Author:

Stephanie Orma is a San Francisco freelance writer, graphic designer, and illustrator. She’s principal/creative director of Orma Design, as well as the clever greeting card company She's SO Creative. Stephanie is a contributing writer for HOW Magazine and writes on graphic design, branding, and creativity for the SF Examiner.

Crank Up Your Design Radar

No one understands the statement, “design is everywhere” better than us designers. But comprehension and integration are two totally separate acts. From food packaging, to billboards, to book covers, catalogs, websites, and everything in between, we spend the majority of our waking hours on our computers designing and/or looking at these designs through the portals of our monitors. But when the computer is shut down, does your “design radar” go off-line, as well?

Crank Up Your Design Radar

For instance, when it’s time to grocery shop, are you in the get-in/get-out as fast as possible mindset? Or do you treat the experience as a journey through Design Mecca – with sources of inspiration lining the shelves from wall to wall? When you’re waiting on the unbearably slow line at the post office do you temper your impatience by burying your nose in your iPhone? Or do you make note of the ugly signage covering the walls and kill the time by redesigning it better in your head? “Cranking up your design radar” is about never turning off the designer in ourselves.

In this article, we challenge even the most seasoned of designers to approach the most mundane of tasks (going to the bank, post office, grocery store, etc.) from a whole new designerly perspective.

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Do You Want Fries With That Logo?

From low-budgets to rush jobs to piss-poor project management, every designer has one time or another faced the inevitable, "I need a logo (brochure, website, etc.) done ASAP" scenario. Depending on the designers' work situation, some can simply choose to decline these projects. But for many full-time designers, this “rushing creative” is a very real and necessary part of their job requirement.

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So when asked to “just slap a design together” or “crank it out,” how do we as designers maintain our standards and integrity when a logo must be created in three hours? Or a website in a day? And for that matter, can we? In this article, Stephanie Orma, a graphic design herself, hangs her head out the drive-through window and shares her personal experience, tips, and advice on how to handle the “hurry-up and be creative” demands of the graphic design industry.

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