99 Sites All Designers Must Know About

resources

Below is a list of 99+ graphic design resources, in English and (and a few other languages), that all designers must know about.

 

It is sorted by category (click to go to category):

For more resources you can check out the 101 Places To Get Design Inspiration. Also don’t forget to subscribe for more graphic design resources.

General Design

1 Spunk United

An excellent magazine with a selection of the worlds best artists providing inspiration, interviews, articles and more.

Spunk United

2 FreeLance Switch

The community site of reference for all freelances. You must know this one!

Freelance Switch

3 Computer Arts

The site of the excellent international magazine Computer Arts. I have subscribed to this mag and love it!

Computer Arts

4 David Airey

A graphic and logo designer who shares his knowledge on these areas.

David Airey

5 Behance

A site gathering the portfolios of the artists of the whole world, a true inspiration.

Behance Network

6 Pdf Mags

References all the PDF mags out there! A great resource.

PDF Mags

7 Graphic Design Forum

The most active of the graphic design forums out there. A bit more focused for the beginner designer.

Graphic Design Forum

8 Design Is Kinky

An Australia site focused purely on design news and design in general. Stay up to date!

Design Is Kinky

9 Freelance Folder

A community blog which posts regular articles on freelancing. Very diverse.

Freelance Folder

10 Bittbox

Provides regular resources for design… tutorials, brushes, vectors and more!

Bittbox

11 Vandelay Webdesign

Vandelay Webdesign

Provides very social media friendly articles, large resource lists and tips for web designers.

12 You The Designer

Very complete and diverse range of articles on graphic design.

Computer Arts the U.K.

13 Design You Trust

A daily design magazine, blog and small community, full of new design trends, news and events, great design portfolios and hand-picked design stuff from all over the globe.

24 Ways

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Web Design:

14 Noupe

An excellent site on Web design & the development of the web (CSS & Ajax).

Site Not

15 Smashing Magazine

Information for all. So broad that if you are a designer and you don’t know this site, we all have pity for you.

John Oxton

16 Think Vitamin

Vitamin is a resource for web designers, developers and entrepreneurs. 50,000 subscribers can’t be wrong.

Web Appers

17 24 Ways

Web design and development, quality articles are always here.

Vandelay Design

18 A List Apart

Another pillar of the Web Design blog world, very good articles with diversified contributors.

Float Design

19 Site Point

Very diversified site, graphics, css, ajax… Also editor of many Web Design books.

Psd Tuts

20 The Rissington Podcast

Excellent podcasts full with humour of excellent the Web Designer John Oxton and Jon Hicks.

sxc.hu

21 Web Appers

Blog of Open Resources for Web Developers. .

Icon Finder

22 Happy Cog

They publish their best ideas and speak out to the world on web design.

Maniackers Design Make

23- Web Designer Wall

A must have for all web designers and designers out there!

Ads Of The World

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Resources:

24 Design Float

A digg like site for design related subjects. Must know!

Command Shift 3

25- Psd Tuts

The best tutorials on the web. Mmmmm.

Showcase Not

26- Blue Vertigo

The MUST HAVE bookmark of all stock resourceson the net.

The FWA

27- SXC.hu

My favourite stock site, you may notice I use this site for most of my images on this site.

CSS Handled

28- Icon Finder

Self explanitory.

CSS Remix

29- Da Font

Free fonts. Mmmm.

ScreenFluent

30 Maniackers Design Make

A lot of inspiration can be found here along with a lot of free resources. Bit hard to navigate though.

W3C Sites

31- Colour Lovers

Find, create and exchange your pallets of favourite colors.

CSS Beauty

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Show Cases:

32- Command Shift 3

Have you heard of hot or not? This is like that but for web designs, you choose the best website of 2. Great for inspiration.

Pumping

33- Showcase Point

Showcases Flash & CSS sites with several options of sorting.

456 Berea Street

34- Zeniltuo

Large database of all the inspiration sites out there.

