I am an architect with a minor in art history and I took the history of graphic design. Not a graphic designer, but I have respect for the craft. The owner of the design build company I work for is an engineer with no background. had me change some things and I am a bit perturbed. mostly becasue his lack of trusting my insight and choosing to do things “becasue he just likes it” Any ways. please let me know which is better and why. keep it short.
What are these intended to be? Business card? Website home page? Trade show flyer?
First option with only one photo is the stronger of the two in my opinion. Better visual hierarchy. Better eye flow. Less to process. I think it would benefit from a pro’s touch. But if the choice is between the two, go with the first one.
Without knowing what these are for, it’s difficult to say which is best since I’m not certain what the objective is.
I will say, though, that whatever these are — whether ads, flyers or whatever — they’re the kind of thing that is rarely read and usually skipped over. There’s little about them that is inviting, engaging, informative or compelling. Instead, they’re just architectural drawing with various generic filler words taking up space and failing to communicate much of anything at all.
a full page ad in magazine for expo
I’d ditch the top one just because of that brutally cumbersome quote alone, but the white-background expo logo doesn’t help either. Mechanically, the bottom one is no better. There is no primary focal point, no apparent hierarchy.
These are what I used to call “design by list.” The company President or some similarly-endowed officer generates a list of must-have things. I’ve seen such lists with as many as 2 dozen wants!
I can only advise you to go back to the artboard and execute one good idea. Make that the one and only BIG thing. Then hang only what else is necessary around it in a clearly thought-out reading order.
10 pounds of poop into a 5 pound bag.
This is the life of a graphic designer…
I can’t count the number of times clients insisted on typefaces and colors that were terrible because of preferences. Once, a client rejected a beautiful stock photo because the CEO doesn’t like beards.
I also had a client whose brand was described as “soothing, peaceful, spiritual, and uplifting” choose hot pink for the main color of her logo.
We do our best to nudge our clients toward good choices, but, many times, you’ll need hard facts and stats to back up your recommendations if you’re going to change anyone’s mind. And even then, you might just be shouting into the void.
I’ve never quite understood why, when people rise to leadership positions in companies, they always seem to think they their expertise automatically extends into areas their backgrounds would indicate they know nothing about.
When it comes to graphic design, though, most every non-designer thinks their opinions are better than everyone else’s — including those of trained, experienced designers who actually have some professional insight.
These people might not be able to design anything themselves, but once something is designed, they seem confident in pronouncing it good, bad or needing work.
These same people wouldn’t tell a plumber or an electrician or their dentists how to do their jobs, but when it comes to equally or more important things like their advertising or brand identity on which their businesses depend, they jump right in with all kinds of bizarre and counterproductive ideas.
Make my logo pink. Get rid of the guy with the beard. I want my kids in the ad. Make my name bigger. My wife says green reminds her of morning sickness, so use purple because it makes people happy and less sick. Replace that boring type with something more stylish, like Papyrus or Hobo. What’s with all the empty space on this ad — let’s pack it with more stuff, like some starburst and firecrackers that will make it really pop!
It goes on and on.
Graphic design is one of those jobs that looks easier than it is. Non-designers can’t imagine all the nuances that go into knowing good design from bad design.
It’s the same way with any job that deals in subjectivity, like teaching, politics, or orchestra conducting. Technical jobs are the opposite. They tend to look more difficult than they are. Learning technology might be tedious. But once you know technology, you rarely have to convince anyone else that you know it better than those who don’t know. There isn’t as much second guessing your decisions.