As a designer, it’s easy to get stuck in a creative rut. You can find yourself creating the same designs again and again without even realizing it. This can be an issue because your clients will expect something fresh and unique, and you don’t want to risk losing them. If this sounds like a problem you encounter often, then I have some solutions for you! Read on to learn 5 ways to stop your designs from looking the same, so that you can surprise and delight your customers every time.
Understand the principles of design
If you find yourself stuck in a design rut, it might be time to take a step back and review the principles of design. By understanding and applying the principles of design, you can break out of your comfort zone and create fresh, new designs that are both unique and effective.
The principles of design are the building blocks of any good design. They include balance, contrast, hierarchy, repetition, and unity. When used right, these principles can help you make beautiful visual compositions that get your message across.
Balance is the distribution of visual weight within a composition. It’s important that your designs have a sense of balance so they don’t look “lopsided” or off-kilter. One way to achieve balance is to use symmetry, which creates a sense of stability and orderliness. Asymmetrical balance is another option that can add interest and movement to a composition.
Contrast is the use of dissimilar elements to create visual interest. High-contrast designs are eye-catching and can be used to attract attention to important information. However, too much contrast can be overwhelming, so it’s important to find a balance that works for your particular design.
Hierarchy is putting things in a composition in order of how important they are. Using hierarchy in your designs helps viewers understand what is most important and what they should focus on first. You can establish hierarchy through the use of size, colour, spacing.
Find your own style
When it comes to design, one of the worst things you can do is fall into a rut and start repeating the same designs over and over again. Not only does this make your work look boring and stagnant, but it can also lead to creative burnout. So how do you make sure your designs always look fresh? Here are a few tips:
1. Find your own style: It’s important to find a design style that suits you and stick with it. This doesn’t mean you have to be pigeonholed into one particular style, but having a signature look will help your work stand out from the rest.
2. Experiment with new techniques: Even if you think you’ve found your perfect design style, it’s important to keep experimenting with new techniques and ideas. This will not only help keep your work looking fresh, but it will also help you evolve as a designer.
3. Take inspiration from others: A great way to come up with fresh ideas is to take inspiration from other designers and artists. But don’t just copy their work – use it as a starting point for something new and unique.
4. Get feedback from others: Another great way to ensure your designs always look fresh is to get feedback from friends, family, or fellow designers. They may see things that you’re blind to, and their input can help you improve your work exponentially.
Develop a process
When it comes to design, the process is everything. Without a solid process in place, it’s all too easy for your designs to start looking the same. That’s why it’s so important to develop a process that you can use on every project, no matter what the brief may be.
Here are a few ways to stop your designs from looking the same:
1. Develop a process: Having a set process that you follow on every project will help to keep your designs fresh and unique. Make sure to document your process so that you can refer back to it whenever you need some inspiration.
2. Experiment with new techniques: Trying out new design techniques is a great way to keep your work interesting. Push yourself to try something new on every project, even if it’s just a small change.
3. Take on different types of projects: Challenging yourself with different types of projects will also help to keep your work varied and interesting. Designing for different industries or target audiences will help you flex your creative muscles and come up with truly original solutions.
4. Get feedback from others: Getting feedback from other designers, clients, or even friends and family can give you some valuable insights into how your work is perceived. Use this feedback to make necessary changes and improve your designs.
5. Take some time off: Sometimes the best way to refresh your creativity is to take some time away from design altogether. Go on vacation, take up a new hobby, or just spend some time away from the computer. Doing something completely unrelated to design can help you come back with fresh ideas and perspectives.
Developing a process that works for you will help keep your designs fresh and exciting. Experiment, get feedback, and take some time off every once in a while to stay inspired. Good luck!
Take inspiration from other designers
When it comes to design, inspiration is key. Without it, your work will suffer. There are a number of ways to find inspiration for your work, but one of the best ways is to take inspiration from other designers.
Looking at what other designers are doing can give you a fresh perspective on your own work. It can also help you see things that you may have missed before. When taking inspiration from other designers, be sure to keep your own style in mind. You don’t want to copy someone else’s work but rather use it as a starting point for your own.
Get feedback from others
When you’ve been designing for a while, it’s easy to fall into a design rut and end up with a portfolio that looks the same. One way to combat this is to get feedback from others.
Other designers can give you an objective perspective on your work and point out areas that may need improvement. Additionally, clients or potential employers can provide feedback on what they’re looking for in a designer. By incorporating this feedback into your designs, you can help ensure that your work stands out from the rest.
Stay up-to-date on trends
Designers have to constantly stay up-to-date on trends in order to keep their work looking fresh. Trends come and go, so it’s important to pay attention to the latest design trends and see how they can be applied to your work. This could mean experimenting with a new colour palette or trying out a different layout style.
By being aware of trends and incorporating them into your designs, you can ensure that your work always looks modern and up-to-date.
Babajide Olowookere is a senior graphic designer at Big Ambitions, which is South Africa’s top content marketing company.