it’s not YOU designers are scowling at

graphic design blog, musings

Ever walk up on a working designer and see them scowling at a computer screen? Or just staring? And then wonder if that is what designers do all day—stare and scowl? It’s true, there is a lot of screen time logged in our chosen profession, but the inner workings of the creative brain are hard at work. Here are some things we’re contemplating while staring:

Those fonts just don’t work together. Scrap the display face, go with a sans instead.

Those colors together…just…no. No.

Bah! Look at the size of that face! It’s scary! Good rule of thumb: no faces larger than life sized.

This is such a nice default font to use. But I really need to stop using this font as default.

That sidebar placement completely destroys the flow of the spread.

Does this design look too…early ‘90’s grunge band-esque?

There’s a high concentration of black and yellow in this season already. Try a different color scheme.

Resist the photoshop filters. Resist the photoshop filters.

THIS ISN’T WORKING. RRRRRRRR. (usually accompanied by hair rending in some manner)

Blasted rainbow wheel of death.

*insert favorite expletive here*

The feel of this layout is too serious. It needs to be much more in keeping with the playful voice of the manuscript. How best to achieve this? (usually followed shortly by staring up & to the right. Or sketching. Or research.) (side note: looking up and to the right can also connote another form of creativity—lying)

There’s just not enough magic in these. Ask illustrator to add more magic.

Cover meeting in an hour cover meeting in an hour need to show this at cover meeting in an hour COVER MEETING IN AN HOUR

This is turning out really well! But for a teen book, not a 4th grade book. Save idea for a more fitting project.

Is this really a plausible design solution for a series of books that will go on indefinitely? Can’t be too trendy to last.

Do I REALLY want to hand letter all the chapter titles and sidebar heads and running footers and playlists and title pages and covers for every book in this series? Not really time efficient. Or xml efficient. And I’ll end up with claw hand at the end of it. But it’d be the correct way to solve the design. Yes, I shall do it, and suffer for my art!

(In case you’re new here, yes, I design books for a k-12 children’s book publisher. And may tend towards the overly dramatic at times.)

There’s always more, but for now I’ll end this brief foray into the designerly mind. What runs through your head when staring at computer screen at work?

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