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#1 Logik22  Icon User is offline

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How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:18 AM

I'm sure some of you have found yourself in the same boat as me. I'm a back-end guy who has trouble doing front end stuff. I can do the coding, I just don't know what looks good. I know it when I see it but I don't know how to get to that point. Typically when I think something of mine looks good, it looks bad. However, I am accurate in classifying if someone elses' work looks good. I don't know how to match my content area background color with my border color with my navigation color. Then on top of that I don't know how to match the font with the style/theme/flow of the site. Until now I have just been building stuff that I think looks good and then implementing the exact opposite in to the final version. In the future I would like to try to develop a taste for what looks good but I'm having a lot of trouble because art doesn't seem logical.

With back-end stuff it either works or doesn't. If it doesn't work you can logically trace back the issue. With front end stuff all I hear is "That font doesn't go with that color scheme" or "Those 2 colors don't go together". What do the rest of you back-end guys do to act like you know front-end?

This post has been edited by Logik22: 08 April 2014 - 07:19 AM


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Replies To: How do you learn good design concepts?

#2 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:25 AM

Read magazines, go to exhibitions, browse typographers/artists/photographers portfolios and stop using arbitrary design ideas.

There is an expression in interior design : "a piece of furniture is never ugly, it is misplaced". A good design is a smart design that is suited to your content/product/brand. There are no "good designs", there are only "appropriate designs".

If your typo says something and your colour says something else, it doesn't match. It's as simple as that. No abstract artist's concepts, only a language. Learn the language and you will have great design ideas.
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#3 Logik22  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:30 AM

View Postge∅, on 08 April 2014 - 08:25 AM, said:

Read magazines, go to exhibitions, browse typographers/artists/photographers portfolios and stop using arbitrary design ideas.

There is an expression in interior design : "a piece of furniture is never ugly, it is misplaced". A good design is a smart design that is suited to your content/product/brand. There are no "good designs", there are only "appropriate designs".

If your typo says something and your colour says something else, it doesn't match. It's as simple as that. No abstract artist's concepts, only a language. Learn the language and you will have great design ideas.


That's part of the problem. I don't know what the fonts say. To me, they're just fonts and colors. To be honest, I can't tell the difference between most fonts. When it's as extreme as Couriur versus something cursive-ish, sure, that's obvious. If it's Tahoma vs Verdana, it all looks the same. :/
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:37 AM

There are a whole mess of books on typography if that's your bag.

Honestly - no one can teach you art / design appreciation. You need to keep at it, read, expose yourself to more, and stop and look critical at what is being done.
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#5 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:42 AM

Man, it's because they do look the same XD

Have a look at these sites

http://ilovetypography.com/
http://www.typeforyou.org/
http://design.org/in...tion/typography
http://fuckyeahtypography.tumblr.com/

Fonts can have a lot of character
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#6 Logik22  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:43 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 08 April 2014 - 08:37 AM, said:

There are a whole mess of books on typography if that's your bag.

Honestly - no one can teach you art / design appreciation. You need to keep at it, read, expose yourself to more, and stop and look critical at what is being done.



Do you have any suggestions? Maybe something very basic so I can teach myself how to interpret art? I think if I were to just go to an art museum I wouldn't get anything from it. I feel like when you look at something there are different levels you can view it on. I view most of my stuff on the surface level so it's difficult for me to turn that off and look beyond.
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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:45 AM

Take a community college class on art appreciation and graphic design 101.

http://www.dreaminco...-and-utilities/
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#8 Logik22  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 08 April 2014 - 08:45 AM, said:

Take a community college class on art appreciation and graphic design 101.

http://www.dreaminco...-and-utilities/


I would like something structured like a class but going to a physical classroom doesn't fit in to my schedule. I'm more of a self-learner anyway. Does anyone have books or resources they can suggest? I tried looking on Amazon for books but it seems like half the people say "This book is awesome!" and the other half say "THIS IS NOT ART! Waste of money!" so it's hard to make a judgement.

Also, I'm reading that thread now. Thanks!

This post has been edited by Logik22: 08 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

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#9 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:58 AM

Just train yourself to wonder if this font is more masculine or feminine, if it belongs to a certain period, if it makes you think of a certain job, if it's more literary or informative, if it's more adult or childish... It's OK if very basic/mainstream fonts don't inspire you anything, but when you identify something distinctive, try to put a qualifying adjective on it.

-edit. this topic should be placed in the Graphic Design subforum

This post has been edited by ge∅: 08 April 2014 - 09:01 AM

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#10 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 08 April 2014 - 09:10 AM

Quote

I'm more of a self-learner anyway.

Just know that asking "how do I do the artz" is akin to green horns wandering in and asking "how do I do teh codez". Take the same logical steps


If classes are not your thing there is no reason you cannot study like one. Find a MOOC to latch into, search for class syllabus and use that as a frame work..

"college color theory class syllabus"
"college typography class syllabus"

Then there's "graphic design must have book":
http://99designs.com...d-design-books/
http://www.designer-...-students-18213

There is no one book that makes you instantly get it. Right brain vs left brain over usage, etc.. It is something you cultivate. Much like there is no "one book/language" to write what ever app/game/etc for those who are not in the know.
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#11 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you learn good design concepts?

Posted 09 April 2014 - 05:08 AM

Everything I learned about design came out of books from the 90s. I'm not a designer, I'm back-end, but I the concepts I learned still apply and I think I do a good job in that regard. I'm not artistic, I can't draw worth a damn, but I can do layout in a way that feels comfortable.
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