Try, Try again

From time to time, I get asked to share some tips on ‘best practices’ while designing. Today’s session proved a few of my practices.

Looking through my tutorial requests, I decided to tackle the “Neon” text look, as it seems to be a popular request. I sat at my desk with a cup of tea, and started to experiment. I try not to look at images of current designs, as I prefer to come up with unique and ‘easy to follow’ methods for my viewers. After sitting in front of my computer for about 2 hours, tweaking Layer Style after Layer Style, I came up with the following design.

Naturally, after staring at this design for the last hour, my brain became accustom to it, and deemed it as “awesome“. That’s until I reminded myself of the ‘best practices’ I tell my viewers:

– Take regular breaks. Staring at a design you have been working on, you are programmed to like it. Walking away for 15 minutes will clear your brain of the bias it has towards the design.
– Give yourself options. As ‘fantastic’ as you might think the design is, even after taking a break, you can do better.

After finally taking a break, I looked at the above design and almost threw up! “What was I thinking?!” My brain got a fresh look at the design. Time to explore other options. I immediately took note of what could improve, and started from scratch. After about thirty minutes, the following result was produced.

While this design is still far from completion, I think you’ll agree that it’s a heck of an improvement from the first design, which I originally thought was “awesome“. If you’re a designer, amateur or advanced, I can’t stress these practices enough. I can’t think of any of my [released] designs which have been the result of a single sitting.

I hope this helps!