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Competing with other designers for various reasons seem to make you believe or think that you will become a better designer. I think that applies to a certain extent and should not be taken for granted.
When competing in a contest, trying to come up with a design can be very overwhelming and time consuming. Often designers get the picture in their heads that they can come up with a rocking pixel perfect design in just a matter of hours. I will agree that a design can be done within a mater of hours but I can guarantee that it will not be rocking nor pixel perfect. Designs roughly take about a day or more to complete if you’re trying to create something very fascinating. When designing a website or graphic, designers have to plan out many things such as.
- Color Scheme
Those are the main topics that designers often have to take time to think about before making a decision. I will explain below why each one is very important.
Color Scheme: Color Scheme is very important when designing a website or graphic. Whenever you’re trying to find the right colors for something you must always find at least 3 colors to use for your design. Choosing 3-5 colors will give you many options and will basically give your design a good look. I will give 2 sub examples why you will need about 3-5 colors for your design below.
Typography: Typography can be very frustrating when creating a new design. Whether its for a website or poster it can take time looking through thousands of fonts just to find the right one for you specific project. Typography can also determine the look and feel of your website. Thin fonts tend to be more elegant while bold fonts tend to be more fun-ish.
Layout: Creating a layout or Mockup can save you a ton of time. Most designers do not like sketching things out and just decide to open up photoshop in begin working. That fine if that works for you but for me I find sketching out my designs or creating a mockup can really make a difference with my designs rather then me just creating it step by step in photoshop.
Functions: This only applies for web designers. Whenever you create a design of a website make sure you keep in mind what functionality you might like your website to have when everything is over with. for example if you’re going to have a button and you want it to be a rollover button, make sure you create the rollover effect even if users cannot see it in the final layout.
Losing hope / inspiration
When competing in contest many designers often lose inspiration in their own work. The reason for such a thing is because when you’re in a contest you are competing against some of the best. Someone design will always be better than yours in most cases or at least you will think that and will not know what to create. For example I was once in a contest and I was very excited about it especially the cash prize but when I started to see designers entries I thought to myself that there was no way I could create something that good. I lost hope and inspiration. I could not think of a design and was very frustrated. Looking at others work made me feel like I was not designer and did not belong in the design community.
Less time for personal work
Most of the time when you enter contest you find that a design might take you quite the time to complete and yet you are unsure if you’re going to win it. I often hear many designers say “I lost but it will make me a better designer”. I strongly disagree with that. The time you spent designing that poster or website you could of been following a tutorial or creating something for yourself that is worth while. Working on personal projects or following a tutorial will add to your knowledge and make you better at designs. You can also learn new techniques that you did not know of. In a contest you are not guaranteed the prize so you’re basically taking a big risk. Why take a risk in lose time when you could do something productive with that time.
How to become a better designer
Becoming a better designer takes time in practice. If you would like to become a better designer just follow my steps.
- Do not look at others work to often
- Take a walk for inspiration
- Always brainstorm & sketch ideas before turning to a computer
- Work on personal projects instead of entering contest
- Follow design tutorials and pick up various techniques from it
- See what the latest trend is in design in creating something that is opposite from it
If you follow my steps above you will be a better designer in no time. Stay away from contest in work on personal projects so you can build your portfolio and become better at what you love to do. Sometimes you have to keep your secret hidden and release it when least expected(In terms of design). Good luck at becoming a better designer. Hope all goes well