What’s the difference between raster and vector?

What’s the difference between raster and vector?

What’s the difference between raster and vector?

Ever had a printer or another supplier ask you to supply a ‘raster’ or ‘vector’ file? It might wound like jargon, but knowing the difference between the two can have a huge effect on the quality of your finished job.

#rasterorvector #graphicdesign #thinkresolution #designspeak #designnerd #creativeforthepeople #powdermonkeydesign

7 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration

7 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration

7 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration

The situation all creative professionals dread…

This week I have been suffering from a touch of the dreaded creative block. Not – thankfully – the crippling ‘complete and utter’ type that stops you in your creative tracks. But a struggle with one particular creative problem, a design for a flyer. It’s the kind of situation all creative professionals dread, and yet it is inevitable when art is made to order in a commercial setting.
 
To try and push past this problem, I began working through my methods for finding creative inspiration – and that inspired me to share them with you! Over the years these 7 strategies have helped me out of more than one creative jam, and they definitely helped get my flyer project back on track.
 

1. Scope out some art

Pretty obvious. But beyond looking at other examples from your own field try looking at examples of other creative disciplines – fine art, fashion, visual merchandising, photography and graphic design can all provide amazing cross-discipline inspiration. No time to head out and hit the galleries? A quick half hour on Pinterest might just do the job.
 

2. Get back to nature

Not only is nature inspiring for its beauty, but being immersed in a natural environment and taking the time to study what you see there – really see what you are looking at – is an excellent mindfulness technique that can help cut through the pressure of the deadline.
 

3. Sleep on it

If you can, take a step back from the creative problem you are trying to solve and let it hover at the back of your consciousness while you go about your day. Giving ideas the chance to arrive organically is always a nice way to start the creative process, when time allows. This one is my go-to for all projects!
 

4. Do something else

Doing something physical like going for a walk, exercising, pulling weeds or cleaning is a great way to clear the creative cobwebs. Just not for too long… because then it becomes procrastination!
 

5. Blind contour drawings


This is the kind of exercise you do when you take a drawing or painting class, and it’s also a fantastic stress buster
. But drawing something from life using one continuous line, and without looking at your page is also a fantastic way to free your brain and get the creative juices flowing. This is one I did this week while wrestling with creative block, and it’s really interesting to see how the line weight and style changes as I start to relax into it. It was a really useful exercise, and at the end of it I was able to scribble a concept for my flyer on the back.
 

6. Change up your concepting strategy

Do you prefer to thumbnail on paper? Maybe it’s time to fire up the computer. Mired down in a digital wasteland? Why not break out the pencils? Sometime you just gotta change it up a bit to get things moving, and it could be as simple as switching from a pencil to a felt tip. You never know!
 

7. Work on another creative project

Working on another project within the same discipline can sometimes move things along. I find nailing another project can be a great boost! But if you find yourself totally blocked, you can try flexing your creative muscles in a totally different field – painting, sculpting, crafting, writing, cooking, singing or playing an instrument – whatever your bag is. But again… not for too long! Set a timer so you don’t fall into the procrastination zone.
 
When inspiration proves elusive it can leave you chasing your own tail. The lack of ideas can cause so much stress that you end up even further away from the right state of mind for creative thinking. These are my sure-fire ways of battling the block – but what’s your favourite strategy for finding lost inspiration? Let me know in the comments section.
 
In the meantime – happy creating!

#designneversleeps #graphicdesign #inspo #justcreate #inspiration #creativeblock #blindcontour #creativeforthepeople #powdermonkeydesign

Dear Design… A Love Letter

Dear Design… A Love Letter

Dear Design… A Love Letter

When I was a kid, and I had to do a school project, I would put way more thought into the look of the thing I was handing up than I did the actual content of the assignment. If it was an A4 report or essay of some kind, I would try to make an elaborate title page. If it was a poster I rejoiced, because it meant drawing, cutting, gluing, fancy hand lettering – whatever was required to create the layout I had in my head.
 
Like most young girls I adored stickers, but the other item I would drop pocket money on in the newsagent was Letraset dry transfer lettering. That stuff was the best! If you’re feeling nerdy, you can check out this awesome article, where Letraset-era designers discuss which of the transfers they loved and loathed. I also developed a technique for creating cool project designs that involved making a layout using elements I had drawn, found or photocopied, gluing them to a sheet of paper, and photocopying the whole design. Then I could embellish this design with colour by hand if I wanted. Sometimes I would photocopy the photocopies of an image many times over, because I liked the slightly distressed look it created.
 
It was only years later when I became a graphic design student that I realised what I had been doing in primary school bore a remarkable resemblance to paste-up – the method of assembling a layout by hand in order to create film, and in turn printing plates. By the time I was a student this manual, labour intensive task had been replaced by computer-to-plate technology. But I was fascinated to learn that long before I had ever heard of graphic design, I was out there doing it.
 
It’s a love affair that continues and that often feels like any other relationship. We endure highs and lows, challenges and moments when we’re reminded why we fell in love in the first place. Me and graphic design. We’ve endured a time (now long past) when I wondered whether or not we should part ways. Then we fell in love all over again and now everything is made new. No detail is too small, no job is too mundane to deserve special attention.
After coming so close to breaking up with design I realised what most people in long term relationships realise – that the secret is always keep it fresh; and always approach even the most humdrum of routine tasks with great passion.
 
So we go on together, me and my first love, excited to see what creative adventures each new day might bring.
 
And I am definitely going to buy some rub-down lettering. Old school. 

#ilovedesign #graphicdesign #origins #letraset #creativeforthepeople #powdermonkeydesign