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What if you looked at design from a different perspective?Sometimes, all it takes to improve your designs or to break out of a creative slump is to alter your perspective on how you go about designing.
For the past fourteen years, I've vacuumed the house starting at the South end and working my way North. A couple of weeks ago I took out the vacuum as I usually do only to discover that my wife had chosen that time to groom our two dogs in the living room near the South end of the house.
Instead of waiting for her to finish so I could pick up all the excess dog hair and nail clippings, I decided to start at the North end of the house figuring by the time I reached her she would be done.
In vacuuming the house from this different direction, I experienced a whole new perspective to our living quarters. I came at familiar areas from a new angle and in some cases discovered that it was much easier to reach those areas from this new perspective.
What does this have to do with designing?
Sometimes, changing up your regular design routines can change the way you perceive a design. Getting out of your comfort zone can alter your perspective on a project.
I always start a logo design project by choosing various fonts that I think will suit the logo. I then design the symbol or icon that accompanies the type before putting the two together and figuring out colours.
Last week with my vacuuming adventure still fresh in my mind, I decided to change things up for a logo I was designing. Instead of starting with the font, I dove right into creating the icon. Usually, the font I've chosen influences the icon I design. This time was the opposite. I picked the font based on the icon. In doing so, I decided on a font I might not have chosen otherwise.
By changing my perspective on how I approached the design I came up with an idea I don't think I would have reached if I had followed my normal routine. And the client loved it.
What did I learn from this experiment? Routines are good, but sometimes they can prevent you from seeing things you might not have otherwise. Changing your perspective can help you find a new solution to a hard design problem.
Have I changed the way I design things because of this? No. My routines are established, and they’ve worked for me for so long that I won't change them. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tweak them from time to time or ignore them altogether whenever I’m in a creative slump or merely need a new perspective on an idea.
Try changing your perspective every once in a while and see what happens. You might like the outcome.
For the full story be sure to listen to the podcast episode where I go into much more detail than I just did.
Have you ever tried breaking from your normal design routines?
Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.
Questions of the Week
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Tip of the week Minimalistic business cards
I was recently handed a business card that had the gentleman's name and title of “web designer” on one side, and only his website on the other side. He told me that as a web designer, he wanted to ensure that people saw his work before contacting him. His business card forced people to visit his website if they wanted the rest of his contact information. In the process, they could look at his services, his portfolio, the type of clients he works with and gets a feel for who he is before deciding if they want to work with him.
This gentleman told me that since he started handing out his new cards, a much higher percentage of people who contact him convert into clients.
If you are a web designer, you may want to give this idea a try. If you do, please let me know how it turns out.
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