How to Be a Good Designer

Lesson Twenty-One

In our last Chalk Talk, we talked about how, as a part of the yearbook committee, you are required to be a photographer, a designer, and a journalist. We also shared qualities that we believe make up a good journalist. In today’s Chalk Talk, we are going to focus on the design aspect of the yearbook committee and share ways to be the best designer you can be.

  1. Be observant. A good designer must pay attention to detail and take into consideration every aspect of the design.
  2. Be a good listener. In order to understand the intended direction of the yearbook design, a designer must be able to listen to the other yearbook committee members. For example, if the yearbook committee decides on a color scheme and a student designing a yearbook spread decides to use a different color scheme, (without discussing the change with any of the other students) the student is not being a good listener.
  3. Have a desire to learn. Part of being a good designer is always improving and learning new techniques. Design trends are always changing; in order to stay on top of them, a designer needs to research and learn new things.
  4. Take criticism positively. It is easy to take constructive criticism coming from a peer as a personal attack. Instead of doing so, you must take it as a suggestion meant only to help you improve.
  5. Be able to communicate. As a designer for the yearbook, if you are unable to communicate with the other yearbook students, it is likely that you will have an incohesive yearbook.
  6. Be innovative. Being a designer requires having new and fresh ideas. Designers for the yearbook have to figure out how to take a style of design they like and make it their own.
  7. Be unique.  Part of what makes a design interesting is when it is different from any others. A good designer can find a way to create something that is different from anything that has been done before while still having the ability to remain timeless.
  8. Be a problem solver. Designers are always working to find a solution, whether it is determining the best font choice for a topic or figuring out how to make the layout of a yearbook spread work to lead the viewer’s eye across the pages.
  9. Be a team player. The yearbook is not a one-person project! Learning to collaborate with others will greatly affect the success of the final yearbook.
  10. Be creative. Have fun and don’t be afraid to try something new. Being a good designer sometimes requires taking risks and thinking outside of the box.

Keep these points in mind, and design away!