5 Graphic Design Myths Busted

giphy-1Our two-woman graphic design team is a force of nature. They’re constantly massaging their wrists, redoing designs over and over, and remarking casually that one day they might literally lose their eyesight from staring at a screen all day.

Before I started working at an agency, I was under the impression designers were literally magicians. You need a picture of your dog edited to make it look like he’s walking a tightrope in space? Done. You need a logo for your bakery business? Done in ten minutes or less.

I was very wrong. Turns out that graphic designers are like creatures of lore – there’s a lot of myth surrounding them. To help everyone (see: me) out, our designer, Callie, came up with a list of graphic design myths that need busting.

1) Graphic design is easy.

Correction, it might look or feel easy to do but it actually involves a lot of training and technical understanding. Every project has its own set of challenges and knowing how to problem solve conceptually, visually, and technically is a big factor in how “easy” a project is.

Having said that, training and deeper knowledge of best practices can definitely separate “good design” from “bad design.” A good designer knows how to create something and look at it as the designer or as the end user and find a balance of both in the final deliverable.

2) Concept is key.

Some might assume that once you have a brilliant idea that it ends there. However, concept is only half the process. The execution of a design project is where you start to figure out if it’s going to work well the way you hoped or even work at all. 

Sometimes the concept seems brilliant, but it doesn’t work as well as you thought when you execute it visually. And then you’re back to the concept drawing board!

3) Design doesn’t take long.

Most graphic design tasks or projects are surprisingly time consuming. There are a lot of moving parts (literally) and in most cases once you start adding or subtracting content, that dictates the placement of other assets in the layout consequently causing more time spent. 

An edit might take 5-10 minutes, but most tasks take hours to really think through. Note that it also makes the job ten times harder for a designer when they feel rushed!

4) You can design without content. 

Well.. this one is half true. You are able to design without content, but content dictates design.

While a designer can use a placeholder image or a paragraph of lorem ipsum, they might end up leaving out space for a piece of content they didn’t yet know existed. Then they have to go back and redo the whole design! More often than not it’s more time consuming to not work with unfinished content. Additionally, content and design work together to create the overall effect.

5) It’s easy to make something “pop.”

This is Callie’s least favorite word.

When you say you want something to “pop,” are you referring to:     

  • Contrast?
  • Saturation?
  • Brightness?
  • Movement?
  • Enlarging size?
  • Bold/emphasis type?
  • Hierarchy?

Every project has its own set of challenges, so the idea that you can apply the same type of design solution to every project doesn’t exist. Requests always vary as does the feeling of any one brand. 

So next time you ask your designer for work, remember to never, ever tell them to “Forget the content, I need it done in an hour, and I need it to POP.” Trust me – your design team will thank you!

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