There are a few questions I've been asked on more than one occasion. I thought it was about time to address those questions in a blog post.
Question 1 | What kind of things do you design?
I have experience designing all sorts of things. My background is mostly in print design and corporate event invitations. I have recently shifted my focus toward branding and website designs for entrepreneurs and small businesses. I’m passionate about helping other business owners make their business sustainable so they can live the life they’ve always dreamed.
You can view my portfolio here.
Question 2 | How do you take your photos for social media and your website?
I use my iPhone a lot. I set up a white foam board in the floor next to the window and I have a selection of things I use as props, which is what keeps my images on brand. I also use my DSLR camera and snap photos of my workspace occasionally. Great, natural light is key, along with photographing items that fit within my brand’s color palette.
I recently wrote a blog post that walks you through my photography process here.
Question 3 | What design programs do you use?
I use the adobe creative suite, which consists of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Lightroom. I use all 4 of these programs very regularly.
InDesign is used for creating social media graphics and banners, overlaying text on images, creating brand style guides, inspiration boards and website wireframes. I use InDesign anytime I’m combining multiple elements into one graphic, or creating anything with more than a few lines of text.
I use Illustrator for creating the details, like logos, logo variations, patterns and social media icons. Once I create these elements, I can then link the elements into any InDesign file I want to use them in.
Photoshop is used for editing and resizing photos. I use it frequently for resizing images, making specific lighting changes to photos, or layering images together.
I use Lightroom for 90% of my photo editing because it was designed to edit batches of photos at once. To learn more about my Lightroom editing process check out this blogpost.
Question 4 | What is your design process?
For branding and website design clients, I typically follow this outline:
Step 1 | Kickoff meeting with client
Step 2 | Send client assignment
- Series of questionnaires
- Pinterest project
- Instructions for gathering content for their website
Step 3 | I gather inspiration and create an Inspiration board
Step 4 | Spend time sketching ideas for the project
Step 5 | Create logo concepts using Adobe Illustrator
Step 6 | Add color, create color palette
Step 7 | Build out the brand by creating logo variations, sub-marks, patterns, and icons.
Step 8 | Create social media branding like banner and profile images
Step 9 | Create client website
- Create Sitemap
- Create Wireframe
- Select squarespace template
- Insert all content
- Customize template
For other non-branding projects the process can vary, but it typically looks something like this:
Step 1 | Kickoff meeting with client
Step 2 | Conduct research and gather inspiration
Step 3 | Spend time brainstorming and sketching ideas
Step 4 | Start creation or layout of project.
After delivering the design to the client, there is almost always a round or two of revisions. I have learned that communication is key during this phase in order to make sure everyone is happy with the final result.
Question 5 | What does your typical day look like?
My ideal schedule would look something like this:
6:30am | Wake up & workout
7:15 | Eat Breakfast & read my Bible
7:45am | Get ready for the day
8:45am | Check emails & get inbox to zero
9:00am–12:20pm | Work on most important tasks
12:30pm | Lunch break away from my desk
1:00pm | Check social media & emails
1:30–5:30pm | Tackle other important tasks
5:45pm | Plan for next day
6:00pm |Shut down and relax for the evening.
Typically, I don’t get up as early as I’d like, which means I often start work closer to 9:30 or 10. I do however try to workout and get ready for the day before starting work. I often eat lunch at my desk instead of taking a break, and I sometimes work later than 6pm. I’m far from perfect.
My day varies, but my ideal schedule is my target outline for everyday. I try to give myself grace and allow room for margin when things come up.
Question 6 | How do you determine what's good design?
While art can often be subjective, there are still general rules to follow. In photography, there are guidelines regarding the rule of thirds, composition and lighting. It’s the same for design. We have rules like only use 2-3 fonts, leave margin around the edge of the page, use 10.5 to 11pt font for long-form articles, and use certain colors to convey certain messages. There are even studies about the order in which people view a one-page flyer.
Even though design (and art) can be subjective, there are still general rules of thumb every good design should follow. For more specifics check out this post, this post, and this post on design tips.
If you have any other questions, or have a follow up to one of the above, let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!