideas to our committee”. I am great in small group situations, 5 people max, but any larger , I am nervous. There are four techniques I use diminish this fear presenting even though, I am still really usually very nervous. The four techniques I use to reduce stress are:
- Organizing and planing ahead of time to reduce stress. This usually includes everything from planning my attire to the drive home. Just the idea of a plan reduces stress.
- Practicing my presentation topic, keeping key points in mind to be able to get back on track when diverted;
- Knowing my material so I will easily be able to answer any questions.
- Finally, making sure you don’t ramble. Not being afraid of silence will allow your audience members to think about what was said and give you a moment to breath and recover.
These simple techniques have helped me get through a number of nail biting presentations. I hope They will help you too.
Looking for a job can be a difficult experience. You want to be more than hired, you want to be in demand. In an earlier article, I wrote about creating an infographic resume to stand out. Combine an infographic resume, cover letter, networking with a portfolio and you not only increase your visibility but you will add value to your name/brand becoming a complete impressive package.
I myself have created a number of portfolios to become more marketable. I have created the traditional book, a website, and now a video to showcasing my work. Each aspect has its place however, I always reference my video. Why add a video portfolio? There are several reasons:
- Videos are sharable. Hiring managers and clients can share your portfolio instantly with other managers or potential clients without waiting. Bringing more hiring opportunities.
- Videos can do part of your networking for you. How many times have you been asked “Do you know a person who can create…” A video can help you be that go to person. Rest assured a great portfolio video will be shared and you will get calls.
- Videos are easy to understand. A portfolio video provides a summary of your work in all of its glory showing your versatility, this includes the ability to create the video itself.
- Videos drive decisions with a strong call to action. At the end of my video you will notice the call to action (CTA) CONTACT ME. Even if there is no position now, a strong CTA will prompt a person to contact you. You can then contact this client in the future for possible employment.
- Videos work well in the mobile market. Have you tried to read a pdf on the phone? Think about a busy client trying view your portfolio on your website. Not super difficulty but there will be scrolling. Now think of sending a video portfolio, one click and the client will see your showcase. Quick and easy.
Make yourself more marketable create a video portfolio.
If you need a graphic and web designer with skills that also include, photography, photo manipulation and restoration, branding and packaging, CONTACT ME. I am your person.
Today, we live in this fast paced world where we want everything instantly. Words are great but a picture is worth a thousand words. Hence the birth of the infographic. Infographics have become one of the best ways to effectively communicate information to a viewer in an extremely short time. With the world becoming smaller and more competitive a person needs to stick out. This is why it is important to market yourself with an infographic resume.
Marketing yourself with infographics will get a recruiters attention, provide your data in a short time and make you more memorable.
First, the infographic resume will grab a recruiter’s attention. Unlike traditional resumes that rely on text, this type of resume provides a beautiful layout with a clean display of your credentials at a glance. In a sea of black and white text a splash of color will definitely grab a person’s attention.
Providing data at a glance is extremely important to recruiters. Most recruiter want resumes that have been reduced to one page. One solution is to shrink your text. This is a bad decision. When using images, you can easily explain complex data such as your skill set and experience. Using an infographic also reduces the space needed to convey this information compared to the traditional resume style.
Finally, you will be more memorable to an employer. The number of applications a company will receive at any one time can be staggering. An infographic resume provides your information at a glance allowing an employer to easily pick you out in a sea of resumes. The resume will also display your creativity, your versatility and graphic abilities. All of these factors will make you more memorable.
Using an infographic resume is an important way to market yourself. They are attention grabbing, will provide your skill set at a glance and make you more memorable. Everyone wants information instantly, this includes job recruiters. Give recruiters this satisfaction by submitting an infographic resume.
For inspiration you can visit, envatotuts+ . This website has simple as well as complex infographic resume layouts.
What is CONTRAST?
LARGE, small, black and white, circles and squares, all examples of contrast. It does not matter is you are creating a flyer or website, contrast is a key element in graphic design. When contrast is applied correctly, contrast attracts the eye. When done incorrectly, the design will stick out like a sore thumb.
Contrast can exist between size, color, shape and type. Contrast of size adds a visual interest that can lead a viewers eye throughout a design. An example, a text centric poster. If all of the text is the same size, the design will be unappealing and boring however if the font sizes vary implementing hierarchy, you have a interesting and attention drawing poster.
