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Me? A designer?

26 Apr 2022

Here at Outlandish I started off as a Web and Communications trainee. Now I think back to it, how did I end up as a designer? I was learning how to develop websites through WordPress whilst also doing a bit of marketing on the side. Now don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated to see how the websites I use on a daily basis were put together and all the little elements that go into it. However, it didn’t excite me the way that design does, you know? So that’s when I started working on projects with Mateus, Outlandish lead designer and was on my way.

Now, before even knowing I wanted to get into web design, I already had a love for art and all things creative (in fact, you can see my work here: www.bubbaart.bigcartel.com), so Procreate was already a favourite of mine. It is a graphic design app that allows you to create digital art using a range of different brushes and effects. I started using it after seeing many artists transitioning over to the digital world with it and immediately became obsessed. I was able to mimic my traditional style of art, but also add a twist to it adding  textures and fine-line details.

Tip: ‘Alpha lock’ will be your best friend when it comes to colouring areas when you don’t want to go outside of the lines. (Where was this when I was 10?)

These are the profile pictures I designed for our team “Lift Off’ using procreate. I made sure they included the brand colours we had picked in a different way.

Another project I worked on and absolutely loved was the Cooperate Islington project. I was able to start from scratch, help choose the branding colours, design the logo and see it come to life. There was a lot of sketching and colour swatching involved to get to the final outcome, and that’s where I found Procreate helpful again because there are no real restrictions when it comes to putting them together. 

In order to create a colour palette with meaning, I pulled samples from images around Islington, ensuring the branding would sit comfortably with the theme

Now it was time to merge what I knew about design with actual websites, I was introduced to XD. It is a design tool by Adobe that is great for creating designs and wireframes for web and mobile apps. By using this, I was able to design what I sometimes struggled to explain to developers with words. All the little details that we just speed past when we are online, they are all put together piece by piece. For instance, the small change we see to an area or button when we hover over it to show where we are on the page, is created by a designer (like me!). 

 

I’ve learnt that a web page is made up of ‘blocks’, and within those ‘blocks’ are ‘components’ which can be images, text, buttons and everything else. Ironically, the part I hated doing the most at the start is now what I look forward to at the end; creating the clickable prototype. This is what really brings it to life and lets me see what the end user will experience when using what we’ve designed.  

 

Tip: The grids in XD (ctrl + apple + G) will be your go-to when it comes to sizing and making sure everything fits onto the page.

Here are a few quick elements I designed to add a bit of colour to the new SPACE4 website.

 

 

What I’ve come to realised in this time, is that:

  1. There isn’t always a set way to do things; as long as they get done you’re doing alright.
  2. You’re probably never going to know everything because the world of design is never ending, so it’s okay to make the goal to learn something new everyday instead of knowing everything (you’ll overwhelm yourself before it’s even begun).
  3. Be creative; whether you were into the arts, music, photography or anything else; you already bring something unique to whatever you’re working on.

 

The ‘Falafel Method’ blog by HackingUI is also a great read for approaching tasks and projects you might be on, and helps to minimise all the overthinking that comes with starting as a designer.

 

Ella is Outlandish’s newest designer. Get in touch if you like what you see and you’d like to chat about Ella redesigning your site, assets, or logo.