Design Synthesis: What it is and How to Apply it to a Design Process

by

The Magical Part of Design

There has been a few occasions over the course of my design career when I’m asked how I come up with a design solution and know it’s the right one. I’ve never had a satisfactory answer for this because it’s too complex to explain succinctly, so I usually answer with something as simple as “creativity and validation,” which is not far off the mark, but rather vague. A better answer, at least in the context of product, software, and website design is synthesis, which is the magical part of design that uses insights from data to generate epiphanies and inform design decisions.

5 Essential Japanese Design Principles

by

Traditional Japanese residential architecture

As a designer I’ve been influenced by many people and places. British designers Peter Saville and Vaughan Oliver immediately come to mind. As well, countries like Germany and Italy have affected me. Bauhaus, Futurism, Bruno Munari, the Memphis Group, and other forms of modernism and post-modernism have widened my vision and deepened my understanding. However, the country and culture that has influenced me most is Japan. I’ve always related to its customs, design, and philosophy, which are often diametrically opposed to Western ideals. After traveling there extensively over the past 15 years I consider myself somewhat of a Japanophile and want to share 5 essential Japanese design principles that have influenced me.

Seeing With the Eye Vs. the Mind

by

I recently gave a tech talk at Grio on the topic of Designing With The Photo: Cropping Methods and Other Techniques. One aspect of this talk covered different ways of seeing photos. I want to share this part of my talk in this blog post.

Design Begins With Concept

by

Design Begins With Concept

Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The task of creating something out of nothing is perhaps the most challenging aspect of a designer’s job. Beginning a new project can elicit apprehension about how to proceed and feel intimidating. It is comparable to a writer sitting at their desk, staring at a blank page, waiting for that inspirational first word or sentence to come forth.

Using Photoshop CC to Automatically Generate Web Graphics

by

Adobe Generator App Icon

Let’s face it, creating web graphics takes time and is often tedious, especially if you have to slice images from detailed web page layouts. Sometimes it’s even necessary to copy and paste graphics from a Photoshop layout into a new Photoshop document just so you can isolate graphics and save for web. Recently I began experimenting with creating web graphics automatically from Photoshop layers using the new Adobe Generator feature, which was released in Photoshop CC version 14.1 (to check your version launch Photoshop and go to the menu and select Photoshop/About Photoshop and this will open a panel that includes the version number). When Generator is turned on it will monitor the file you’re working on and generate web graphics based on how you name layers. The cool thing is that as you continue to work in Photoshop and make changes Generator will automatically update assets.