- Saturday, April 13, 2013

Novice vs. Expert Design

So I'm going to do something crazy and post up my ugly for everyone to see... It's a great example I think...

I really am no expert in graphic design. I do have some professional experience, in a small town in the middle of nowhere. A five year old can put together something most of the businesses here would be content with. What amazes me is that the companies I worked for charged $60 an hour for my graphic design. I feel so bad for those clients. Anyway, I did make a page of ABOUT ME if you want more info to kill my credibility even more.

Okay, so the story... The blogger at People I Want To Punch in The Throat, Jen, responded to my invite to provide some free graphic design to her because I'm enjoying the practice, and she wanted something for a tote. She has compiled a book of bloggers titled, I Just Want To Pee Alone, and it's currently a best-seller, and a lot of people are requesting totes. She would like something book-related to stick on a zazzle tote.

I am kind of a novice illustrator, and with someone else's luck, the novice look is in. So I drew a picture, and designed 2 options of designs for her to use or not use, whatever. Then, I decided to watch some YouTube videos on graphic design. Woah. I suck. I really suck.

Facebook is full of memes. Those are not actually well designed items. That's the selling point, the crappy design. We love it because it is crappy design. That is my design. Crap. For example...

Random Facebook Meme:

This is the average formula for a meme. You have a photograph, and there's text at the top and bottom of it totally infringing on the image. There is no concept of design involved whatsoever. The intention is just to spout off humorous ideas.

The ones that are the most annoying are the ones with a black background and small white text with lots of words to read. After reading those, I see pictures everywhere, black spots on my white walls. Sometimes it triggers a migraine, which makes me want to reach through the internets and stab someone with a spoon. As much as a pet peeve this is of mine, I noticed today I made that mistake with this blog. Irony? or Hypocrisy? Either way, I just changed it from white font on a brown background to brown font on a yellowish background. You're welcome. White on a dark background is just not really ideal for a lot of copy, especially on a computer screen. If it's more than a few words, use a light background and dark text.

Now on a flip side, something more professional looking is this picture (which is from Facebook, on the Epicurious Page)...

In this one, all the design elements are there. The only thing is, on Facebook, you expect crappy designs, and a lot of companies screw up, in my opinion, by not following the crappy design trend. Their pieces just stand out too much and look like ads. Instead, they should focus on humor and the crap design to blend in better for purposes of shares. Like while that picture up there is prettier, better designed, and you see Elite Eat before reading anything else, that picture was posted about 2 weeks ago, and it has received 27 likes and zero shares, on a page that has 266K likes.


This one was shared yesterday on The Asshole Page that has only 14,488 likes, and it has 275 likes with 1,768 shares.

So yes, Facebook is the equivalent of Top 40 music. Very little talent. Everyone loves it. However, that's just Facebook. When it comes to advertising, web design, and even things you sell in Cafepress or Zazzle, a better design works more for your favor.

Now to my project. I hope Jen doesn't kill me for posting these, but my first graphics I offered her way were the following:  Mind you they are designed on a tote, which some are white and some are natural looking, and if you put a background to the graphic, it puts a square on the tote.

THEN, I decided to watch a bunch of YouTube videos about Graphic Design. I have a few favorites I'll share when I talk about those subjects specifically, but yes the difference is a big difference.

The difference is clear. Clear Eyes... I'm still a novice graphic artist, but I'm making a huge step in my development by paying attention to basic graphic principles. The top two are better for Facebook though. Honestly, they probably aren't bad for a tote, but the bottom two do look much more professional, like they would be more worth 60 an hour than the top two.

By the way, the water splash came from http://www.brusheezy.com/brushes/17567-water-splash-brushes
This person came up with the best water splashes I could find on the web, and if Jen and the other bloggers opt that route, I'm so totally doing something awesome for that person. Not sure what yet, but it will be awesome.