Photoshop Bloopers

Ever since photo editing programs have been developed, the limits to touching up photographs are virtually nonexistent. Photoshop however, was the beginning of an era in photography and photo manipulation among the masses and still is the greatest photo editing software out there. But Photoshop doesn’t make everyone a designer. Non-designers should probably NOT try to work miracles.

You can’t help but laugh at some of the horrible things that actually made it to the viewers! Perhaps these were mistakes of non-designers, so people claiming to be designers and have false advertised themselves. Here are a few bloopers I found that are literally breathtaking, and not in a good way.

 

Designing Email Templates

One of the trickiest things I have ran into lately is designing email templates. Nowadays a lot of advertising comes right to your inbox especially if you are a store card holder or have signed up for email notifications.

There are two things to remember to achieve a good email deign: Effectiveness and functionality.

Effectiveness: Simplicity is a key factor in effectiveness. Chances are the reader is skimming through his or her emails and will glance at this design. So the key is to sell whatever you design advertises in a matter of seconds.

Functionality:  Like all web design, you need to incorporate testing, testing, testing.  Email templates need to be tested in a variety of different programs to make sure that the reader will be able to read the email fast and conveniently. Make sure your design is easy to read and won’t force the reader to take multiple steps to get to the point. Also, making sure your images display as quickly and easily as possible is important. Often our images will do most of the selling and when they don’t display right away, it causes the readers to have to follow a link somewhere else, which can make them hesitant to do so.

Here are some examples of some good email templates:

For the Sports Lovers…

Often times we can learn a lot about a designer based on what type of work that they do. Designers who are huge sports fans usually design some of their best work with sports-related graphics. Here is a showcase for the sports lovers out there…

Less is More…

Doing a lot with very little. It’s a hard sentence to wrap one’s head around, however, it is important, if not the most important thing I’ve learned about design. Many designers have trouble creating a minimalist (simplistic, clean) design; either they have a hard time making a page with so few elements look good or the final result just doesn’t seem “complete” to them.


When you create a minimalist design, the design is at it’s most basic state, free from superfluous colors, elements, and textures,– CLUTTER, if you will. The purpose for this is to bring the most important visual/content to the forefront and minimize distractions for the viewer or reader. When people get distracted they often miss the message in the design or story, because they are confused on where their focus should be. Part of minimizing distractions is creating SIMPLE design by using less texture, color, shape, lines, content or type–kind of like the clutter that I mentioned earlier.

This is KEY: When you as a designer can portray the message you want and bring it to the forefront with as little elements as possible, you have a minimalist design.

When thinking about minimalist design think about accurate use of white space, alignment, movement, and contrast. One last piece of advice for an over-designer, when the thought, “something is missing” enters your head, the first thing you should try is take something out and then go from there, even if that means starting over. There is nothing like admiring basic design elements used at their full potential.

“Design should never say, “Look at me.” It should always say, “Look at this.”

Here are a few to showcase:

THE Site for Designers

As a designer, we want feedback to our work. To both improve and grow. Online communities help designer, developers and creative types showcase their work, gain thoughtful feedback and most importantly help expand networking possibilities.trans – 10 Essential Sites for Designers – designer design inspiration design angel ceballos

One that has most recently caught my eye is Dribbble.

 

Dribbble is a online community for designers who feature their work or work in-progress as screenshots and get feedback. Dribbble is currently an invite-only and has become a great  place for inspiration due to the quality work.

People who aren’t a part of the community can still sign up as a spectator and follow your favorite designers.

You can also add yourself to the Dribble Prospects directory to get a chance to get an invite. There are also sites that show you ways for obtaining an invite. So far, overall a great place to get some feedback from experienced designers.

Graffiti is Art

Graffiti is a form of art that I take personal interest in. Although my experiences with graffiti are minimal, I enjoy the complexity of what some artworks I’ve seen. My favorite pieces have underlying social and political messages through artistic expression and are based upon spray paint styles. Graffiti is inspirational to me because although technologies and design software allows us graphic designers to create so much, there are still some things that are better left handmade.

