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Preview of The Promise of Empty Spaces
 

Preview of The Promise of Empty Spaces

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Empty spaces represent a lot of things; fresh beginnings, clarity, possibilities and most of all promise. They carry the potential to turn into anything that one wants them to be. All that one needs ...

Empty spaces represent a lot of things; fresh beginnings, clarity, possibilities and most of all promise. They carry the potential to turn into anything that one wants them to be. All that one needs is a vision and the determination to keep striving towards it. However, when it comes to creative industries like Design, change is constant and this can throw a lot of designers off-track. They key is to keep an open mind and welcome these changes. This helps you in expanding your creative horizons and evolving that vision into perhaps something better.

In his debut book, Stefano Virgilli pens down his experiences, in both Italy and Singapore, from his decade long journey in the Design industry. He addresses issues relevant to designers at any stage in their career, whether they are starting out or are industry veterans. So no matter what kind of a designer you are, this book encourages you to open up your visual spectrum so that you can understand that empty space of yours.

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    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • INTRo- 15DUCTION irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef seThis book is about my thoughts on design. The experiences I have had reflect not only on St poDesign is an industry that excites me with itspossibilities. Yet, it can be frustrating because design and technology, but also on business and culture - and the way these factors inter- 12 urof the limitations that audiences, clients, and mingle when it comes to creating design. 20 n pwe - as designers - put on ourselves.I didn’t intend to write this book as a textbook I hope to inspire other designers ht tioor guide. It’s simply a consolidation of insights - and non - designers to observe- of my contribution to design, and of my per- the world through a similar lens, rig uaspectives on how this industry has evolved and to understand how design and its corol-before my eyes. I started in the industry about laries are changing the way we communi- py valeighteen years ago. I worked in design in my cate visually.native country of Italy before moving to Co r eSingapore, where I live now.Fo
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • 17 understanding this book irg y. i ill o V nlI’ve used examples from my own experiences You could be working independently, in anin this book, because I believe that experi- agency, or in a corporate environment. Per- an oences make designers who they haps you work in advertising only, or in social ef seare. I’ve also used examples from what I’ve media only. Even more specifically - you couldseen around me, and what I observe in my be creating tablet applications for hospitals. St poworld. As far as possible, I’ve tried to keeptechnicalities out of it because I don’t want The propensity for design has multiplied to in- 12 urtechnology to become the focus of design. clude a huge range of industries and areas, to an extent that has not been observed be- 20 n pHowever, on some occasions, technicalities fore. This means that the term ‘design’ alsoare requisite - and in these cases, I have kept has to expand in the same way. We need to ht tiothings as simple as possible. When I refer to be able to understand ‘design’ in the way thatthe term ‘design’ in this book, I am referring it applies to the world today, because that un- rig uato a variety of design types - not just static de- derstanding will shape the way in which wesign. So I could mean video, animation, web create, buy, sell and use design. py valdesign, or mobile application design - any-thing that is to do with visual communication. Co r eThe reason for this is that the term‘designer’ has evolved in manyFoways over the past decade. Forexample, at one time, being a designermeant only one or two things. Now, you couldbe a web designer, or a mobile applicationdesigner. You could do front end or backend design.
    • A good designer can bring three things to the table:1. Experience 3. Talent irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef se St po 12 ur 20 n p ht tio rig ua py val Co r eFo 2. Technical knowledge
    • 19 can i do it myself? irg y. i ill o V nl an oTo some people, design is deeply personal. These are great projects in terms of giving ef seBut when it comes to selling a product or com- young designers a chance to try out theirmunicating a message, design should skills. And, in fact, I recommend that St pobe clear. And it’s not always possible toDIY design - especially when you want de- starting designers do all the free work they can lay their hands on, because that is really the only way to get 12 ursign with value.A young, gifted designer witha lot of technical knowledge cannot hope to experience and exposure in the industry. You 20 n pcommand the rates of a veteran designer - need to try things out with your own handsbecause no matter how talented and experiment to create a frame of refer-you are, you cannot become an ht tio ence for yourself.expert in a month. An experienced rig uaand knowledgeable designer with little innatedesign talent cannot match a designer withall three components. py valTen years ago, a startup could decide to cre- Co r eate a website or a business card - and chooseto have it done for free with minimal conse-Foquences. Students, young designers, andeven your nephew or niece who dabbles indesign software are common sources for freeor low-cost design. “It’s just the website,” or“The business card doesn’t have to look thatnice,” are common sentiments that accom-pany these projects.
    • Fo Co r e py val3 rig ua ht tio 20 n p INCE 12 ur XPER St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • 21 can i do it myself? irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef seHowever, what often happens when the start- This could be expressed in more years of St poup becomes more valuable is that there issuddenly a disparity between the design and experience,or greater talent, or more technical skills, or fluency in more software, or more pro- 12 urthe company. When the company starts get- jects that the designer has worked on, or more 20 n pting more revenue, and the website or business awards that the designer has gotten. The pointcards are still the ones that you got for free - is that design - and designers - take on greaterthen you end up with an imbalance between value when those components take on great- ht tiothe value of the company and the value of er value. This means that comparing designersthe design. according to price becomes a moot point. rig uaThis brings me to my point that design has val- It’s only natural that an experienced design- py value. That value is determined by the three com- er will charge more than a young designer -ponents which I mentioned earlier - experi- because there is more value there. And theence, technical knowledge, and Co r e design itself will become more valuable. It willtalent. It then comes down to a simple math- mean more. It will represent more. It will com-ematical equation - design has higherFo municate more, and there’s a higher chancevalue when those components that it will be more effective than a shot in therepresent greater numbers. dark by a less experienced designer.
