Some keys to great design
Fear is the greatest block to creativity. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Fail forward. Its better to fail while taking a risk than to succeed while playing it safe.
Graphic design is the visual communicate of a specific body of information to a specific group of people to achieve a specific result.
Establish the creative strategy concept: destination, goal, result. Memorize it to stay on track.
Determine the options available, then explore and select the most efficient.
Designers don't deal with reality, they deal with the viewer/target's perception of reality.
The brain will solve any design problem, provided it has a thorough understanding of the problem, adequate information, strong motivation, and a valid deadline.
Become an authority on the problem.
Get to know the audience.
Seek what the client really wants/needs, not what they say they want.
Every design decision is a compromise, a balance between the familiar and the innovative.
Logos are identities, not ads.
More info at Design Components
Strive for clarity, not simplicity.
Design solutions must be concept driven.
Design solutions must also be content/message driven.
Integrate type and image for effective comprehension.
Successful work requires minimal education.
The specific purpose of advertising and graphic design is to change the target market's attitude about the subject.
Attention to detail separates the good from the great designers.
Use punctuation to aid comprehension.
Order: 1) Legibility, 2) readability and, most important 3) comprehension.
About the work, not the person.
Vista vision: get back from your work and see it with fresh eyes, to objectively spot its strengths and weaknesses.
See the bigger picture the problem is a part of.
Critique design work from the viewer's point of view.
If a design element cannot be justified, one must get rid of it: it becomes clutter.
Figure out what is working in the piece, enhance/exploit that and minimize the rest.
Avoid being seduced by computer technology.
The Macintosh computer is a wonderful tool, but it is not a crutch, an excuse, nor a designer.
Avoid: 'I feel" "I chose", etc. Keep personalities to a minimum: discuss the work as a strong solution to the problem, not a personal preference.
Put a letter on letterhead comp, its the most important element.
Show one comp, propose the very best option.
Persuasive communication is achieved by providing strong rationale; using correct grammar and spelling; and being prepared, rehearsed, and able to think quickly.
Interviewers look for a pleasant personality, intelligence, clear communication skills, innovative problem solving, a strong portfolio, and traditional and digital execution skills.
Provide fair value.
Help improve the professionalism of the industry.
Great designers have a passion for great solutions, courageously take risks, possess integrity and enthusiasm, think innovatively, and truly believe design is fun.