9 Hours of Graphic Design in 30 Seconds

The Story:

The graphic design process is usually quite fun. Having complete control to create something out of nothing is a liberating and practically unrestricted exercise for the right brain. However, just as most other things in life, it is very easy to get so close to a project that you begin to lose sight of that idea you had in your head from the start.

This happened to me a couple of weeks ago while creating a web design layout. I had nearly completed the layout, but something wasn’t quite right.

The layout had all of the elements the client had requested, so it wasn’t a matter of adding a logo design or graphics.I played with the font sizes and logo positioning, tweaked the colors, and removed things until I was basically left with a blank canvas. I tried again putting the pieces back in a different order, but to no avail. It still needed something else.

As a second-to-last ditch effort (the last being face-pounding my desk), I turned to my office compadre, John Tate. I asked him, “John, what am I missing here?!” He slowly swiveled his chair around and took a look at my screen. He studied it for about 15 seconds and casually replied, “Take the border off of that box there on top.”

He, then, turned just as slowly back around to his desk. It seemed like a disinterested response at first, but before I had time to even roll my eyes, one click of the mouse removed the border and revealed the answer. It wasn’t what was missing; it was what needed to be missing!

Pool Table

The Take Away:

It’s always great to have an extra set of eyes, to take a step back and hear an outsider’s perspective.

When you spend so much time staring deep into the monitor, moving pixels around, it’s easy to get too close and completely lose sight of the bigger picture.  Having that fresh set of eyes not only saved me from some tinkering time, but it also saved me from a broken keyboard and a forehead contusion.

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