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Graphics and Layout Design Process
03-29-2013, 01:07 AM,
Post: #1

Graphics and Layout Design Process
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This is something I've always wondered about, and I just wanted to ask anyone, but what is your creative process in designing graphics and layouts? How much effort goes into those minute details that make many graphics just look absolutely fantastic?

I don't consider myself very creative and skilled, but my process is usually drawing out by hand how I want my layout to look, then attempting to create it in Photoshop. From there, I attempt to make it the best way I can, then trying to translate the layout into a website. I feel like I don't focus on the details much and I get tired after a while, so overall, my graphics and websites look bland.

So how do you harness your skills and creativity to design awesome graphics and layouts? How do you focus on your details without overdoing it?
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03-29-2013, 04:34 PM,
Post: #2

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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I've never drawn anything offline in respect to my layouts or blends. I do draw my digital drawings sometimes offline & scan them in. But the best graphics (blends & headers) I have made have come out of me keeping the elements and principles of design in the back of my head. I can make something ok-looking without thinking too much or planning at all… but it's never quite as eye-pleasing as when I keep the E&PofD in my head.

I usually look for pictures & resources, then open them up in something so I can copy them into the project when the need strikes. I don't really gather too many textures, brushes or pngs, but it's usually stock images or the focal point images. Then I hope I have a good font, and slap some nonsensical words together to finish it off. I am bad at not having a clue as to what I want to write on them, or writing something meaningful or that even goes with the design. I wish this wasn't the case.

If I want to combat design-block, then I don't plan or anything but I make something random and do each step without any kind of idea as to what I want to do, keeping as critical an eye on my progress as possible (Think Tim Gunn!) I will experiment and make things ugly to make other things down the road look pretty.

I love the fact that art can be as meticulous or as wild as you would like it to be.

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03-30-2013, 12:04 PM,
Post: #3

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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Thanks for your input! I've just always wondered what went on in an artistic person's mind. I never knew about the elements and principles of design, but I definitely want to check this out. And that's a really interesting perspective, I usually gather up brushes that I want to use, but I feel it ends up back firing cause I kinda go crazy and everything looks messy and busy.

Sometimes words are the hardest part, I actually never add words or lines to my designs, just cause I have no sense of poetry in my body.

And you are right, art is full of freedom, I don't have to feel constrained.
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04-02-2013, 07:26 PM,
Post: #4

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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Well for me it's always different. There are days when I can't do anything, no matter how hard I'm trying, and it makes me sad and I don't believe in my skills at all. Everything I make looks awful and is just worthless. But some days I do my works quickly, sometimes two or three within two days, and that's a good result for me. They are usually similar, because when I have an idea, I'm trying to 'squeeze it to the last drop'.
Usually I don't plan my works, I just see some pictures and I think something like, 'this may look good on my header!'. I sometimes use things in different way than they should be used, I mean eg. if I see the tree, I don't put the tree on my design, but it's rather just a texture Smile I can't explain that but I hope you understand.
But sometimes I know at the beginning how will my work look at the end, and personally I think those works are the best.
However, my problem is placing too many items at one work. Sometimes my headers are about 80 layers at one and I realize it looks rather awful but there's nothing I could remove haha! I'm not the best, but I'm trying and I have fun. That's okay for me.

and you are right about the words, I usually have got a problem with those things too - so almost all my designs have got similar texts... Smile

If we are talking about site designs, usually it's like I just have a header I want to place on my website, and I'm playing with Photoshop so long until I'll have anything interesting for it. But at the end, I sometimes change things just while coding the layout.

I just want to say, I agree with you - there's no rules for the art. And that's wonderful.
well I hope I understood well the subject of this topic... Smile
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04-03-2013, 06:58 AM,
Post: #5

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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I've tried to sketch out my designs before, but the finished project never looks anything like the rough sketch, not even the placement of content. Usually what I'll do is pull up some brushes and textures I really like and just play around until inspiration hits and I know what I want to do with them. Sometimes I'll look at tutorials I want to try out and use them as as an idea-pad as well.

I noticed that if I focus too hard on the idea of "I want a beautiful layout that everyone will love" (or something to that effect), I get distracted and usually don't like the end result. So don't restrict yourself with this type of thinking is the best advice I can give.
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04-09-2013, 12:07 AM,
Post: #6

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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Thanks for your responses Smile They gave me reassurance that there's no one way to design something.

@scatterfree Yea, sometimes I overwork and place too many things on my graphics, but at least with computer graphics, you can easily undo and hide layers if needed Big Grin
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04-15-2013, 02:54 AM,
Post: #7

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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I do the same as well.

With layouts, I tend to sketch out the rough idea in a sketchbook, and then I go onto Photoshop to make a .PSD of the layout first. Once I'm satisfied with the way it will look, then I start slicing it up and coding it. That's only for graphical layouts, though; if the layout is pure CSS/HTML, then I just sketch out a rough idea on paper and jump straight into it.

For photomanipulations and such, I will have a really rough idea in my head of the concept, and how I want to bring it out. The composition of the whole thing, along with the layout of it will actually depend on the stock images that I find, and I have to change to adapt it sometimes, if I can't find a good stock image of how I envision it to be. So it's flexible, really, but the base image elements that I want to use, I've mostly written it down and all. I usually have a color palette in mind, but this tends to change as well, as and when I just lay color filters on and play with it.

When it comes to sort of editorial/illustrative design, I sketch it out with paper and pencil as well. I do a few layouts of different proportions and ratios, and I try to see what works out best. I have a color palette in my head as well, and depending on whether it a photo-based design or an illustration design, I may not may not stick to that palette. I tend to stick to the palette in my mind more if its an illustration, since I don't play with filters a lot for that.

So yeah, that's mostly how I do things. Tongue

"NO FORTS IN THE BONE ARENA OF YOUR SKULL FOR THINGS YOU LOVE."
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05-16-2013, 02:31 AM,
Post: #8

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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I make layouts like this:

Step 1 - Sketch it on a paper.
Step 2 - Code the layout using blocks and solid backgrounds. This step is very important.
Step 3 - Make a PSD in Photoshop.
Step 4 - Cut the psd and implement it on the layout.

Elfarran the Dovahkiin
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05-18-2013, 10:09 AM,
Post: #9

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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Everyone here seems so organized when creating layouts. D: I'm super bad at drawing my layouts, when I attempt to code them after drawing them, or at least make a PSD in Photoshop of them I fail. I tend to just collate an array of images together to create something I like. Smile Nothing too complicated. Since I'm terrible at HTML/CSS (I forgot it and have too much homework to learn it DSmile the only layouts I can code are completely, image based. So only DIV layouts for me.

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07-29-2013, 12:22 PM,
Post: #10

RE: Graphics and Layout Design Process
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I think it's much easier to customize a wordpress theme than to create a layout from scratch now. You don't need much coding knowledge to customize the theme and it's easier to update the content with wordpress. I used to design a layout from scratch then code it but I find it a big hassle when I want to change the layout. I switched to Wordpress recently and I love absolutely love it! http://delinquente.org
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