Pro Blog Design

35- The FWA

Mainly shows off flash websites but is always of high quality. Great inspiration here.

Ajax Rain

36- CSS Mania

Another showcase site.

CSS3.info

37- CSS Remix

A very good gallery of CSS websites.

CSS Earth

38- Best Web Gallery

A very good selection of designs.

Referencing, Design and Co

39- ScreenFluent

A very good selection of Web designs.

Labs Adobe

40 W3C Sites

Excellent selection of valid W3C sites.

Christophe Coenraets

41- CSS Beauty

A good gallery and it also has very interesting articles on the development of websites with news.

Blog XML

42- Edu Style

The schools and universities have also right to a gallery css, this one is particularly remarkable.

Adobe AIR Tutorials

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Development:

43 – Problogger

Tips on blogging in general. Must have for any blogger.

Problogger

45- Pro Blog Design

Tips on improving your blogs design. Only quality articles here.

Contain 99 High Web Designs

46- WP designer

The blog of reference for all the WordPress developers.

Swiss Legacy

47- Ajax Rain

One of largest Ajax bookshops on the Web.

ICoil Typography

48- CSS3.info

The site of future standards – CSS3.

Design &Typo

49- CSS Earth

Site referring the best articles on the development of CSS on the Web.

The Typographer

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Flash & Flex:

51- Labs Adobe

New technologies and development from Adobe.

Fubiz

52- Christophe Coenraets

Blog of a Flex developer.

Motiono Grapher

54- Adobe AIR Tutorials

The site of for tutorials on AIR.

Graphics Motion

55- Mike Chambers

The blog of Mike Chambers based on programming and technology.

FX Guide

56- The Blog Flash

Blog for Action Script 3 and Flex.

Works Motion

57- Jean Phi Blog

One of the largest French flashers. Has some great work, but the French part may be a problem for some.😛

Elliot Jay Stocks

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Typography:

60 Swiss Legacy

A blog focused on typography, swiss design and the grid.

Stuff And Not Sense

61- I Love Typography

Speaks for itself. A must know.

Loïc SATTLER

62- Design & Typo

The blog of the famous Peter Gabor, posts cool inspiration pieces (in English too).

Iso 50

63- The Typographer

The site on typography for the French.

John Nack Blog

64- Slanted

Large German site on typography.

NetVibes

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Video & Motion:

65- Stage6

YouTube of animation (2d and 3d). Great quality.

Twitter

66- Fubiz

A great blog which posts creative daily inspirational pieces of design. Bookmark this one for sure.

FaceBook

67- Motiono Grapher

International reference for all who are in the motion business.

Contain 99 High Web Designs

68- Video Copilot

Tutorials of creating special video effects.

Discobelle

69- Graphics/ Motion

Italian Blog of Motion, the articles are of great quality and are updated very regularly.

Hype Beast

70 FX Guide

Great Community site of Video and Motion, do not miss this one!

Lense

71- Works Motion

The site of John Dickinson, great inspiration here.

PopRave Blog

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Personal Design Blogs:

72- Elliot Jay Stocks

Just check it out. His name pops up everywhere!

Carsonified

73- Veerle Blog

One of most beautiful blosg on the Web, very complete articles and tutorials, in short a must.

North X East

75- Jina Bolton

Design of Jina Bolton (aka Sushi Monster), author of the book “Art & Science of CSS” and of the excellent conference “Create Sexy StyleSheet.” A very envious portfolio.

Well well well

76- Snook

Blog of the graphic designer, developer, writer and lecturer of Jonathan Snook – very complete tips and tricks for all Web Designers.

Boing Boing

76- Stuff And Nonsense

Super and super blog of Markley, one of best WebDesigners in the world.

W3sh

77- Lysergid

Blog of the excellent French Art Director Loïc SATTLER. Great articles, fresh design.

Topic WordPress Split Da Diz (?e%)

78- Iso 50

Blog of the excellent graphic designer Scott Hansen.

2 subjects

79- John Nack Blog

Blog of John Nack, composed of very complete article on graphics and Adobe.

