Online Critiques and Outsourcing the Design Process

A clarification to begin. A professional design critiques’ primary focus is to improve the work, an educational critique is to improve the designer. My interest here are students and thus improving the designer. Full disclosure, I am an advocate for and active participant in online critiques. “My teacher says this …

How to Hire a Graphic Designer

An almost comprehensive guide to hiring a freelance graphic designer or a small to medium design firm. What is graphic design? A quick primer on a description of graphic design from two sources who have articulated it better than I can, one pragmatic, one poetic: “Graphic design, also known as …

Design Process and Pricing

At first, a quote of $1000.00 or even $500.00 dollars for a “simple” logo may seem expensive. When assessing the price of anything there are multiple factors worth considering, including value you get from the thing over time and the effort that went in to it’s creation. I am concerned …

Design as Advocacy

A useful way to think of graphic designers is as advocates. I propose this description as a framework to help understand some of the activities and responsibilities of designers. The notion of mediator is a similar and sometimes valid descriptor, but a mediator is primarily concerned with resolving conflict, which …

Critique Miscellanea

How to compose a successful critical commentary: You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.” You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or …

Collaborative Practice Crit

Activities that are deeply collaborative can be challenging to execute in educational settings where students are evaluated individually both in out of the classroom. In a design firm or studio setting a designer seldom works a job from inception to completion independently. You may be generating ideas and sketches and …

Conversation that never happens, ever.

“Did you call Bill?” “No, I tried, but I can’t find his number” “But I gave you his business card” she said not hiding her frustration. “Yeah I know, but there is a lot of info on it, I can’t make heads or tails of it” “Let me see that,” …

Ugly is Not a Design Problem.

There are a set of tropes designers use to critique, principles that are ingrained from the first days of design school. Some of the more repeated rules include, never stretch type, more than two fonts are yucky, gradients are bad and of course kerning, the kerning is always bad. Designers, …