Do you like to listen to music while you work, or do you enjoy working in silence? Music is part of my design process. I do my best design work with my favorite playlist on in the background (or blaring, depending on my mood and level of focus). Some of these songs earned a spot on my playlist for no reason other than they’re fun to listen to, thus requiring no further explanation. For others, I have some commentary as to why I love them. Mostly, I am inspired by upbeat music, and I curate my playlist accordingly so I can focus on designing rather than skipping through songs. What songs are on your playlist? Comment below! I’m always looking for new music!
1. One Foot—Walk The Moon
Try to be in a bad mood while listening to this song. I dare you. It’s impossible.
2. 3AM—Matchbox 20
Rob Thomas has my all-time favorite singing voice, and this is one of my favorite tracks from his band.
3. Kiss This—The Struts
4. Kiwi—Harry Styles
5. Lola Montez—Volbeat
I can’t understand half of the words, but I sing along anyway…it’s hard to resist! Fun fact, this song is about an actual woman who lived in the 1800s. Her history is quite scandalous. https://allthatsinteresting.com/lola-montez
6. Slide—Goo Goo Dolls
So much nostalgia is attached to this song. It takes me back to my childhood, listening to it on a tape in the car with my mom.
7. Best Day of My Life—American Authors
Another good mood song!
8. Move Along—All American Rejects
9. Thunder—Imagine Dragons
10. Make You Mine—High Valley
Sometimes I stray away from the rock genre and enter into today's country genre. I love the folksy rhythm of this country song; it makes me want to dance.
11. Make It Sweet—Old Dominion
It’s no secret; I love going to concerts. Old Dominion put on one of the best vocal performances I’ve ever heard, and I’m a huge fan of this band.
12. Green Light—Lorde
Season 6 Finale of New Girl, anyone? I find a lot of new music on TV show soundtracks.
13. Electric Love—Borns
14. The Wire—Haim
15. Panic Attack—Glorious Sons
This song is anthemic, yet the lyrics describe the suffocating nature of a panic attack. It’s such an unexpected juxtaposition, and I love it.
16. Come with Me Now—KONGOS
17. Smells Like Teen Spirit—Nirvana
I will forever love Nirvana.
18. New Politics—Harlem
19. Get Up—Shinedown
Whenever I need a little motivation, this song helps me to find it.
20. Never Comin’ Down—Keith Urban
This man can play guitar and banjo like you wouldn't believe, and he looks good doing it! If you've never been to a Keith performance, I highly recommend it!
21. I Like Me Better—Lauv
Rarely do I dip my toes into today’s mainstream pop genre (I find most of it boring), but I’m inspired by the unique instrumentation of this song. I wish more songs sounded like this one.
22. Why.2—Collective Soul
23. Any song by Blink-182
Blink-182 is the sole reason I made it through all-nighters working in the design lab during my college years. It’s hard to fall asleep at 3:30 AM when Blink is blasting through the speakers.
24. Drunk on a Plane—Dierks Bently
25. I See the Sun—Tommy Henriksen
26. Stay a Little Longer—Brothers Osborne
27. Help—Papa Roach
This was my favorite song for the entire year of 2017.
There you have it! A playlist of songs that I find inspiring and enjoy listening to while I crank out designs. I hope you check some of them out; maybe you will want to add them to your own playlist. Don't forget to comment some of your favorite songs below!
When I started college, one of my main questions I often posed to my professors was, “Where can I find inspiration? Where does creativity stem from?” Throughout my college years, my graphic design professor, Eric Wold, taught me that creativity doesn’t come from nowhere; rather, a process behind creativity exists. I am grateful to have learned the importance of the design process, and I still practice the same method each time I begin a new project.
