Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5 Things Every Designer Needs

Designers are asked to create visual communication that sells, persuades, and influences. And often they are required to make something that is innovative or very original. What non-designers may be unaware of is that designers don't pull ideas out of thin air. Nothing is created in a vacuum. There are inputs and tools, every designer needs, no matter the skill level or years of experience.

All designers need:

Time. Designers need unstructured time to recharge their thinking. They need to be off-schedule from time to time, to build creative muscles. Time to read about subjects other than design. Time to explore. Time to visualize. This is invaluable to a healthy design life.

Clear objectives. Without this information, there is no direction for creating solutions of value. Creativity doesn't matter much if it doesn't answer the problem. Clear problems to solve, and having clear parameters saves a lot of time.

Information. Designers need to know as much about a subject and client as they can. This adds creative fuel to the process.

Research. This includes the information-gathering, but it also includes visual explorations. Designers need to visit museums, read magazines, view websites, and stay visually fed during the design process.

Tools. Computers these days are essential for most visual designers. But a good pencil and paper is essential too. Computers can sometimes stifle creativity, because it can dictate how something is designed. Getting away from the computer can help build stronger ideas. Also, having industry appropriate design software is essential too, and a good internet connection.

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