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Graphic Design Lessons from a Layperson!

The Manoverboard Team

Since beginning work with Manoverboard six months ago, I have learned a great deal about the graphic design industry. Not from the graphic world myself, it has been an interesting half-year getting up to speed on this laser-specific style of creativity. What I have discovered is that design is an intentional creative communication tool which has left me in awe of both the skill and detail of my coworkers. Here’s a peek behind the curtain with ten highlights:

  1. A line is not merely the most direct route between two points. It is, instead, a carefully-crafted visual symbol. It can be a moat between two halves of a design, or a bridge to another layer of communication. It may balance an image, page or logo just as easily as it indicates visual movement or punctuates a design. Whatever its use, it’s specific placement has been carefully thought out. Moving it one-tenth of a millimeter will result in a cascade of editing and design reiteration. Lines are best left to the experts!
  2. Hamburgers are the way of the future. (Caution, do not eat.)
  3. A pixel is a tiny box of light which can be seen only by those gifted with the sight.  Much time is spent lining visual concepts up with pixel-perfect precision. Even though I do not have the sight, my eyes sense a quality design when all components work together to create harmony. Some areas may be heavier or more vibrant, but the overall design functions together to communicate effectively – that is good design. (Note: the sorcerers I work with can actually fabricate this little devil out of thin air!)
  4. The fold does not exist, but unicorns might.
  5. Every graphic design product produced by Manoverboard consumes 26.3 coffees, a slice of cheesecake, six tacos, three candy bars, at least two silly animal videos and an obligatory health smoothie. Anything less and the job is not quite done.
  6. The design process is a maze-like path from concept inception through design.  From there it moves on to development looping backwards and forwards in a fluid creative process throughout the project life cycle. This constant reiteration allows the design to grow and evolve along with our client’s needs as needs are often distilled as the project wares on.
  7. Hosting is the most necessary of evils and not all hosting providers are made equal. We’re on a constant search for greener and more user-friendly services. (Related: Keep an eye out for our Green Hosting website.)
  8. A quality play list is essential to the design process. (Death metal is used in emergencies only.)
  9. Not a single person is too busy to offer a helping hand. We’re a small office and because each of our roles are so uniquely intertwined with each other, there is a constant need to check-in and help out to shift the load and keep the process rolling ahead. This is always done with incredible kindness and understanding — there is never a man or woman overboard around here!
  10. Websites are well-organized mine fields. One miss-step on the back-end, add one “small technical feature” or even change the colour and you risk stepping on a mine. Thankfully we have a highly-skilled bomb squad on-staff full time at Manoverboard and a comprehensive maintenance package to safeguard just such catastrophes.

Keep an eye out for my next set of blog entries where I investigate the phenomenal design talent at Manoverboard.