Design Frustrations

One thing that creatives or creative wanna-bes experience is something kin to writer’s block.  Let’s call it the creative wall as I’ve heard it termed before.  One thing that I do not have much experience in is design.  Fortunately for me, Robin Williams’s  The Non-Designer’s Design Book was a required text for one of my classes.   Her book is truly what it is called, a book for non-designers.  She writes conversationally, and the book is a quick read.  Much of Williams’s advice has been implemented throughout my website.   However, some of my pages have yet to be updated following her advice, like my Contact page.

In her book, Williams talks about four major tenets of design: Alignment, Contrast, Proximity, and Repetition.  Something that my creative designs struggle with (as seen in my desktop background below), is repetition.  I have a whole lot of contrast going on (too much), and only the text repeats the color of the stones; no other repetition is present.  I have a  right alignment with the plant, but the image is divided into three sections.  In essence, this image stinks.

Over the course of the next week or two I plan to revise this image.  I want to start with the text.  It either needs to go or be moved to the right.  The main thing I want to adjust is the sections.  There seem to be three sections of color, and I want these to mesh better.  Thus I need repetition in this area.  One suggestion I have received is to apply the same filter to all of it.  I might give that a try.

Another classmate suggested adding some light on the water, and another suggested a shadow for the plant.  Adding both of these items will increase alignment, repetition, contrast, and proximity.  The light will come from the yellow portion of the sunset, presumably where the sun just went down: proximity.

Something else I am struggling with for this piece is a theme.  The theme needs to be either earth or water.  I might make the water a field being tilled for planting instead of the ocean.  If I do that, warm earthy tones will be repeated throughout the piece.

Any suggestions are welcome.  What is good design without critique?

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