Although we thrive to be a perfect and professional designer there are few small things which gets out of mind and are then counted as mistakes of the designer. Perfection is not merely the quality of work but its also the small thing which counts when your work is over viewed by some other professional. Common people will just judge your work by the quality you provide them but the real fact will be reveled when he or she passes your work to some other professional. Lets get straight forward and i will explains few common mistakes of the designer point by point so that makes it easy for your to check list them when you start designing.
Not understanding the project details
Most of the designer don’t understand the clients need and starts working without having a total in depth idea of the project. I would rather suggest to collect as much information as possible from the client before starting the work. This will save the work effort and your first draft will turn up to be what exactly the client wants. To get this you should understand the project just like you are the client yourself, and this is only possible with a good rapport with client on inner details of the project. This will also save time wasted on procrastinating. A good designer will understand every details of the project before starting. For example you are working on a logo project and client provides you the details like text of the logo, colors, slogan or tag line. You can start the work with this details but the main thing is what is the logo for or what the client desires to convey the views by that particular logo. So you as a designer should understand the sole purpose of the design if you do so you will save your’s as well as the clients time.
Saving files improperly
The difference between a good designer and an excellent designer is that the excellent designer is always organized in the way he does his work. The first step of that is saving file. Most of the designer starts the projects and saves the finished artwork file any where with default name as in the figure shown bellow.
Instead of just giving a name as untitled-1 which is a default name suggested by Photoshop you can give a relevant name of the file from the starting of the project. Or another tip which i personally use is, I save my all work accordingly to the client i have more than 1000 clients so i save them accordingly to the client name and date of the project. For example instead of “untitled-1” I will use “Peter Google logo design Draft -1” this is long but it save my effort when i have to find this file when clients comes back after 2 years asking for that file. And so you can pull it out with ease. I even organize my work with proper back both online and offline. Online on secure host and offline on a business hard-disk so i can pull all my works out from any where and at any time.
Fonts plays an important role in a design. A proper font relevant to the design makes it look elegant. For example you are designing a cartoon theme logo and you select a professional font like “Georgia” that will not add meaning to the design. Use of appropriate font in the design makes it worth. Some designers who are new bee in the business make their design over load with different fonts and this makes is look vague. Professionalism is simplicity and elegance, if you use 5 different kind of fonts in simple logo design than its for sure that your design is not going to be loved. So i would advice to use fonts judiciously and in accordance to the type of the design you are making.
Proof reading is one of the main mistake that a designer does. As the software Photoshop is not like Microsoft word which will auto correct spell errors. So after completing a design make a habit of proof reading the design. Because what you design is small and only view able to you but once its out and printed on a big hoarding its going to be on the eye of tons of people and think you make an error in the design and it went out being printed and posted all around the city, when the mistake is identified you will be getting a shit for that small mistake and it will cost client a lot of money and effort and more over and exclamation of shame on his business. So never let this happen its small but indeed a very important thing.
Make a Checklist
You would think why the hell i should make a checklist of a design, but its as important as going out on a long holiday tour and making a checklist of each and every important place and thing you want to see and do. Imagine you are designing a landing page for a website and you don’t make a check list of things that clients wants on his landing page, you end up with a design in which client is going to point out thing which you forget to add. This will add a mark of imperfection on your work and kills time both for you and your client. So if you organize your work by checklist your wont forget the elements and your work will get appreciation, and more over it will leave a positive effect on customers mind.
A major thing which will make you a poor designer is coping or resembling your work to other ideas or work. Most of the designer when they will not have any new idea in their mind they will just try to imitate their design to other design. This is a mere sluggishness in your work. If you cant think or your mind runs out of idea, I will advice you to go out get some fresh air, listen some calm music and make your mind fresh or even do some meditation or yoga if that helps and than come back and think and you will find your mind with some new unique idea. Because that is what matters and makes your work outstanding. Coping is easy but it will get you shit instead of appreciation. And in this modern world unique idea always have a greater value.
Use of shortcuts in Photoshop & Illustrator
There is a very good feature in Photoshop and Illustrator and that is shortcut which saves time and energy. Most of the designers would not be using this features or would not even know that they exist. Always try to use these shortcuts that will save your time and effort for example to decrease or increase the brush size in Photoshop you will have to go in brushes and adjust size instead you can just use “[” for increasing and “]” for decreasing that’s just one click instead of doing like 6-7 clicks. A bigger example is use of Photoshop actions tool for a bigger and a repetitive design. For such design you have to do the same thing again and again that will take a lot of time but instead if you use actions the software will do all the repetitive task for you in seconds. Similar is the tool called history. And there is much more which can benefit you.
Handing over your design to client
There is a major role in the way you hand over a finished Photoshop file to the client once your receive your payment. A simple example of this is you are a Photoshop designer paid for a landing page design and you handover the Photoshop file to the client which is un-organized in layers not properly labeled all the elements are lying here and there. This file when client hands over to his coder for coding it will be really hard for a coder to locate the elements and this some times he just cant and this will leave and impression of your work as imperfect and then the client is not going to come back to you again for future work. Instead if you organize your Photoshop file proper for example website can have layer folders like logo, header, center content, side bar, footer and background and each folder have their respective layers in them so its easy to identify the elements.
Keeping Back up of your work
Most of the time when a designer designs a draft and its not accepted they just trash it and starts on working new but instead you preserver that draft you might be able to use the effects and art you did on it on other design as its your unique design so instead of trashing them I would suggest to make a separate folder in your back or all the reusable artwork, which can be helpful to you in future. Or some time it happens that the client turns back selecting the first draft which you have already trashed so then you have to recreate it, instead if you had saved it you can just pull over and send it. So be smart and organize your work to save effort time and have a good feedback about your work.
There are still way lot more points that a designer needs to keep in mind while designing to make him a successful designer. I will keep posting more article so keep reading and implementing them to make yourself an excellent designer. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and your can even share this article so it may help other people in your circle too.