lealea's blogblog

because it's nice to say it twice

4 Comments // Filed in Design

Oldies but Goodies

Before CoComment, there really hasn’t been a good way to aggregate comments and it’s a shame, as I find that some great nuggets are lost within a large conversation over the years. Anyway, I’ve tracked down a couple nuggets I would call “oldies but goodies” — comments I’ve left over the years that is still relevant to me to this day that some may have been missed. One relates on learning how to design, while the other is about business.

On how to learn attractive design

…to learn to do attractive design — use your eyes. ;-) Seems obvious, but not very many people are observant. Flip through magazines, look at posters plastered around your city: find ones you like. Pick up those postcards, visit media websites. Then? apply your visual knowledge to your work.

In some ways, design is very methodical. There?s the golden mean, colour wheels that show you different color relationships and harmonies, and balance studies. It?s all math, but translated visually. :-) Designers are just visual mathetmaticians. Sometimes it adds up, sometimes not. But we keep plugging away at the ?formula? until it works.


Strengths vs. Weaknesses

…people will always have weaknesses. And instead of fearing it, working on them, focusing on them — people just need accept they are weak in that area, and instead should focus almost completely on their strengths. That’s part of confidence, because confidence is also about knowing yourself.

You are not perfect, you never will be, and you will always have weaknesses, so it would save time to just focus on your strengths.

For example, what’s the point in trying to get a recording contract as a singer, when you’re tone deaf? But, say, you’re a great lyricist and producer… so you find someone who’s a great performer, partner with them, and get that recording contract together.

Sub-contract or hire people whose strengths are your weaknesses. That way, people aren’t aware you even have weaknesses. ;-) And you save a lot of stress, time and frustration because you know your strengths and you’re focusing on them.

Of course, this isn’t an open call for giving up on any weak area; not at all. But being a leader also means knowing when you can’t do it all.



4 blabs to Oldies but Goodies

Add something to the conversation!

I agree about what you said regarding sub-contracting. Along those lines, it’s good to know when to refer. Someone contacted me awhile ago, asking if I do Ruby on Rails projects. While I’ve read the book, I am by no means a professional RoR guy. So, I referred him to a friend who is. Likewise, on the reciprocal side of things, people remember you for that, and send business your way when it fits your skill-set. Everyone wins. The older days of one-man web super-heroes have passed, in favor of more specialized areas of expertise. That is, unless you are Shaun Inman. :)

Lea, this comes at a perfect time for me. I just came out of an interview where we talked about this very thing, how as a freelancer I’m forced to be an accountant, marketer, salesperson, etc. when I really just want to be a web designer and leave those things to the professionals trained in those areas.

Picture of reese

Name reese

Date Apr 05
12:33 AM

It’s only been in the past 2-3 months that I’ve really turned to more subcontractors. It makes my worklife more efficient and allows me to focus on the things I do best.

With subcontractors, I can do MORE, with less headache.

Re: attractive design: you have to be like a sponge. Soak things up. Do critical analysis of the cool t-shirt you see on someone at the gym. Ask yourself “why did they do that?”

I find I am often lacking in design INPUT. I’m not sure if it’s our town or what, but I generally feel uninspired here. I have dreams of a life in San Francisco where there’s beauty around every corner. Here, I have to work harder to find inspiration. How do you do it?

Picture of Sugar

Name Sugar

Date Apr 06
11:30 AM

Well, it’s a great post Lea, but the focal point for me was CoComment.


Didn’t know about it. I have looked all over the Internet for something like that. Thanks for the tip!

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