How To Develop A Designer’s Mind

Know how people say art is subjective? Well, here is how to view art from a designer’s mind:

In order to design, first of all, we need to change our general way of thinking. For example, we do not view the art personally (this does not mean that we do not put in any emotion at all). What do I mean by that? Take a look at this scenario:

Mr.A and Mr. B were each given a photo of their friend to edit. 

Mr.A: “I can’t do it, he keeps staring at me in this photo!”

Mr.B: “Oh, John’s gaze is intense. Hmmm, the eyes will need to blend in with this background though…”

See the difference? What Mr.A can do to think like Mr.B is to see the goal ahead, the purpose of this and what needs to be done. If designers think like Mr.A, they will be limiting themselves to a number of subjects. “I can’t draw ghosts, they are too scary!”. This is the design industry we are talking about, and by design, it includes entertainment and there are a lot of subjects.

Secondly, we thrive on constructive criticism. Yes, you heard correctly. Not just plain criticism without any valid reason behind that (you can disregard that person as talking crap). In order to improve, we need to swallow whatever pride we have and understand where the critic is coming from. You may or may not agree with the person’s opinion, but keep all opinions in mind and do what suits you best.

However, there are also critics that go like this: “This looks weird but I am not sure why”. If the person does not know why it looks weird, ask them to point to an area where it is the weirdest. If that still does not get reduced to a more specific area, try to find out why it is weird. If the theme of your design is weird or abstract, then please disregard this.

If for whatever reason, you are on the other extreme (low self-esteem) and think all of your design sucks, fret not. This is where we thrive from good feedback lol. We all sucked when we first started unless you’re some kind of mutant genius.

A mutant genius like this:

Or like this:

Yes, I couldn’t resist. I’ll like you guys to check these videos if you haven’t already and tell me which you prefer (something like my own research).

What do these videos and all those that went viral (like Gangnam Style) have in common? They are funny, random, or unique in their own way. One danger of designing commercially is there is a risk of losing your own unique style while adapting to others. Flexibility and the ability to create other styles are good (It is important especially to do what the brief tells you to do.) but do not lose your own style.

How do you maintain that? Practice. It is something like not mixing work and play unless specifically asked to. How do you develop a designer’s mind? Practice.

About ysFaye

Senior Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Photographer. View all posts by ysFaye

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