A word about adding to the critique board.


by: D B in: General Post 4 years ago

I don't know much. Most of my design beginnings were learned right here getting critiques from Douglas Shelton, Dave Chap, Johnny Ringo, someguy, and other great designers. In an effort to pass what little I've learned over 4 years of designing I often look at the critique board and see it sloshed with work asking

"Whuduhya think?" (or some other similar question) and then an image...

It is critical to understand the project you are working on to offer advice..

This includes audience, size of church, where it will be displayed, the parameters given, feedback received. Anything that you filled out with the brief it is client work, or that you know about your church if it is in-house.

For instance (from an outside of the church perspective)
A Nordstrom style logo would be ripped to shreds for a new campaign with NIKE. UNLESS the campaign was targeting middle aged men and women who have a lot of money asking them to purchase something that would help them manage their busy business life with their desire to live actively.

Context is everything. Design has very little with what looks good (although important) and a whole lot to do with whether it fits the context and intended audience.

Next time your work goes 3 days without a glance or comment, ask yourself if you've provided enough information for a proper critique.

Or if you'd like any advice straight up, contact a designer you admire. I frequently ask Kenny Miracle, Joe Cavasos, Rich Aguilar, Douglas Shelton, and Colin Harmon for their advice. Typically they add one piece of advice and it brings my work to the next level.


Blake Berg   Blake Berg 4 years ago
To tag on to what David is saying, critiquing is an invaluable tool - especially for young designers wanting to grow - both in being critiqued and in critique of others. If you really want to grow in what you are doing, set yourself up for success by inviting (and giving) critiques that will actually be useful for the people involved.

We use a tool at work for discipleship training, but it applies to any area in life that has the potential for growth. It's called the Leadership Square and the four sides are labeled D1, D2, D3, D4.

D1 - Unconscious Incompetece. You don't know that you don't know it. Ignorance is bliss.
D2 - Conscious Incompetence. You are fully aware that you don't know it. Very frustrating place to be. A lot of young designers may find themselves here.
D3 - Conscious Competence. You know that you know it, but have to think about it.
D4 - Unconscious Competence. You don't know that you know it, you just do it.

Most "seasoned" artists are going to be operating in D4, you don't really have to think about what you are doing, you just make decisions and most of them are right. If you want to be able to effectively critique, you have to be able to step back in to D3 so you can communicate to someone in D2 (or D1) how it is that you do what you just know how to do. 

The best way (that I know of) to help young designers struggling in D2 (or D1) to round the corner to D3 and ultimately D4 is for people in D4 to step back and show them the thought process that you may not realize you are doing.

It is also good practice for young designers to enter in to critique, just because it gives you a lot of practice in trying to be consciously competent in the decision process on the way to unconscious competence. But, this also comes with a little warning for people being critiqued. While it can be valuable to all people involved, keep in mind who is critiquing you. If you are struggling in your design, and someone who is struggling equally offers you critique, you may need to take it with a grain of salt.

Critique may be one the best tools designers can use to help train up other designers, who in turn can then help train up other designers and so on and so on. Before you know it, the "good" design community can experience exponential growth.
Rich Aguilar   Level 1Rich Aguilar 4 years ago
So where are the like buttons on this page

Beck - Like
Berg - Like
Samuel Fyfe   Level 1Samuel Fyfe 4 years ago
Awesome advice.  For someone who has been in the industry for a relatively little amount of time compared to some of you guys,  it's amazing to have such a useful resource as the critique board here on CS.  I also sometimes put things on here without even thinking of what I want in return, because sometimes I don't even know what I want out of a piece.  This gives me a lot of direction.  Thanks!
Chris Reinecke   Level 1Chris Reinecke 4 years ago
Great words, David!I recently wrote an article for another community, offering some practical application on how to receive critique, based on my own shortcomings along-the-way. 

While we're on the topic, I'd like to share, for those who would like to read it. The forum doesn't have text formatting, so please forgive:

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