I had the opportunity to do quite a bit of designing over Christmas. Let me share a few things that I found were helpful in designing things last minute.
Here are some business card ideas I put together for my brother Michael. I figured the gift of a few business card design comps would be appreciated by someone starting up a new business. Which one is your favorite? The biggest challenge putting these together was coming up with something unique for each business card comp. When I’m designing things quickly, it’s easy to get locked into doing little variations of the same thing without giving more than one general idea throughout all of them. It’s good to take a quick break before starting on another variation or pick it up the next day, if you have that much time. Even when you are in a hurry, never skip a step in the basic design process! I still reviewed the purposes of Honey Glen, drew multiple sketches on paper, put together quick renditions on the computer, and took the time to edit them one by one. You only way to cut down on time is by shortening the amount of time you spend on each step, never by cutting out a step altogether! Once I had put together a few different designs, I made sure to go over each one with a fine tooth comb again and again. It’s amazing how many mistakes I fixed and adjustments I made after the initial design. There were also a lot of adjustments I needed to make after sending it to the printer the first time. Slow and steady wins the race! Don’t get bogged down with details; there will be consequences for rushed deadlines, but do your best to avoid them.
On Christmas Eve, my brother Daniel asked if I could help him with a last minute bookmark present for Mom. A bookmark! I was able to make this design very quickly because I already had some nice background images stored on my computer. When I have the opportunity to download free or super cheap images, I do so and save them to an "Inspiration" folder on my external hard drive to pull out for emergencies like this. Applying a few basic principles of design (like font contrast, heirarchy, and spacing) helped to make the title and conclusion "pop" and text to flow smoothly. There are probably some other principles I could have applied to make it look even better, but I didn’t have any time for research or seeking inspiration. Just use what you know from experience looks good! You can read more about the making of this bookmark for Mom on StaddonFamily.com.
Last of all, David asked if I could quickly put together two CD covers for another gift. He had downloaded MP3 files purchased online and burned them to a CD. Now all he needed were covers on a physical CD case. Let color be the “wow factor” if your design can’t be sophisticated! A colorful background, a photograph instead of a texture this time, is what I started with before compiling a very simple design around it. Also, to finish this project quickly, I pulled up a template. Templates are super handy. When you’re starting a project, think back to the last time you created the same thing or something similar. I am finding more and more how much this saves time.
So, there are some quick tips for if you ever need to design something on a last minute deadline!