Every time I am presented with a project, an initial idea comes to mind as to what the end result might look like. However, rarely is my preliminary idea anything close to the final product. To get out of my own head, I do extensive photo research beginning with imagery related to the project at hand, such as business card design, before vastly broadening my search to find color scheme inspiration, typographic inspiration, etc. I may draw color scheme inspiration from exotic rainforest imagery. Layout inspiration may be derived from interior design photos. Pattern inspiration may come in the form of Mexican tile imagery, from which I will pull basic elements to create my own designs. I compile these images categorically into contact sheets and print them so I am able to see them all at once. Juxtaposing this found imagery produces unique design inspiration.
After I compile my photo research, I begin sketching the ideas that come to mind. I generate several thumbnails of different ideas, especially if I am working on a logo design, and then select my favorites once I exhaust my thoughts or feel that I have produced enough usable concepts.
I select the strongest concepts from my sketches to digitally render in a design program. I usually create a rough draft of three to five concepts, depending on the complexity of a project, as well as the budget. Rest assured, the design I develop for you has been well thought out, and many options have been considered in an effort to produce the best possible work.
Refining the Work
At this point, I generally show the client one to three design proofs to gage their preferences. After the client decides which direction they want the project to take, I refine the chosen concept to meet their standards.
After revisions are made and clients are satisfied with the final product, I provide them with the final file or prints. At this point, I reflect on the design process, thinking back to my initial idea and comparing it to the final result, whether the design turned out as I thought it would or took a completely unexpected, yet powerful, turn for the best.
I’m going to be incredibly honest. The first time a client told me she was planning a “green” baby shower, I thought she meant the color scheme for the party was green. I designed an entirely green baby shower invitation (which actually turned out very cute), and luckily the client realized my misunderstanding and explained to me that a “green” shower is a sustainable baby shower. (I had a good laugh at myself.) Guests were asked to bring unwrapped gifts to the party in an effort to cut back on waste and also to save everyone from sitting through hours of watching the mama-to-be open presents. Win-win!
Follow these tips to host your own green shower!
Electronic invitations (evites) are an option—and I would be happy to design them for you!
Request cloth diapers on your gift registry!
If parents-to-be choose to practice an environmentally-friendly parenting style (and save some major cash in the process), including cloth diapers on the registry, and other green items, will help guests to better follow the theme and respect parents’ wishes.
Check out these cloth diapers featured on Shark Tank: https://fuzzibunz.com/
As mentioned above, request unwrapped gifts.
Ask guests to bring a book instead of a card.
Opt for real dishes or recyclable paper plates and cups, and use cloth tablecloths.
Avoid non-biodegradable plastic or Styrofoam plates and cups, and choose recyclable paper tableware instead. Or, add elegance to the event by using real china! Also, ask friends and relatives to borrow their cloth tablecloths for the party, with a promise to return them afterwards.
Use your creativity when planning games and activities!
Ditch tradition and have fun planning a green baby shower! Strive to create a fun experience not only for the mama-to-be, but guests as well. A simple way to ensure everyone enjoys the shower is to think of clever games with sustainability in mind. Examples include parenting trivia, racing to diaper a stuffed animal (which will be given to the mama-to-be afterwards), painting onesies for the baby, diaper bag memory, guess the baby photo, or write letters to the baby or funny advice cards for the parents-to-be. The options are endless!
Ideas to Add?
Post them in the comments below!
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Consider your wedding invitations. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and the wedding invites you send out will set the tone for the entire event. While sites like Shutterfly have several designs for you (and everyone else) to choose from, Design by Faith provides 100% customized invitation designs at an almost always lower rate than this online giant, and others, are able to provide. Same goes for Christmas cards, birthday invitations, baby shower invitations, etc.
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If you have any questions about this topic, leave them in the comments, and I will be happy to answer them for you!
Thank you for reading!
Faith is the proud owner of Design by Faith, a freelance design business specializing in wedding stationery, invitation design, logo design, and all forms of print design. Time away from her computer is spent running, bicycling, frequenting concerts, swimming, gardening and doing other outdoor activities. To learn more, visit the About page!