Design is everywhere. In that light, we can use the world around us as a tool for developing an eye for design. The following tips can serve as a start for developing that eye in the context of our surroundings.
1. Tune in to your first impressions
One mark of a good design is that it leaves a good first impression. In developing an eye for good design it is important to realize that many first impressions are happening constantly.
They happen walking through the grocery store, walking down the street, or driving a car. Think about which design hit you viscerally and leave a good feeling instantaneously.
2. It’s easy to read
Another aspect of good design is organization and legibility. Is the information easy to extract from the design? This can be a combination of many factors including visual hierarchy, font choices, font color, and sizing. It can be a good practice to not only take note of which designs are easy to read, but what exactly makes them easy to read as well.
3. It stands out in context
Standing out in the context of other designs is important as well. Good designers will have a sense of the entire range of designs theirs will be resting within and will make adjustments accordingly. In developing an eye for good design it is a good practice to hone into the contextual perception of different designs.
4. Think about the choices you make
What products do you buy? What events do you go to? What websites do you visit?
It’s important to realize that we have decisions and graphic design can subconsciously plays into those decisions. One way to develop an eye for good design is to explore your living space and think about what kind of graphic designs have attracted you.
5. Look for design that aligns with the company
Often times, clients come to designers wanting to look cool or hip. In reality, they should be communicating to the designer what their values are, what the integrity of their product or service is. This allows the designer to honestly communicate those qualities through design.
It could be said that good design is not only aesthetics, but where the visual brand aligns with what the company actually is. In order to “see” good design, you need to actually experience the company. This could mean, for example, going to a restaurant. Does the food live up to the expectations the logo presented? It’s up to the designer to make sure it does.