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These last three years I’ve been living in Bournemouth, UK while doing a BA(hons) in Graphic Design. As I am originally a Norwegian, this was a big move. And from such moves (and that thing about actually going to uni) you learn stuff. Here’s a quick bulletpointed summary of my learnings:

About design:

  • Keep it simple. No one enjoys a bunch of waffle. If it doesn’t add anything, take it away.
  • Understand your typography. (mmmmm, typography)
  • Your solution is usually right there in front of your nose mocking you.
  • Keep things relevant. (What? I can’t have flying cars in an ad about ancient history? OH MY GOD!)
  • There are always a bunch of people who claim to know your job better than you. Obviously that’s why you’ve got that super-fancy and expensive education and they don’t. Show some modesty and don’t laugh until they’re gone. Really, they might be valuable clients. Just…correct them gently.
  • There’s no better way of coming up with new swearwords than to try a new software and/or technique. You’ll also get way more creative by doing this in a place where obscenities are a strict “no”.
  • Stay true, man! Clever design is just that – clever. It’s easily recognisable, and people will appreciate you more if you’re just honest (and what’s more clever than being honest?)
  • Get help when you need it. There’s no reason for you to drag out the length of a project just because you need to read up on html. Get an expert to do that thing you kinda don’t know how to do for you.
  • Work, work, work, research, work, research, work, work. Don’t burn yourself totally out, but be prepared that your best designs won’t come until the last minute, and especially not until two days later than you really should get it.
  • Deliver on time.
  • Your client may be an ignorant arse with no eyes for anything but comic sans with a huge clip-art, but he’s your ignorant arse with no eyes for anything but comic sans with a huge clip-art. First you make exactly what they’re asking for, then you make a new version with your improvements. That way they can do the selective thinking for themselves, and you’re giving them a chance without sounding like a total dickwad.
  • …wich brings me to this point: DON’T BE A PRICK! You don’t know everything. You’re not the best designer in the world. Your own taste should not dictate your clients choices.
  • Consider colourways. Black and white may be exciting for that low-profile cheap thing you’re doing for that organisation, but it’s not for everyone. Learn your colours.

About life:

  • Like it or not: It goes on.
Nadia

Nadia er en kommunikatør av yrke, en grafisk designer av utdanning, en del forskjellig innen roller derby og alt mulig annet rart på fritida, og hun mener mye om mangt. Også er hun fra Internett.

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