5 Graphic Design Tips You Can Learn from Painting (a series)

Blog Entry 3.9 [ print | web | video | illustration ]

Tip #1: Big Brushes to Small Brushes
Most painters will tell you that it’s wise to start with your biggest brushes when painting. The logic being that itʼs those first bold strokes, where you are trying to capture the essence of the piece, that matter most. You can detail something to death, but if the feeling and structure are wrong, the piece is never going to look right.

The same is true in design. Start with the overall impression, or layout, not the choice in typefaces or individual photos. This is why, like painters, many graphic designers do small thumbnails drawings or concepts at a small size. You can usually feel within a few strokes if the piece has the guts to successfully communicate the message. And in those early stages, when youʼre still using “big brushes,” youʼre free to explore solutions, step back, and see if the overall impact is where it needs to be before spending hours justifying text, nudging around pictures, and fine-tuning the layout.