3 subjects

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Web2.0:

80 NetVibes

The web comes to you. News aggregator plus!

1 subjects

81- Del.Ico.Us

A tool for bookmaking and social media attention, must have!

1 subjects

82- Twitter

Get updates on what your friends, co workers, etc are doing.

2 subjects

83- FaceBook

A website where you can pass your life.

1 subjects

84- Flickr

The social site of photography – a great number of people are present there with new photographs to discover each day.

3 subjects

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Relaxation:

Places for just browsing – Areas that most designers are interested in. (ie. Fashion, Music, Design)

85- Vinyl misuses

A magazine about toys.. Must check this site out, some really cool designs.

The blog of the boss

86- Discobelle

Excellent site of music, showcases music videos, parties, etc.

For good badges

87- Hype Beast

Magazine for fashion design and culture.

The blog of Pierre

88- Lense

A French reference for all those who wish to know some more about photography.

That good

90 PopRave Blog

Underground culture of the clothes industry.

A small good cendar

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Various:

91- All Graphic Design

A site for everything graphic design related.

All Graphic Design

92- North X East

Articles for bloggers.

93- Ads Of The World

Web site which publishes all of the worlds ads. Great inspiration here.

94- LogoPond

Logo Design Inspiration

Logo Pond

95- Logo Design Love

A blog focused totally on Logo Design. Regular articles and resources.

Logo Design Love

96- Split Da Diz

I have translated his page from French into English as he was the original poster of this article however I changed the French sites he recommended into English ones, fixed the old links he had posted and changed the order of some items…

97- Boing Boing

A genearl directory of wonderful things.

98- Business of Design Online

Pretty much anything to help a design business grow online.

Just Creative Design

99- Just Creative Design

Who else would have brought you this massive English list of 99+ graphic design resources? We provide graphic design tips, resources and articles for all.

Just Creative Design

More Sites You Should Know About

What other sites should be added? What are your favourites?

The Ultimate List of The Best Logo Design Resources

Below are the best logo design resources you will find on the web. Period.

You can click on the links below to quickly go to that section.

You can find graphic design resources here.

Logo Design Inspiration & Galleries

Below you will find galleries of logo designs for logo design inspiration.

Logo Design Articles

Below you will find some great logo design articles.

Logo Design Interviews & Discussions

Below you will find some great logo discussions & interviews on the subject of logo design.

Logo Design Tips

Below you will find some great logo design tips to help you become a better logo designer.

Logo Design Blogs

Below you will find the best logo design blogs on the internet.

Logo Design Trends

Want to keep up with the latest logo design trends? Look no further.

Logo Design Showcases

Below you will find some logo design collections showcased on one page.

Logo Design Tutorials

Below you will find some great Illustrator tutorials which will help you get more familiar with vectors.

Logo Design Books

Below you will find some links to recommended logo design books + reviews.

Logo Designers

Below you will find some links to some professional logo designers.

Logo Design Awards

Below you will find links to some logo design awards that you can win for recognition & promotion.

History Of Logo Design

Below you will find some great links to read up on the history of logo design.

Logo Design Resources

Below you will find some further logo design resources.

Just For Fun

Below are some lighter logo design resources for fun.

Free Logo Design Downloads

For those times when you need a well-known vector logo .eps file, in a hurry.

Fonts For Logos

Typography is a key factor of many logos so here are some great resources to help you out in that area.

Working With Style Guides

Style guides are guidelines to use when using a logo… below are some articles to help you out in that area.

Large Design / Branding Agencies

Below are some of the heavy weight larger design & branding studios.

Logo Design Feedback

Feedback is a vital part of the logo design process, and the forums listed below can offer fresh perspectives on your design projects… the community will be happy to help you out!

I hope this list can serve as a one stop shop for all of your logo design needs. If there is a site that you recommend or one that I have missed, please let me know and I will consider it for addition.

How To Write An Effective Design Brief and Get The Design You Want!

