The Little Things

written by drew


I’m learning that what sets designers apart is their attention to visual details. I remember the first time I noticed bad kerning between letters. Once the uneven spacing stood out to me, I could never read that word the same way. As a student studying design, I’m learning the importance of these details. I see that it takes a trained eye to pick up on the little things.

I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past three weeks learning from, and working with the Manoverboard team. I’ve observed their attention to detail and ability to pick up on discrepancies instinctively, and as a result I’m learning to become more attuned to noticing these details myself.

By working on a variety of projects during my time at Manoverboard, I’ve gained a better idea of what to look for when refining a design. I learned how to visually balance a page layout, when to bump a word in a paragraph down to the next line, and how to maintain consistency in illustration styles. One project I worked on for Green Action Centre involved creating hand-rendered script lettering for page headers. In this case, consistency in the angle, line weight, size, spacing and style was key. These little design decisions don’t have universal rules, so each project requires different creative solutions. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn these things (and MANY more) from such a talented team.

book shelf
pantone swatches

“The details are not the details. They make the design.”
-Charles Eames

This quote emphasizes the contribution that close attention to detail makes on the overall impact of a design. From what I’ve seen, it’s in a designer’s nature not to let little things slip through the cracks. The details can make or break the design.

Aside from learning to pay more attention to the details in design, the interactions and little moments that punctuated my work day stood out to me too. There were spontaneous little lessons about Pantones or printing processes, tips on Photoshop shortcuts and helpful Illustrator tools. From conversations that often ended in laughter to many bookmarked pages in the library of design books. It’s these little things that not only make for strong designs, but a strong design team, and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.

bookmarked books

One of the things that stood out to me the most during my time here was how diverse the Manoverboard team is. From embroidery to photography to woodworking, it seems like creativity spills over from work, into their everyday and after work lives. In the same way, I hope to continually challenge my creativity and learn new skills so that I can always bring a new perspective to my work.

I really value my time working here, I learned so much. Thanks Manoverboard team for the lessons and the laughs and the gracious responses to my many questions.

As a member organization of 1% for the Planet, Manoverboard gives the equivalent of one percent of all revenues to select nonprofit partners that are benefiting the environment.

Manoverboard is a Certified B Corporation, which means that we meet ongoing, rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.