5 Graphic Design Tips You Can Learn from Painting: Tip #3 – Use Good Materials

Blog Entry 4.1 [ print | web | video | illustration ]

Anyone who has ever painted, be it in first grade or professionally, has, at one time or another, used crappy supplies. They are so tempting, so cheap, and schools are full of them. Hereʼs the thing—you can sometimes make some pretty good work out of poor-quality paints and paper. It sure makes it harder though.

When you graduate into using slightly better materials you realize why that piece of Arches paper or professional set of watercolors cost a little more. They produce beautiful results, and you the artist, have a lot less strain to make it so.

Design, once again, is the same. Good typefaces are worth their weight in gold. Use them. Thereʼs a reason typeface designers spend years perfecting each individual weight and kerned letter—so in the heat of battle, you wonʼt have to. Yes, you can make cheesy true type fonts work for you, but try hand-kerning body copy—itʼs not for the faint of heart. The same can be applied to using good photography, solid color palettes, beautiful high-resolution textures, and so on. Hereʼs the good news: using good materials is not always an issue of cost. A lot of times, itʼs simply knowing where to find them, and sharing on the internet has cast aside many limitations.