How do you get the design you want? The perfect design you envision in your head? … The design brief is the answer.

Whether you are a designer or a client, an effective design brief is the single most critical factor in ensuring that a project is successful.

This article will tell you how to write an effective design brief that will be both beneficial to the client and the designer.

This article will be based from the client’s perspective.

What Is A Design Brief?

First off, you may want to know what a design brief is. A design brief is something that is vital to any design project as it will provide the designer(s) with all the information needed to exceed your expectations.

A design brief should primarily focus on the results and outcomes of the design and the business objectives of the design project. It should not attempt to deal with the aesthetics of design… That is the responsibility of the designer.

The design brief also allows you (the client) to focus on exactly what you want to achieve before any work starts on the project.

A good design brief will ensure that you get a high quality design that meets your needs, providing you have  chosen the right designer.

How To Write An Effective Design Brief

If you answer these questions below in an ordered and detailed fashion, your design brief will be 90% done… the other 10% will come from further questions from the designer after you submit your brief.

Have fun answering the questions and remember, provide as much detail as possible! This does not mean one line answers.

What does your business do?

Tip: Never assume that the designer will know anything about your company. Be clear and  concise  and avoid jargon when replying.

  • What does your company / organization do?
  • What is your company’s history?

What are the goals?  Why?

  • What is the overall goal of the new design project?
  • What are you trying to communicate and why?
  • Are you trying to sell more products or get awareness of your product / service?
  • How do you differ from your competitors?
  • Do you want to completely reinvent yourself or are you simply updating your promotional material?
Tip:  You should also provide old promotional material to assist the designer.

Who is the target market?

  • What are your target market’s demographics & phychographics? ie. the age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, employment, geography, lifestyle of those you want to reach.

Tip: If you have multiple audiences, rank them in terms of importance.

What copy (text) and pictures are needed?

Tip: The copy and pictures used in a design are as crucial as the design itself and you should clearly state who is going to be providing the copy and pictures if needed.  You may need to look into getting a professional copywriter / photographer – ask your designer for some recommendations.

  • What copy needs to be included in the design? Who is providing the copy?
  • What pictures / photographs / diagrams etc need to be used? Who is providing these?

What are the specifications?

  • What size is the design going to be?
  • Where is it going to be printed / used? The web, business cards, stationery, on your car?
  • What other information should the designer know in regards to specifications?

Have you got a benchmark in mind?

  • You should provide the designer with some examples of what you consider to be effective or relevant design even if it is from your main competitors. This will set a benchmark for your designer.
  • Provide the designer with things not to do, and styles that you do not like or wish to see in your design. This will give the designer an idea of what to avoid and will avoid disappointment on your behalf.

What Is Your Budget?

  • Providing a budget prevents designers wasting valuable time and  resources when trying to maximize your budget.
  • Providing the budget upfront also allows designers to know if the project is going to be worthwhile to complete. Make sure you are worth their time.

What is the time scale / deadline?

  • Give the designer a detailed schedule of the project and set a realistic deadline for the completion of the work. You should take into account the various stages of the design project such as consultation, concept development, production and delivery.

Tip: Rushing design jobs helps no one and mistakes can be made if a complex job is pushed through without time to review, however, there are times when a rush job is needed, and in these cases you should be honest and upfront about it.

Tips For The Designer

As a designer it is important to have a template such as this one to give to clients as clients will not always come to you with a design brief – feel free to use this one as you please. By having a template ready, it shows them your professionalism and ultimately saves them (and you) a lot of time and money.

How To Boost Your Creativity

boos_your_creativity

I have previously written an article on how to be creative however, it didn’t tell you how to boost your creativity.

Below are some great ways of stimulating your brain to get great ideas – fast.

Change Your Environment

decorative_workplace

Decorate a wall with old product packages, put up king size posters of your favorite designers, rip out pages of a color catalog and pin them up, find music that inspires you, create interesting lighting by sticking distorted paper in front of the lamps and – if you own the place – redecorate in an inspiring manner. Alternatively, cover the walls with paper and let yourself go with paints and brushes. It is a fact that decorating a work environment with flowers increases the generation of new ideas by 15% (Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., Behavioral Scientist, Texas A&M University, 2004).

