The Fundamentals of Design Should Always Trump the Software


The Story:

Graphic design software tools have come a long way in the last 20 years. This often tempts amateurs to use all the bells and whistles without actually implementing good design practice.

The Adobe programs are amazing. Simply considering the evolution of Photoshop and other graphic design tools are mind boggling. What they’ve been able to accomplish in over 20 years is truly incredible considering the limitations of its original incantation back in 1990.

What was once a program that allowed for some primitive design techniques (selections and a handful of canned filters) is now a behemoth of a program that is smart enough to make things disappear and look natural with one mouse click. All of these technological advancements were created to help speed along the editing process, thus freeing up more time for more projects, brainstorming, business marketing ideas or photography.

There is a drawback to having all of these bells and whistles though. With a seemingly infinite number of tools to work with, filters to apply, gradiations to implement and layer styles to pile on, it doesn’t take much to get a little heavy handed on the design element.

It is here where we should implement the “less is more” attitude. Just because you can apply a dozen filters to an image, doesn’t mean you should.


Yes, your Gumpert Apollo will go 224 mph. But should you try to achieve top speed on the Beltline during a rainstorm?

Yes, you could kill a mouse with a shotgun. But would that really be the best way to e-rat-icate your kitchen?

The Takeaway:

The problem with over-designing something like a brochure or website design is not just the campiness it can create aesthetically. It’s distraction it creates.

Heavy-handed design often times leads to the suffocation of the original idea, which can be not only a distraction from your product/idea/message, but also a complete turn-off to the viewer leaving the last image they have associated with your product/idea/message, your brand, a negative one.