Web Layout

Web layout is an area in which I hope to delve into in my near to present future. For now, searching for inspirational layouts will suffice my creativity.

Here are a few to visually note:

Level 2 Design has an interesting web layout for it’s service company.

Real-Visuals specializes in 3D and architectural modeling and visualization.

This is designed and created by Joel Califa in the online portfolio.

Pieoneers.com is a web development, iOS development and design agency.

Corporate Identities

Why is the branding of a company so important? Among many reasons, people often tend to forget names of companies, however, the brand images or the corporate identity stays imprinted in their memories for a long time.Therefore, selecting the corporate identity is very necessary to find the perfect match between the corporate vision and the design selected. The design should convey the same message which is hidden in the mission statement of the organization. These designs are not only printed on the letterheads rather they are very much found on all official documents including the invoices, receipts, stationery, envelopes, etc.

Here are a few corporate identities that I find inspirational, clean, unique and noteworthy:

Tips for Breaking in as a Freelancer

Designers,

Do you have some experience with design but are looking to gain more experience and improve your skills? If you’re not ready to jump into the full-time design job but want to use your skills to earn income, then freelancing part-time is a great opportunity to consider. So get a pen and paper!

Here are some tips to think about before breaking in as a freelancer:

1. Keep Your Full-Time Job

Freelancing is a great way to start working in the design field and many people love to be able to set their own hours and work from home. But it is hard to make a living on and there is often more risk involved with depending only on a freelance income.  

Without a full-time job there will be much more pressure to make money immediately, and pressure is no fun.

2. Set Up a Portfolio Site

Having a site to showcase your work is one of the best things you can do for attracting clients.

That is if you have some work to include in the portfolio. If you’re just getting started as a designer and don’t have many samples, then you may need to work on some projects specifically for your portfolio.

3. Experience > Income

As you decide on projects to pursue, place more emphasis on learning and developing your skills as opposed to just taking jobs that will pay you the most.

4. Establish a Work Schedule

Working a full-time job and freelancing on the side will require you to manage your time efficiently. Balance a work schedule that will allow you to stay focused on your full-time job but still give you time to balance your freelance work and your life in general.

5. Open a Separate Bank Account

For people that don’t manage their books very well, keeping track of income and expenses can be a challenge.

The easiest way to keep things separate is to set up an account strictly devoted to your freelancing income.

6. Talk Talk Talk

One of the best sources of business for freelancers (full-time or part-time) is word-of-mouth advertising.

7. Your Rates

Pricing your work can be a very difficult thing for new freelancers. In fact, even designers who have been at it for a while often struggle with determining how much to charge.

The most important thing to consider in pricing your work at this time is to charge a rate that you are comfortable with.

8. Don’t Take Too Much Work

One of the mistakes that some new freelancers make is taking every possible project that comes their way. Especially when you are getting started, you will want to be able to take all the time that you need to learn from the projects that you are working on and to produce the best work that you are capable of.

9. Network

Successful freelancers have an established network of contacts that they have established over a period of time. This may be other designers that you can learn from, designers that you can share referrals with, other professionals in related fields, or any other type of professional.

 

Source: http://designm.ag/freelance/part-time-designer/

Simple Design

Designers,

  We’ve all heard the phrase, less is more. Well in design, that couldn’t be more true. Especially when it comes to branding and logo identities. A ton of successful brands are known by their simple but very effective logos.

There are a couple of books that explain this idea in very close detail:

  • Before&After by John McWade
  • Love Logo Design by David Airey
  • Designing Logos: The Process of Creating Symbols That Endure by Jack Gernsheimer

 

 Just because the designs are simple, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of thought process behind it. Ironically, there is more time put into the design when you create something that has equal balance of power and simplicity.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

For those of us who lack the years of experience, that’s a smart rule to go by.