Why, Why, Why Technique

boost_your_creativityAsk ‘Why?’ several times until you explore undiscovered parts of the problem you’re working on. You’re creating an advertisement. Why are you creating an advertisement? Because they need one. Why do they need one? Because they’ve got this interesting product to show off. What makes the product interesting? It glows in the dark. Why does it glow in the dark? Because (:). Suddenly, you’ll find yourself with more information to spin around.

Use Different Mediums

Got process colors? Go mix them and paint something. Draw something. Take whatever ideas you’ve got, redraw them by hand, and see if they turn out different. If possible, cut it into pieces and put it together another way.

Write Your Own Brief

Write your own brief, and include as much information as possible. Try to define the problem clearly. If you’ve got one from a client, rewrite it in your own words.

Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

  1. White – State the facts and figures
  2. Red – State the emotions.
  3. Black – State the negatives. Use judgment and caution.
  4. Yellow – State the positives.
  5. Green – Ideas that come by seeing things in a new light. Suggest alternatives, proposals, provocations.
  6. Blue – Sum up what has been learned. It controls the debate. To see it in action.

To see it in action.

What if? Technique

If you’re stuck half-way in a design, let your mind wander. What if this was seen mirrored? What if these two switched positions? What if I inverted the whole thing? You could also go further by making stories and creating characters. What if this illustration could come over and give its opinion? Sounds too much like an acid trip for me, but some people have success with it. What if it was (put in whatever adjective you can think of)?

Use mind maps

Brainstorm, preferably with a partner, and draw a mind map. There is nothing that is as effective as mind mapping, as it has a tendency to grow and grow as you explore the topic. This can of course be combined with other techniques. Free mind is another good alternative, written in Java.

Don’t be critical

You can’t both be creative and critically judging at the same time. These are two difference processes that should take place in two different phases of the process. Write down everything, no matter how badly you’re trying to tell yourself it sucks. Get it down. There are no bad ideas, just bad decisions.

Criticism belongs later in the design process, when you’ve got so many ideas and concepts that you can begin being selective.

Osborn’s Checklist

Apply the following check list and see if it generates any new ideas or perspectives. Try to avoid being held back by assumptions of how things should be done.

Put to other uses? As it is? If modified?
Adapt? Is there anything else like this? What does this tell you? Is the past comparable?
Modify? Give it a new angle? Alter the color, sound, odor, meaning, motion, and shape?
Magnify? Can anything be added, time, frequency, height, length, strength? Can it be duplicated, multiplied or exaggerated?
Minify? Can anything be taken away? Made smaller? Lowered? Shortened? Lightened? Omitted? Broken up?
Substitute? Different ingredients used? Other material? Other processes? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice? Someone else?
Rearrange? Swap components? Alter the pattern, sequence or layout? Change the pace or schedule? Transpose cause and effect?
Reverse? Opposites? Backwards? Reverse roles? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? Transpose ‘+/-’?
Combine? Combine units, purposes, appeals or ideas? A blend, alloy, or an ensemble?

Force associations and connections

Pick a random word from a dictionary, a magazine, a website or wherever, and try to force connections between the word and the problem you’re solving. This could and should be combined with mind mapping and sketching.

For further creative techniques visit MyCoted.

101+ Places To Get Design Inspiration

ws_Design_Inspiration_1280x800

Looking for design inspiration? I have collected a list of the best posts and websites out there that really got me inspired.

Inspirational Collections

DesignFlavr – A gallery full of hand chosen design. 100% quality.

60 More Places To Get Design Inspiration – A list like this of 60 more websites where you can get design inspiration. All quality.

34 Places To Get Design Inspiration – 34 more websites of where to get design inspiration.

12 Links for Web Design Inspiration – A great list of where to get web design inspiration.

Great Illustrator Designs – A great pictured post of great illustrator designs.

