All posts by Peterson Timothy

Art Director| Branding | UI/UX | My friends call me 墨宇康.

Good Design Is…


Recently, I rewatched a documentary by Gary Hustwit titled “Objectified” on Netflix. This was the first time I had watched the film since my days in design school.

After watching the film, I was struck with how powerful the interview with Dieter Rams (German Industrial Designer for Braun) was. He mentioned ten principles that make good design, pinpointing that design is not just looking good, but it functions to. It really made me think and begin to evaluate my own designs and design process.

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Sometimes having a few extra tools or resources in our utility belt is all the difference in spending hours or minutes on a project. Below are just a few of the free graphic design resources and tools I use that help me get the job done. I have left out a few of the obvious items such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Coda, Sketchbook, etc. in favor of more less known items. Take a look and feel free to let me know if you have other suggestions that are not on my list.

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The Importance of Sketching in Creating a Successful Design Work


With the rise of numerous gadgets and applications for vectoring, photo manipulations, 3D modelling and illustration, the old pencil and paper are least getting noticed, kept inside drawers and sometimes never used again. I remembered attending a graphic design convention where one of the speakers (from an animation studio) forgot what is that “writing instrument with graphite” called. Everyone laughed when the audience figured it out for him that he is referring to a “pencil”.

Every creative person and even those who are not into design work might have used a pencil or a pen and a paper at some point of their work process. But with the popularity of sketching applications on tablets and other devices, the traditional way of conceptualizing an idea on a piece of paper are replaced by virtual sketch pads and sticky notes.


Top 5 Graphic Design Podcast


On an average day at the office, I’m in from of my computer for hours, typically with my headphones on. Listening to anything helps the time fly as I’m pushing those pixels around. I’m always curious as to what other designers listen to that helps them pass the time. As for me it’s either catching up on my latest TV shows and movies, or listening to a few graphic design podcasts.

The following are my top 5 (in no specific order) podcast geared towards design. These are my go to graphic design podcasts that help me to stay current and in the know on the design industry.

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Critiques in design

Critiques are hard!

One of the hardest things in the design world is the critique. Critiques are a vital part of designing, as it is a great way to get feedback on your work before it is sent off into the world. The difficult part about critiques, is emotion gets involved. I work in a place where critiques are brought up on a daily basis, sometimes we forget and let emotions become involved and it becomes more of a “I like this better…” or “I don’t like this…” while it’s good to know what people like and what they don’t like, it isn’t very helpful and can be detrimental to the project. Critiques need to be helpful, and without emotion, we can’t take critiques personally, just as much as we can’t critique personally, it’s way to easy to get upset and let our emotions ruin what we’ve worked so hard on. Early on in my design career, I was always reminding myself “Nick, you need to have thick skin” but it was so hard when I felt like everyone hated my work! How was I supposed to become a better designer if it feels like nobody likes what I’m doing? I have since realized that for the most part, people were giving me critiques on my design and illustrations, and they weren’t meaning to hurt my feelings, but more than anything, they were just trying to help.

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While freelancing, a designer must protect themselves from being abused by clients. Some clients seem to think the word “freelance” means “free”. It is up to us as designers to help steer this trend in the other direction. If we want to be taken serious as designers and freelancers, we must earn that respect. On of the best ways to do so, is simply presenting the client with a contract, terms and conditions or some form of legal documentation before any work is begun.

Recently, I had a request from a client to use a photo/illustration I had created years ago. This is not the first request I had received for this particular piece of work. However, something clicked in my head, all of a sudden I realized that I needed some form of legal documentation to protect my rights, the photo and the client. After a little bit of research, pulling from different resources I created my own license agreement. One that would give me protection, while still leaving room for the client to use the requested photo as they wished. The form I was looking for and later ended up creating was a Rights Managed License Agreement.

Download Agreement Here

EXAMPLE: 10 Crazy Ads from History

The 1950′s through the 1970′s were a strange time in advertising. Women were stuck in the kitchen, casual racism was abundant and crazy ads were everywhere. Below is a list of crazy vintage ads that will make you grateful for modern standards, or perhaps nostalgic for the ‘good ole days’. While reading this list, imagine if you would, each crazy ad’s impact on the public if it were to run unedited in popular print publications today. Without further ado (as if most of you even read this paragraph) here are 10 Crazy Ads from History, a vintage lesson in ridiculous marketing.

See the Ads

RESOURCES: The Idea vs The Execution

Good ideas never seem to be in short supply. Granted, bad ideas are every bit as prevalent – however, almost anyone can hit on a good idea of some sort in their professional lifetime. Great ideas are rare. Great ideas can change fortunes, alter futures and make history. The execution of ideas, whether it be in business or in life, is also key to success. Having a reputation of excellent execution can make careers and build businesses. In marketing and advertising, both are integral to a complete and effective campaign. They each require large amounts of attention and commitment to detail and often one is overlooked for want of the other. So, for arguments sake, we shall pit them head to head in a which-is-more-important battle-royale! – See more at: Learned Marketing