Graphic design is more important to the church now than ever before. We live in an extremely visual world that has come to expect great looking graphics in both communication and branding.
With so many graphics to create, along with all of the other things packed into your schedule, your time is extremely valuable. Here are a few quick fixes that will go a long way to speed up your design process and ultimately make you a better designer.
I primarily use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for all of my designs, but many of these principles are applicable to any software.
1. Label Your Layers and Artboards
The more complex your designs become, the more difficult they can be to navigate. Take time to label each of your layers and artboards as they’re added to your project. It may seem insignificant now, but you’ll quickly discover how much stress it takes away from your design process when you can click with confidence.
2. Create A Custom Color Palette
There are advantages to designing graphics for the same organization all the time. Since you’ll be using the same set of colors frequently, you can add them to a swatch set that’s super easy to access on the fly. It saves a ton of time to not have to chase down color codes for every graphic you create for your church. Here’s a quick tutorial for this in Photoshop.
3. Be Consistent In Your File Naming
Creating a consistent structure for naming your files may not be the most exciting item on this list, but it’s one that you’ll be thanking me for. Not only will it help you stay organized, but everyone that you work with will love you for it. I’ve included an example of mine below, but yours may look completely different. What’s important is that you take away the guessing game and name your files something that makes sense to everyone.
My File Naming Structure:
Organization Name >> Department Name >> Project Name >> Individual Item >> Version
I use dashes (-) to separate sections and underscores (_) to separate words inside sections.
4. Keep Your Resources Organized
Whether it be fonts, templates, textures, or stock photos, resources are an essential part of graphic design. To get the most value out of these tools, you’ll want to keep them organized and easily accessible. I’ve found that a simple folder where I can store each of these resources separately goes a really long way. I keep this folder synced on my Dropbox so that I have access to all of my files from each of my computers. Anything that you can do to keep them from piling up in your downloads folder is a win!
5. Archive Everything
Believe it or not, your most valuable resources are the graphics that you have already created. It’s extremely useful to be able to pull logos and other design elements from a design file that you worked on last week rather than searching through the web. Even more, a situation may arise where you may need to make a change on a project you designed years ago. Hold onto every design that you create.
What do you think?
Do you do any of these in your design process?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!