What I Learned…

1. What’s the most important thing I learned about design?

Keeping a consistent “look” throughout a project is crucial in making the piece of work look organized, well-planned, and purposeful. Taking the time to create a consistent grid makes a huge difference in whether a type specimen or book looks messy and in disarray or clear and concise. Without putting thought into which elements in your design are necessary and serve a purpose, the design of a project could end up looking unprofessional and sloppy.

2. What’s the most important thing I learned about typography?

Successful typographic design is invisible. No matter how simple the design may look, everything has a purpose, from the layout of the page, to the tracking and leading of the characters. It is important to take into consideration your audience and use typography to serve that audience and present the message.

3. What’s the most important thing I learned about myself?

I learned that I am a harsh critic of my own work and tend to compare myself too much to others and undermine my own skills. While it is good to be able to be critical of myself and continue to improve, I should give myself credit sometimes as well, while also admiring other people’s work and gaining inspiration from them, rather than looking down on my own work.

4. Now that you’ve been through it, what three pieces of advice would you give yourself if you were just starting to take this course for the first time?

  1. Even if you spend hours going through websites, FontBook, and Suitcase, trying to find the perfect typeface combination, the time and effort put into doing that is completely worth it. Do not give up if you can’t immediately find the best typefaces that fit a project. You might try to push a certain typeface to work for an assignment, but in the end, it is probably better to keep it simple and stick with the ones that work already, and not try to force a typeface that works individually, into the mix.
  2. SKETCH, SKETCH, SKETCH. Even if you can’t portray your idea in complete accuracy in a drawing, laying it out in simple shapes will make the design process so much more efficient. Always keep your sketchbook close-by, because you never know when you will be sitting in a random class, and suddenly have the best design idea ever and will need to sketch it out so it doesn’t escape your head.
  3. Don’t be afraid to do something crazy, witty, funny, out-of-the-box, etc. You can always edit and revise down, but it is harder to make a boring piece of work more interesting. While it is indeed possible, let your creativity go wild, because those pieces of work, after being edited, tend to be the ones that engage the audience the most. And, who knows, this might allow you to get out of a creative funk and discover an awesome new idea for your project, that will only help you grow as a dynamic designer.


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