Words of Wisdom to Improve your Design Theory
A few weeks ago I was clearing out a load of old stuff and I came across a pretty big folder from my first year of Uni. After having a slightly nostalgic flick through, I deemed it all rather useless. All bar about 6 pages of notes from a couple of my first ever lectures.
Titled ‘Methodologies of Design’, they offered clarity to some of the basic principles of design and reminded myself of the theory behind my actions as a designer.
It was somewhat refreshing and I realised that sometimes it’s good to take a step back and go back to basics to remind yourself what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And I thought these notes might be worth sharing in a ‘back-to-basics’ type offering.
It seems I did take something useful from Uni after all! Who’d have thought it?
Here are just a few words of wisdom from my methodologies of design lecture…
“Only dead fish go with the flow”
- Create your own style
- Do things in your own way
- Use tools in your own way
- Don’t be like everyone else
“A good designer is an imaginative problem solver”
- Able to rethink ideas
- Change to improve functionality
- Think outside the box
“Less is more”
- Simplicity and clarity lead to good design
- Well organised content will communicate your message better than trying to cram in as much information as possible
“Form follows function”
- Must be formed to suit function
- Form must support function
“Design can directly improve profitability”
- Appearance of product
- Looking good is half the battle won
“Colour effects mood”
- Cool colours (blue, green neutral, white, grey) can be calming, comforting, nurturing, cold and/or impersonal
- Warm colours (red, yellow, orange) can show brightness, passion, heat, love and/or urgency
- Warm colours appear larger than cool colours and can appear closer whilst cool colours visually recede
Simple stuff, but worth clarifying in your mind. This type of theoretical knowledge aids you in making your design decisions and helps to ensure you are making the right ones.
About Stephen Greig
Stephen Greig is a 25 year old Freelance Web Designer/Front-end guy, currently living in Nottingham, UK. Stephen is also the creator of messivsronaldo.net and author of CSS3 Pushing the Limits, a book on advanced CSS3. You should follow him on Twitter where he talks about the web, sports, music and swears a lot. Stephen's also on Google+ if that's more your bag.