32 Inspirational graphic design pieces – Another great pictured list of great graphic design.

The Best Inspiration from 2007 – A huge collection of awesome graphic design pieces from 2007.

Thinking For A Living – This is an awesome collection of only high quality websites and resources that have been broken down into smaller categories. Not so much visual inspiration but a list of good places where to get it.

Design Inspiration Galleries:

Design you trust

Siti webdesign

Best web gallery

Unmatched style

One star gallery

CSS Artillery

CSS Vault

Link Creme

Splench

Muse

FormFiftyFive

CSS Creme

Netdiver

AIGA Design archives

Cool Homepages

Pagecrush

Beautifully

Moluv’s Picks

FWA

CSS Beauty

Light on dark

Stylegala

CSS Mania

Design Shack

Faveup

HOWDesign.com Design Inspiration Directory

Design Studios / Artists

OkapiStudio

Cecilia Lindgren

Robert Scully

Shinybinary – Nik Ainley

ISO50 – Scott Hansen

Non-Format

Hulsbosch

Transistor Studios

Faceless

Adhemas Batista

Antonelli

Edwin Tofslie

Kouri Design

IN8 Design

Frost Design – Vince Frost

57Even

UrbanCowboy

Syrup Helsinki

Build

Pioneer10

Jop Quirindongo

GrandPeople

Gui Borchert

Spike Press

Blogs (Resourceful Articles + Inspiration)

Design Inspiration Blog

Freelance Switch

You The Designer

Abduzeedo

Spoon Graphics

The Tutorial Blog

Web designer Wall

N.design Studios

Silentbits

Smashing Magazine

Blogperfume

David Airey

Many more recommended design blogs here.

My Many BookMarks

My Delicious Bookmarks

Search Engines

Try Goggling ‘Design Inspiration‘.

Use Digg and their design search.

Use StumbleUpon and their design search.

DeviantArt – A quick search will find many results.

18 Search Engines for Creatives

How To Be Creative

creative

Do you ever get asked ‘Where did you get that idea from?’ in any of your projects or pieces of work and you couldn’t answer the question? Well, I have actually come across that a few times and it made me think to myself, where do I get my creativity?How do I get my creative juices flowing? How do I boost my creativity?

I made a short list of where I usually got my ideas from and came down to two things I always did to get my creative juices flowing, that being mind mapping and finding inspiration. I then compared my ways to other creative individuals on the net but we will get to that in a bit.

Mindmapping

So what? Everyone has heard of mindmapping but are you doing it in the best possible way – the way that suits you best? The key to perfecting mind-mapping is creating your own personal style.

  • Do you use keywords? Images? Both?
  • Do you use a variety of colours?
  • Do you use a hierarchy system? A number system? Outlines? Circles?
  • Do you use random words for inspiration or do you relate words? Both?
  • Are all lines & thoughts connected? Or do you loiter off into new mind maps?

You must find the best method that suits you, as the key to getting great ideas and getting your creative juices flowing is by perfecting your own personal style, as not everyone has the same way of doing things.

Finding Inspiration

If you are really stuck for ideas (even after mind mapping), I have always found that by getting an idea of what other people have done and what has succeeded (or failed) is a great way to get your feet off the ground again.

Try looking in books, magazines, newspapers, on then internet, journals, and any where else you can think of! Check this post on where to find design inspiration.

Although mind mapping and inspiration are two great ways of getting creative, there are many other ways to help you out. For example, a creative blog by the name of Think Simple Now outlines in an article how to get to your inner creativity.

yotsuba02 copy

Other Creative Methods

Have you ever tried practicing any of the methods below? Give it a try, you’ll be surprised.

