Week 9: Design It Yourself

Last week I mentioned how the creative team builds out a lot of their own backgrounds and compositions for design projects. If something is not available, use what you have to make what you need. In school I do this because I have to, but now I actually want to. I have new tools and knowledge to help me create the pieces I need in a good amount of time. Usually if I know I have the time to create something from scratch I go for it, now I find myself relaying less on stock graphics and images for more projects. Taking time to practice and really pay attention to the steps involved on more detailed projects has helped me learn to work a little more efficiently across my other projects, making the DIY approach a better option.

One of the biggest areas I rely on when presenting my work are mockups. In the past I have been able to find free and paid mockup files to give my work a more polished look. They are a great way to communicate the context of the project as well as give it a polished presentation. Every now and then I get a project that needs a mock up, but I cannot find a particular file.  I would spend too much time searching various resource sites for a mock up when I could just make my own. And that is what I started to do this week. D.I.Y. – Design it Yourself.

In last week’s post I shared a project I worked on for Bellator MMA media day. This week I also started working on the credentials for the upcoming season. Like many other in-house teams, those outside the creative department and those on the inside see things differently. When communicating edits to another designer, our understanding of design makes it easier to envision edits. For those on the outside, visuals are usually necessary for every edit. The shape of a credential is so similar to other forms of media – flyer, poster, card, etc. – it could be anything. I decided I needed a way to communicate scale and style of the credential in a realistic way. I turned to my trusty design resource – Google. Before I could scroll through half the results, I realized most were duplicates. I needed a specific type of mock up and did not see one that existed. Then I thought to myself – “make your own”.


Dropped in a concept and background for the template

I went back to Google, only this time I searched for “how to” resources. There are so many great videos out there.  After finding a tutorial on smart objects and mockups, I was able to make my own credential mock-up. The process helped me establish a base understanding of the key features needed and expanded my understanding of applications I use all the time. It just goes to show learning never stops.

If you are looking to try a few DIY projects to get started, definitely check out Ellen Lupton’s D.I.Y.: Design it Yourself


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