Go Ahead, Sweat the Details!
I learned it back in art school: Take the time to give your attention to every little design detail. That valuable lesson didn’t really hit home until I was out in the professional world. Designing a direct mail piece for a client, I was thinking I’d successfully completed the piece when it landed back on my desk with a note from the boss. “Nice work but go back and make this indicia look beautiful.”
The indicia? That tiny little box of postage information on the mailing panel? Those always seemed like the most generic looking things. Why would anyone care what that it looked like?
Of course, I went right to work, incorporating colors and fonts from the mailer I’d designed. Sure enough, the mailer looked and worked better. That microscopic attention to detail pulled it all together into a design that was consistent, cohesive and totally on brand.
According to design director/product designer Naz Hamid, this intense focus on the small stuff can, in the end, produce the biggest impact.
“Design is in the details,” Hamid says. “With design, paying attention to small details – and in some cases, obsessively focusing on ‘what isn’t right’ – can take a design from ‘nearly there’ to ‘there’ and beyond.”
Thanks to a great teacher, that “devil’s-in-the-details” lesson sunk in early and for good and it guides me as a graphic designer every day. From footnotes, to magazine spines, to those pesky indicias, when you take care to incorporate all of it into the design, it elevates the work every time.