How do I speed up my design work?


I've been a designer for 6 months, having previously had a 1st class honours degree in Graphic Communication. My issue is that I am a Very good designer, but I work too slow. It's beginning to drive a rift between myself and the creative director who desperately wants me to work quicker. I've always been a workaholic even in university, I put in 110% all the time, really work my ass off, but I'm still not fast enough to complete projects quickly, my work is good, but it's not efficient.

Do you guys have any tips to help me speed up?

4/2/2011 11:07:00 AM

Accepted Answer

"Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good."

Are you trying to produce a perfect, finished product every time? Are you spending so much time looking for the perfect font, tuning just the right shade of blue, aligning all your boxes across six spreads, that it's half past supper and you're only a third done the brochure?

Maybe your problem is the 110%. Not every flyer is the Mona Lisa. Try narrowing down your choices (pick four favorite colors, pick six favorite fonts, only give yourself half an hour for photo research) and see if that helps.

1/14/2011 1:52:00 PM

First of all try to identify what parts of the process are slowing you down the most. It's easier to work on it if you analyze it well.

Maybe it's too obvious but keyboard shortcuts make really a HUGE difference. I'm using my software for a few years already and I'm still discovering new shortcuts that are significantly improving my workflow. Don't get yourself limited with defaults only. Get creative in invention of your own shortcuts because your workflow is perfectly unique.

Also try to find out which of your activities have a repetitive character. Creating various templates, presets and actions can give you some bonus time.

Maybe you could also change your digital work environment to better suit your needs by playing with a windows/tools screen layout for a while or getting a second display.

Concentration affects your workflow A LOT in both directions. Think about what helps you to get concentrated and what distracts you when you work.

Anyway being 'forced' to be creative ASAP is often struggle for me to...

Don't forget to enjoy it. Be a ninja! .)

Sorry if my tips are too basic. Its hard to guess what's right for you without knowing your style of work.
I hope it helps you or somebody else around.