Go beyond basic principle of Design

By Rachel Won / 17 September 2018 / Tags: Education

The basics of all design. My first design course was to learn all the principles that would then become the backbone of my entire design career.

  • Contrast
  • Repetition & Rhythm
  • Balance
  • Emphasis & Subordination
  • Proportion
  • Directional Forces
  • Scale
  • Unity within Variety

All of these are the basic foundation for design and mastering these principles are imperative for success. Would I have learned these painstakingly one by one on my own? Maybe. But, probably not.

Mastering the critique
Receiving critiques are the backbone of every professional designer’s life. Presenting and critiquing your work is second nature and I’m sure a lot of you are saying to yourself:

When I started out as an amateur designer, everything seems so personal:

“Why don’t they like my designs?”

“They don’t understand design.”

“I choose this colour because that is my favourite colour.”

In every single design class or art class, it always, always, always had some sort of verbal and/or written critique. You had to talk through how the you felt, why you made what you did, what worked, what didn’t, how to communicate or pitch your design to your peers / teacher and separate fact from opinion. Without these hours upon hours of critiques, I definitely would not be an effective designer.

“But, again, you can learn this without school” — True.

However, at an institution we given the ability to make mistakes, fail hard or even flunk the project and not have our livelihood riding on it. Our reputation would be a stake! In short: If you’re learning how to critique and present work when you’re working for yourself or someone else, you’re costing yourself or your company’s money. There is a solution to this, it will be some form of calculated risks, prototyping is good to try out new ideas and solutions. Just like you don’t put all eggs in one basket.

Unless I am making art for arts sake, there’s always a point and the point is — my designs are not made for me, but for my clients’ users.

Expand My Mind
With so many different viewpoints from clients, I start to think about design in different ways than I ever thought possible. I was challenged by better clients to produce better work than I was capable of putting out.

I had a design lecturer who likes to challenge us to think more than 10 ideas. He’s the first voice I hear all the time when pushing past the first solution that comes to my mind.

“The first few are always the normal ideas that anyone can think of. To be an effective designer, we need to think deeper, give ourselves time to reflect what are the possible solutions, not just solutions from the internet but considering our people and the environment.” Reinar Rivera, former RMIT University Lecturer

#CuriousMind #MasteringCritiques #MoreThanJustDesign

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