- Research Research Research. immerse yourself in your client’s brand, mission, products, services, and consumers. Get inside their heads.
- Adopt and/or develop your client’s voice. Assess their public-facing personality. Is it formal and professional? Is it personal, engaging, friendly, or even humorous? If they want to change their persona, work with them to craft a new voice.
- Create a visual hierarchy. Communicate key point(s) visually using typographic design elements (typeface, color, scale, placement, among others).
- Keep it simple. Simplicity isn’t easy. But you don’t want too many competing design or text elements on a web page, flyer, brochure, or advertisement. Invite the audience to focus on and engage with what is most important about the message.
- Think like a poet. Carefully craft your language to be lean and expressive, without a single unnecessary word. To get in the mood, read haiku.
- Zoom in/Zoom out. Zoom in on the details and elements of a piece, and periodically zoom out and evaluate whether the elements work together as a whole.
- Tell the story. Pay attention to the narrative arc of the design and copy. Every graphic, photo, and text element should contribute to the story your client wants to tell.
- Craft an informative title. The title or heading of a piece is the single most important opportunity to provide information about what the work is about. A single, well-chosen word or phrase in a title does the heavy lifting involved in inviting reader engagement.
- Select meaningful photos and graphics. Stock photographs and graphics are ubiquitous, but resist the urge to use them without careful consideration of how they add to the message.
- Never stop learning. Stay current on industry trends, market research, usability, and professional discussions about marketing and design. Professional societies, social media groups, professional/academic research and theory, all stimulate and reinforce your professional instincts.
Grace Bauer’s poems in Nowhere All At Once do everything all at once and quite successfully — mixing a tender sense of human and worldly presence with a lush instinct for sound, a compact flow of narrative, the perfect weight of wry humor, and an acutely attentive vigilance to all surroundings… Bauer’s balancing perspectives help “illuminate a greater regard” about everything mysterious and wondrous we are living.” Naomi Shihab Nye
As I began thinking about my final collage, I set out to do a couple of things: one was to use my good stuff (the ephemera I’m hesitant to use): Asian-themed tissue paper, dots with squiggles that look like cyborg bats from a children’s book, part of a vintage letter with sublime handwriting, and a postage stamp of a cat that looks like my beloved Tomtom. So here it is:
I didn’t notice until it was finished, scanned, and posted to my blog site that the stamp had the number 1000 printed on it. There’s often a bit synchronicity in collage, but this was borderline spooky.