Design philosophy

How to foster effective design

A matter of trust

The first and possibly most important piece of advice is to trust your designer. More specifically, trust Designforge to work with you to deliver a design that is effective. The reason that your trust will be rewarded with consistently outstanding design is also simple. No–one appreciates bad work. Sooner or later word gets around and business suffers. The most successful and personally rewarding mode of operation relies on a symbiotic relationship between designer and client. Furthermore, it should be noted that the best designers fundamentally have pride in their work.

Effective Design

Design should be effective — rather than merely satisfy the stylistic whims of designer or client. Designforge favours functionality, simplicity, and usability in the interests of creating effective design. It is important to understand that Designforge's primary goal is to produce communication that is user centred and works for your customers. If there is a clash between this mandate and business process - it's typically symptomatic of a problem that should be resolved internally. Fundamentally, think like your customers and serve their needs - walk in their shoes... Effective design requires a sensible and trusting client as much as an experienced designer.

The Designforge Approach

Less is more

Designforge believes that the minimalist aesthetic is a most appropriate standard to aspire to for many design applications. Keeping things simple allows the structural aspect of the design process to remain front of mind. This ensures that content is written, ordered and placed in a manner that smooths the way for an audience to assimilate it. In fact, if this is done well, even bare–bones design with little visual decoration will work. Minimalism tends to promote focus on concept, rather than special effects. It also favours fewer, better quality pieces of art (photos or illustrations).

Although it may seem counter–intuitive, it is helpful for clients to realise that often, less is actually more. It is certainly much more difficult to produce an effective design in a minimalist style, simply because it does not rely primarily on visual pyrotechnics to provide interest to the intended audience. The end result of well executed minimalist styling is an indisputably effective design.

Function over Form

Design styling should certainly reflect the content being communicated, however it is paramount that it helps structure and present the content in a helpful and meaningful way. Ensure that the style in no way detracts from the readability or functional performance of the visual communication. Essentially, do not favour form over function.

Content Matters

Ensure that you value your content—be prepared to pay for high quality resources, including quality photography and copyrighting. If necessary, scale some other aspect of a campaign to accommodate this. Mediocre content results in wasted effort for all concerned. At the end of the day, it’s paramount that the design fulfils its intended purpose.

The big picture

Ideally, work should be concept driven and take the opportunity to communicate at least a piece of your brand’s core message for every job undertaken.

Rules and more rules

The Rules of Design

Many of the rules of design are simply common–sense. However, these rules may at first appear to be not–so–common–sense. Significantly the most important and most overlooked rules attempt to provide an optimal path, taking into consideration the vagaries of human visual perception as well as psychology. Often this relies on the simple insight that audiences can be lazy and tired. Make it easy on them, or they may also become disinterested. Sensory overload is an increasing trend—providing a refined, clean design that is easy to navigate and digest will have increased impact on viewers. Provide a path of least resistance and include some form of reward.

Technical Guidelines

Other rules are in fact not so much rules of design, but technical guidelines which should be followed to ensure that artwork appears in the best possible quality. For example—determining an appropriate value for resolution in a digital image. Furthermore, a particular rule may also carry conditional logic if different media are taken into consideration. For example—a photograph appearing in print requires a much higher resolution than if it appears on the web.

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