How to be a better designer: Nigel French leads the way

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How to be a better designer: Nigel French leads the way

The recent print and publishing conference (Pepcon) held in Austin, Texas this year was a wealth of inspiration and information. Austin Kleon’s keynote address Steal like an artist and Nigel French’s presentation on becoming a better designer were especially noteworthy.

Nigel refers to himself as an “improving designer”.  He believes we can all enhance our creative skills by studying previous artists and deconstructing their work.

We can also improve our designs, he says, through intelligent application of typography, colour, space, and by designing on a grid.

Some key points of Nigel’s presentation include:

  1. study the past: It is a rich source of inspiration
  2. learn about type: Type is a design element and knowing a few fonts really well will enhance your work
  3. know your colors: There are millions of color combinations becoming familiar with the color wheel is essential
  4. Learn about space: For every positive form, we create a negative space. Get to know the difference and use them.
  5. Design on a grid: grids are a practical tool for creating layouts. But grids are also a design philosophy

Nigel has written an excellent article summarising his Pepcon presentation. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to improve their work. It’s also well worth reading for anyone with a general interest in design.

Nigel French: How to be a better designer

steal like an artist: austin kleon
Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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