  • Get Relaxed – Take a moment to do something that makes you happy; that brings you joy; that you love; that centers you. Meditate, take a walk, go for a swim, read something that puts you in a good mood, write a diary – writing down your thoughts.
  • Give Gratitude – Thinking about all things you are grateful for produces a positive energy flow and vibration. As you feel the love in your heart for all the wonderful blessings and gifts in your life, you will instantly relax and feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. In that moment of warmth and love, you are open to creative energy.
  • Tickle Your Imagination – Imagination is highly visual. Try closing your eyes, and imagine that you are in a scene, any scene. Okay – pick your ideal scene, practice seeing the details of your environment in this scene. See the colors, the textures, touch something. What does it feel like? What do you hear? What do you smell? What is the temperature like? Etc. This makes you more relaxed and gives you gratitude also.
  • Be In the Moment – Every outstanding musician or artist will tell you that when they are creating great music or art, there are no thoughts, they are completely in the moment, and experiencing flow. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. You can practice present moment awareness by giving full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed, etc. Meditation helps tremendously. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is also highly recommended.
  • Be Inspired – Practice seeing beautiful things that moves you emotionally. Flip through a book containing thought provoking images, go to an art gallery, read something inspirational, talk to someone who calms you.
  • Draw – This may sounds funny, but one of the effective ways to practice getting in touch with your creative side is to start drawing. Drawing forces you to see things differently.
  • See Alternatives – Be curious. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently. When seeing the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “What are some alternative ways to doing this?“. Develop the mental attitude that “there is always another way” even when alternatives seem ‘impossible’.
  • Be Open – Never shut down any idea that comes your way, do not make judgments about it. Appreciate any idea that comes to you, even ones that seem “stupid” or “obvious”. This way, you encourage more creative ideas to surface from your being.
  • Think on Paper – With a bunch of loose paper, start jotting ideas down. Write everything down that comes to your head: random words, phrases, ideas, thoughts: sometimes you might want to circle things and draw lines to connect ideas. When an inspiration hits, follow it. If you suddenly have a different idea, jot it down somewhere on the page or in a new page.

6 Simple But Important Tips for Design Students

Life as a graphic design student can be difficult, however you can get through your studies successfully, by putting the right strategies in place.

Here are a few simple, but important tips to keep in mind as a design student. These tips have been compiled by Christine Kane*, but for some of my own tips please see the ‘design for students‘ category section.

francis1

1. Get Organized

One of the most important things that you can do in a graphic design program is to get organized. Use a calendar so you can use to stay on top of things. If you don’t use some kind of planner, you’re probably going to get behind, and end up missing assignments. Write down the due dates of every assignment that you are given so that you will know exactly how much time you have to complete them.

2. Set Your Priorities

It is vitally important for you to set some specific priorities while you are in school otherwise, it will be easy for you to get caught up in many things that have nothing to do with your goals. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out with your friends or partying, but make sure that you keep your studies up near the top of your priority list.

3. Over Estimate

In the area of graphic design, you have to estimate how long each project will take. As a general rule, try to overestimate how much time you think a job will take you to complete. If you get the job done faster than you estimated, you get some bonus time to do whatever you want. If not, you’ll at least have that time designated as work time. Over estimating goes for pricing work too.

4. Network Like Crazy

While you are in graphic design school, this is a perfect opportunity to network with other people who could help you later on in life, especially after you graduate. The people that you go to school at will be out there working for design agencies or starting their own companies. Knowing the right people in your field will help you in advance at a much steadier rate.

5. Be Passionate & Enjoy Your Work

Many people in graphic design school stop loving what they do, and their work becomes almost mechanical. If you want to do good work, you need to enjoy yourself. Passion is a huge part of creativity, and creativity is at the heart of great design. Make sure you know why you are doing what you do.

6. Be & Stay Creative

As mentioned above, creativity is at the heart of great design. If you are not being creative, then you’re work will obviously reflect this. If you are having trouble coming up with  ideas, gather inspiration from the vast corners of the Internet or visit this post on how to be creative.

If you keep these tips in mind while you are in design school, it will make your studies much easier and not only that, you’ll have more fun, have a better chance of graduating with honors as the quality of your work and the joy you take in it will shine through, making your job search after graduation much easier.