A Frame of Reference, Part 1: Finding Ideas

by Matt Ward
on January 16, 2011

in design Resources

As designers, I’ve found that we spend a lot of time and energy talking about and discussing something that we commonly refer to as inspiration. We see it all over the design community. There are countless different galleries showcasing some of the best work being produced, and list posts that fulfill a similar function, though usually with some commonality that thematically binds all of the designs together.

In another article, entitled “The Myth of Inspiration,” I have discussed some of the problems that I think arise out of this understanding of inspiration, which tends to commodify the entire concept, turning it into a product that can be acquired (usually for free) from whatever site happens to have accumulated the best collection of representative works.

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From the Browser to the Page: Resources for Web Designers Dabbling in Print

by Matt Ward
on January 4, 2011

in design Resources

I would guess that, today, more people are entering the broader world of design through web design than any other facet of the larger spectrum. In large part, this is likely due to the accessibility of the web. It’s right there in front of us, and most of us probably spend at least a few minutes (if not hours) on it every single day.

It’s also relatively easy to get started with designing for the web (which is not to say that it’s easy). I started creating my first sites with Windows Notepad and a freeware copy of Paint Shop Pro. It’s certainly not the most ideal setup, and if I was starting again, I would probably be using Gimp and some sort of freeware coding app. Regardless, web design is relatively immediate, and while there are many different areas that need to be considered, there is still the sense that we are very much in control of what we are doing.

Designing for print is a bit of a different story. First, while we can do a lot of work in Photoshop (and probably Gimp too), somehow this kind of design feels somewhat more inaccessible. That’s not to say that it’s difficult or complicated, but rather that it’s probably not something that as many people would just sit down and start doing because they’re bored and sitting at their computer one evening. Designing for print is generally much more intentional and purposeful.

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