How to design well.


So what is good graphic design?

Everything that is Designed, needs a purpose, a message and of course functionality.

What is functionality? The quality of being suited to serve a purpose well; practicality.

All Graphic Designer’s should follow these rules. Some projects are difficult to see the purpose, or the designer has focused more on the visual. It is easy to do so. But then the design loses it’s voice, it’s overall purpose and how it reaches it’s audience.

These are a few of the tools I use to continue designing well. They help me to stay focused and avoid losing the overall message in my design work.


I try to give myself enough time for a project that I am able to really plan it out step by step. Whether it’s sketching it out first, or doing some visual research. Or even looking for that bit of extra inspiration to make sure it’s a step up from it’s competitors etc. Time is important in this field. We easily get rushed through our work, trying to meet deadlines, trying to rush the creative process, just never works. You make mistakes or your work loses it’s voice.

Step away

This one took a long time to accept. But wow is it ever true. Sometimes your best friend in design is walking away. Get outside and go for a walk. Take in that fresh air and you’ll be amazed how it clears your creative mind.  Closing the file and taking a break allows you to temporarily pause your creative process and take a moment to re-fuel. You will find once you open up that file, whether it’s an hour later, or the next day, you will have a whole new light about your creative piece. Do yourself a favor, when you’re losing steam, for god sake’s step away!


Many designer’s have a home office, or a studio based business. None the less, normally we will have access to laptops. I find going to our local coffee shop can really do wonders. However some of you may dissagree with this idea. But I find the general public inspiring. People watching, taking in the vibe or just enjoying the coffee shop tunes. That delectable cup of java can really get my imagination running. So, support your local coffee scene, and next time you’re stumped, take a little trip to some java heaven.

folk it out

Being a true music lover myself, this ALWAYS gives me that extra influence. Fresh music not only soothes my soul but get’s me going creatively. Some of my favorite choices are, streaming cbc radio 2 or my very own music library.

Here are some of my go-to’s:

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom

Dan Griffin – Leave your love

Hannah Georgas – self-titled

Kevin Drew – Darlings

The National – High Violet

Pheonix – Wolfgang Amadeus

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream


I hope some of these can help you when you’re losing steam.


{a graphic designer in Barrie, Ontario}

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