Think like a designer

August 5, 2010  |  Branding
Think like a designer

Even if you are not a designer, you can train yourself to think like one. Doing this will help you critique layouts presented to you for your opinion or approval.

Flex Your Design Muscle – A Few Exercises

Here are a few suggestions to train your brain to think like a designer . . .

  1. Start a design folder or binder to keep samples of ideas you like. This helps you wake up and become more alert. I often get inspiration from designs I notice in totally different markets than the one I am working on. You don’t have to like everything – notice the details. You may like a font, a color scheme, a style of writing, a photo treatment or even the way the paper folds.
  2. Analyze your junk mail every day, then explain why you hate it or love it. Keep the ones you really like.
  3. While grocery shopping study the cereal boxes. The large packaged goods companies (Kelloggs, Kraft/Nabisco, General Mills) spend big bucks on their packaging. Get some ideas from the pros. See how they prioritize the information and use bold graphics to highlight and catch the consumer’s ¬†attention.
  4. Start paying close attention to billboards, signage, invitations, and even instruction manuals. See how they pick the design elements to appeal to their target audience and to create a strong brand image.

Your brain will quickly start to recognize great design that has clearly taken considerable creative time and thought. You will also notice poorly designed materials, that will make you think “Who approved that?” By having a well trained ‘design brain’ you will improve the look and and messaging of you own materials.

Start exercising your brain today!

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