    • Design Serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface (or serifed typeface). A type- Facts face without serifs is called sans serif or sans-serif. irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef se St po 12 ur 20 n p ht tio rig ua py valCo r eFo
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • 25 the realities of starting off irg y. in design i ill o V nl an o ef seBecoming a designer is a process in itself. They learn software. Then, they try to become St poMany people ask me how I became a de-signer, and how designers get a foothold in very good at the software. Many new de- signers learn it very well. They become fluent 12 urthe industry. This question is a common one in the tools, and know how to apply effects,because of the way the industry has evolved. transform shapes, and animate. They know 20 n p all about the definitions of software terms andFirst, there is more competition than ever. they know how to create a certain look. Then ht tioThere are so many designers, so comes the first project, and then the first fewmany softwares, and so many projects.opportunities. Therefore, there rig uaare also so many threats to a Suddenly, the new designer entersdesigner. It is only natural, therefore, for a startup phase when his or her py vala new designer to look at the industry he or work isn’t as good as expected.she is stepping into, and ask the question, If this has happened to you - or if it’s still Co r e“How?” When it comes to answering this ques- happening to you - rest assured that this istion, one of the first things new designers do a part of the natural learning progressionFois something quantifiable, measurable, and - of design and that it is a necessary part ofthey believe - transferable. your experience. Some of the things that you might experience are that you’ll feel that you’re do- ing the right things and moving in the right direction, but some- thing will always be missing.
    • irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef se St po 12 ur 20 n p ht tio rig ua py valCo r eFo Bleed refers to the information that etends pass the point where the page will be trimmed,and allows color or images to continue to the very edge of the cutpage.
    • Design Facts irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef se die St po 12 ur cut 20 n p ht tio rig ua py valCo r eFo Mainly used for decorative purposes, a die cut can enhance the visual impact of a design through the creation of interesting shapes, apertures or edges.
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • 29 the realities of starting off irg y. in design i ill o V nl an o ef se St po“It’s not quite right,” and “Something is wrong Once again, I urge all new designers to rest assured, because this is a completely 12 urhere,” are very common thoughts that you’llhave. You may also find yourself assessing natural and normal phase of 20 n pyourself with every design that you do. You starting up. This phase of self-assessmentmay see every piece of design as a reflection and self-critique is part of the process of be- ht tioof yourself as a designer, or of your design coming a designer - and it’s a necessary oneworth. No matter how well you know the soft- when you’re stepping into the field. It’s hap-ware, and how much expertise you have with pening for a number of reasons. rig uathe tools, you might not know which ideas tobuild up. Firstly, it’s likely that you’ve flipped through the py val pages of a design magazine and seen greatIt’s likely that you’ll have an abundance of design. You might have been inspired by it. Co r eideas, but you’ll be unsure of how to express Then, you look at the design you’ve just cre-them or which ones to combine in each de- ated and you tend to compare the two. ThisFosign. This syndrome often results in staring leads to the second reason- you may be ablankly at the screen, or creat- gifted designer, or have an eye for colour, oring random designs that you’re you may know the software insideout. Andnot a hundred percent satisfied that’s why you wonder. “How come I’m sup-with. You may not have anything to com- posedly a good designer, but I can’t producepare yourself or your designs with because work that I’m happy with?” “How come I haveyou haven’t worked on enough projects. the best tools at my disposal but I can’t create something special?”
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i
    • 31 the realities of starting off irg y. in design i ill o V nl an o ef se St po 12 urAs you venture further into the world of being You may have a very clear idea of the designa designer, you’ll find that the tools in your mind but when you execute it, you’ll 20 n pthemselves are not enough. You find a disconnection between your vision andmay find yourself getting frustrated with the the result. This stage disappoints many newsoftware, or just using the same tools again designers - you may feel that you’re not good ht tioand again to create design. At some point, enough at the tools, for example. You maythough, there will be a breakthrough. You will feel anxious - what if the market isn’t ready, rig uastart to envision a project in your head, but or if people don’t accept your idea? What ifyou won’t go straight to the tools. You’ll start you’re convinced of the design but the client py valwith the idea, and then use the tools as a isn’t?means to represent and recreate what you’re Co r eimagining.Fo the essence of design - toThat iscreate an idea, not just to usethe tools. This is a significant breakthroughfor any new designer. However, it comes withits own challenges.
    • irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef se St po 12 ur 20 n p An image surrounded by a border that ht tio fades at the edges, specifically to highlight or isolate the central portion of an image is called a Vignette. rig ua py valCo r eFo
    • Design Facts irg y. i ill o V nl an o ef se St po 12 ur 20 n p ht tio rig ua py valCo r eFo Vector is an image that contains many individual and scalable objects. Vector graphics can be displayed at any size and are resolution independent.
    • FoCo r e py val rig ua ht tio 20 n p 12 ur St po ef se an o o V nl irg y. ill i