In design, rules are important. The grids, the proportions, the composition, and all that drill. But also, the inner gut that gets developed over the years of practice. An eye for design is an ability to spot mistakes on sight, to distinguish between the good and bad design decisions. An ability to exactly know what is the standard practice for this particular type of design, without spending time looking it up.
Though it is true that an eye for design won’t develop in a day, there are some tricks you can use to speed up the process. And we are willing to share them with you. If you’d like to learn what are the ways to develop your eye for design, and which resources will be helpful – keep on reading!
Honing your eye for design: what to do?
This one’s pretty obvious but won’t hurt reminding. If you’re a graphic designer, you cannot live in a bubble. This profession demands you to always search for inspiration, and be watchful about the newest trends. Subscribe to design-related communities on your socials, so that while scrolling your feed your eye can come across other designs. Unbeknownst to you, the visuals you see will root into your subconsciousness.
See a design you really like? Try recreating it. Not for commercial use, of course, just for practice. It will help you to break down the design to the smallest elements, understand the structure that was used. Later on, working on a similar project, you will definitely remember at least some of the design elements you can draw the inspiration from.
If you see a design that inspires you, analyze it. Look for the exact reasons this visual appeals to you and other people. Look at the colors and how they blend together, the placements of elements, their hierarchy. It won’t hurt if you also dive a bit deeper into the psychology, how different font or colors are perceived by people, what associations they have.
Apart from the compositional elements of the design, try to understand the intentions of this particular piece. How does it make you feel? What messaging was grounded into the design?
Beauty is all around us. We do not believe that it’s entirely subjective. The human eye is drawn to the things that abide by the laws, which are symmetrical and proportionate. Just like nature is. If you’re trying to train your eye for design, browsing the internet is not the only way to do that.
Look around at what surrounds you, be present and observe the world. You will be surprised at how much you will learn from it.
Design resources to help you train your eye
Butdoesitfloat.com – for photos, art & abstract pieces.
Awwwards.com – for website design inspiration.
Behance.net – for inspiration & feedback
Designspiration.com – for every type of design inspiration,
Branding inspiration: Instagram accounts to follow
Yes, in case you didn’t know, at Gingersauce we made it our mission to let more people learn about branding. In our Instagram (link above) we share everything you need to know about branding and how to do it right. Make sure to follow. And try using Gingersauce – the first pro tool for creating brand books. Using it is the whole learning experience by itself: every step will teach you about the brand identity elements and how they are intertwined.