Recently, I watched PBS’s new documentary "The Farthest", which told the story of the Voyager missions. The documentary made me nostalgic, because when I was a wee lass, I was enchanted with outer space. In fact, one of my childhood career goals was to become a robotics engineer for NASA (this was before I realized I was hopeless at math). I still hope that one day NASA will contract me to design rad decals for their next probe or rover.
We at MindActive are admittedly a technical bunch – we’re always showing off our latest projects with cutting-edge web and digital technology (apps, holograms, motion graphics, and so on). However, this doesn’t mean we’re uninterested in more traditional forms of graphic design. On the contrary, we bring the same passion we have for those techie marketing programs to our print and logo design projects.
For years, designers have embraced the ideals of elegance and simplicity. When in doubt, you could always fall back on the time-honored traditions of grid-based design, modern sans-serif typefaces, and minimalism to produce Good Design. It was a philosophy that was reliable, safe …. and, perhaps … boring? Many designers have been restless for change, to take risks by embracing the messy world of color, texture, and pattern.
As a member of what the media calls the “Millennial” generation, I’m supposed to be always chasing after the latest and greatest in new technology. But in a lot of ways, I’m actually very old fashioned. I only just recently got active on Twitter. I’m still not quite sure why I should use the Story feature on my Instagram. And, like a creature out of the ancient past, shrouded in myth, I used Photoshop to create web design comps. I cut my teeth in design school using Photoshop for web design work, and liked the ability to control my designs to finest detail. But the question lingered … what if there was a better way? Was it time to brush off the cobwebs, leave my dark and forlorn lair, and seek a new design tool?
As a graphic designer, I spend a lot of time talking about color. Just a few days ago, I was discussing with one of our web developers which shade of blue would work best on a website. To someone outside the design profession, this can be puzzling — why spend so much time and effort on weighing the differences between teal and cerulean? Does anyone other than designers care that much about a color? You should — color is an extremely powerful branding tool! The emotions conjured by your use of color will help create a memorable story that customers will associate with your brand.
I’ve been making artwork since I was a kid, and continue to do so today. Working as both a graphic designer and an artist has given me a unique perspective on design work. Both artists and designers work in the visual realm, but often have very different goals — while artists explore the elements of composition to express personal feelings or ideas, designers apply these principles to solve problems. Creating artwork gives me a freedom to explore ideas visually that I might not have when creating work for a client. The work I create personally often feeds into and improves the work I do professionally. Here are some of the reasons why I feel that exploring the world of fine art will make you a better designer.