Contrast of color also a key principle of design. Black and white is easy, other colors not so much. Pairing colors that contrast but aren’t eye straining is crucial. You also don’t want to work with colors that are very similar like orange and red. The best way to select colors that contrast but use one of the colors as an accent color to reduce eye bleed.
The next type of contrast is shape. You can bring attention to a layout by keeping consistent shapes then throwing in a different shape for contrast. An example, if there is a page full of rectangles, you can add a circle, perhaps in a different color to create the ultimate contrast.
Finally, there is a contrast of type. Using a serif font and a san-serif font is a nice contrast. Also using a bold font and a thin font also creates contrast. You can see this in logos, stationary, etc.
Using contrast in conjunction with the other elements of graphic design will help you create a great design.
Selecting a color for a design doesn’t have to be so difficult. Knowing the type of business your client has and what they are trying to convey to their customers will make selecting a color easy. Knowing the meaning behind colors and the feelings they invoke will help to create a design. If you are unfamiliar with the meaning of a color, look the color up. There are plenty of resources on the topic. If working for a foreign company, the same diligence should be exercised.
Take a look at the logos below and the colors used with them and what each color symbolizes.
- White – light, innocence, purity, peace, and cleanliness
- Red – action, danger, adventure, passion, strength, energy and love
- Pink – delicateness, innocence, gently, romantic, soft, tranquil and appreciation
- Orange – creativity, fun, jovial, youthful, lighthearted and enthusiasm
- Yellow – cheerful, happiness, playful, joy, sunshine, warmth, caution and cowardice
- Green – life, renewal, nature, fresh, inexperience, money, moldy and jealousy
- Blue – authority, calm confidence, dignity, loyalty, power, success, sadness and security
- Purple – loyalty, fantasy, justice, nobility, royalty, sophistication and spirituality
- Brown – nature, calmness, depth, earth, nature, richness and woodsy
- Grey – authority, humility, moody, practicality, respect and somberness
- Black – classic, conservative, mystery, serious, sophistication, boldness, tradition, formality and death
Being aware of the significance of each color will help highlight positives of each design
Creating visual hierarchy can be achieved in a number of ways. Hierarchy can be created by size, color, weight, contrast, alignment and proximity or a combination of these methods.
- Size is one of the simplest ways to create hierarchy. Larger items on a page will be noticed first.
- Color is another way to create hierarchy. Colors draw the eye. Bright colors i.e. red, orange and yellow will draw the eye. Muted colors will draw the eyes as well but only after the bright colors.
- Weight. Heavier items will draw the eye before “light” times. An example, bold fonts will stand out more that unbolded fonts.
- Contrast – Think fonts paired with thin fonts, a warm color paired with a cool color and sizes highlight contrast.
- Alignment – order or rhythm of design elements create alignment. Alignment will guide a viewer’s eye around a page following lines. Alignment can easily be created with the use of grids.
Proximity – It is used to group and separate elements of a design. Objects that are close to each other are often associated with each other.
Practice . Create designs using these methods then change color, weight, and proximity to improve the design. Using these methods or combination of methods will result in a clean, concise design with clear visual hierarchy.
WordPress? Why in the world would I want to use WordPress, I’m not a blogger. I thought of WordPress as a CMS for blogs since it came out around 2003. I was interested in WordPress but quickly decided I didn’t care for the interface. I didn’t think about WordPress that much anymore.
Fast forward to 2017. My instructor wanted us to create a website using WordPress. I had not used the open source CMS for years so, I felt that this would be a great time to reacquaint myself.
I began asking myself, why WordPress? After some research and class, I found out that that approximately 25% of websites are run by WordPress. There are a number of reasons WordPress is selected. A few reasons are:
- the user interface. The user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.
- the variety and number themes. There are over 20,000 themes for WordPress. Regardless if you need to design an eCommerce site or an informative, there are vast number themes to select. For a number of themes you can easily change colors, styles, categories and format of each theme.
- the number of widgets. There is an extensive number of widgets easy to install and change without needing to code i.e. an event scheduler.
- are mobile friendly site. WordPress themes are mobile friendly. There is no need for heavy coding.
Why WordPress? WordPress is a great solution for quick beautiful website for anyone.