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What NOT to do when designing

Recently I stumbled upon a blog called Photoshop Disasters. It reminds me to pay attention when I’m working in Photoshop. Missing hands, extra fingers, and limbs that bend at funny angles are all reported to this site. Some are incredibly amusing and most will make you wonder how it is that this got into the magazine in the first place. Is it simply that people are too busy to notice small details? Is it lack of skill?
It makes me think about my future career. The sad fact is that most of us will never be world famous designers who get paid a million dollars and given a wonderful time-schedule. Depending on where the designer ends up working, his or her hours will be spent at a fairly fast pace. At this pace little things will eventually slip by. In smaller or less-funded works this will more than likely be over-looked or remain unseen. However in larger works it could cost the company a lot of money. Extra hands where someone went through and simply cut out an image without really looking it over, in a rush to make a deadline, could be explained by this.

So, where does taking the time to look over your work come into play? Is it our responsibility as designers not just to put out work, but to take the time to look at the work?

Another possibility is that when someone is working on something for long enough then you simply memorize the image and take it for granted. I call this the “Long Essay Syndrome”. English professors for years have been telling students to put aside their essays for awhile then come back to them, and suddenly they will find most of the errors they missed. This could be applied to Design as well. If you’ve been working on the same project for 5 days, and you keep looking at it, you forget that there should be a back to that coat, or that there’s an extra finger on the hand. Another way to combat this, I’ve found, is printing it out. Even a small version gives you a new perspective of the piece.

It’s probably too harsh to blame designers straight off the bat for minuscule mistakes. It takes many people to make a major image. Someone probably had to OKĀ  the image, design the cover, have the cover OKed.

On the other hand, quality is very important and as a designer, we must constantly seek to put out good, quality work on a limited budget or time schedule.

Just some thoughts.

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