5 True Things Every Creative Already Knows (or Should Know) Vol. 1

1) Practice! Practice! Practice!

Making a commitment to get better at what you do is the exact same thing as actually getting better at what you do. Every great artist or creative started as a lesser version of themselves and has achieved greater and greater things only through the making or the doing of their work.

So get your notebook, make your sketches, write down your ideas, and just get stuff done. Pretty soon all that “practice” won’t be practice anymore.

2) A Little Passion and Enthusiasm Can Go a Long Way

You may not be the most skilled artist or the most “naturally talented” but having passion for what you do will take you much farther than just having some kind of “natural” aptitude.

Passion enables you to fight harder and last longer than your “more skilled” counterparts.

Enthusiasm will help you stay positive through some tough challenges. That fight, that struggle and being able to get through it, builds a better work ethic and stronger character which ultimately, makes you a better artist.

3) Creative Blocks Aren’t Real

When you feel like all your ideas just don’t work or you think you have no new ideas, it’s not because you’re actually creatively blocked. It’s because you’ve allowed yourself to think you CAN be blocked.

The human mind isn’t actually capable of not producing ideas. That’s all humans do, constantly and involuntarily. We organize and we look for patterns and solutions for everything around us whether we want to or not. That’s just how our brains work. This method for finding new ideas works on that basic principle.

4) You Have to Create the Conditions in Which New Ideas Can Happen

We, as artists and creatives, like the notion that our best ideas just “come to us.” There’s something mysterious and romantic about being “inspired.”

However, in reality, great ideas come from the synthesis of all our experiences and circumstances – unconsciously, more often than not – which can make it feel like our ideas just suddenly appear out of nowhere.

The truth is, new ideas come from new information and new experiences. That is why going out to see and experience the world is essential for finding new ideas for your work. Nothing new will ever happen just staring at your computer screen all day or by sticking to your comfortable routine. Ideas don’t actually come to you, you have to go to where ideas happen.

5) Focus is Your Best Friend

Don’t half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing. – Ron Swanson

There’s always the temptation to want to do a lot of things well, especially for most modern creatives and artists. We all want to be great designers, illustrators, Photoshop magicians, or photographers. More to the point, we want to be all these things, all at the same time. So we “work hard” and study and hone many different skills, working with as many different ideas as we possibly can. 

Sure, it can feel great knowing that you’re able to take a decent picture while also being able to design a decent web page and a decent logo to match. But that’s all they will ever be: Decent. Passable. Adequate. 

Wouldn’t you rather be a singularly fantastic Photographer rather than be a middling designer/illustrator/videographer/web developer/photographer?

What are other true things you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below.

 

Google's Redesigned Identity Gets it Right

Last night, as I was doing my nightly run around the internet, I noticed Google’s new logo in a favicon of a new tab I had just opened.

“That’s not a Google tab,” I thought. What is that?!

So I clicked on the tab and low and behold, it was indeed a Google results page but the Google logo on the top left was very different. At first, I thought it was just another Google doodle so I clicked it to see what it was all about.

Little did I know that Google had in fact redesigned their identity. An obligatory quirky Google animation played, erasing the old logo which was then replaced by the new logo we see today.

image_01_google

I stared at the new logo for a few minutes and a mix of emotions washed over me and questions soon followed.

“Do I like this?”

“Is this the right direction?”

“Does it look good?”

I thought about it for a few more minutes and I the answer to all these questions was a resounding “Yes.”

The thing about logos (especially for companies as large and as ubiquitous as Google) is that people often form bonds with them without even noticing it. And when a logo is redesigned or changed in any way, you’re more than likely going to have some strong reactions, one way or another. I know I did.

Think about the logos you grew up with and try to imagine how you felt when they changed or when they were redesigned. Yahoo! redesigned their logo a couple of years ago and it was met with criticism. Spotify just changed the color of their logo and many people expressed their discontent. These logos and symbols carry lots of meanings and associations and even a slight change can automatically alter those meanings for us. And a change we’re not comfortable with ultimately brings negative feelings and thus, negative impressions.

So what then, is the difference between a successful redesign and a doomed one?

Impressed with Google’s recent redesign, I set out to learn more about what went into their process and I came upon this blog post from the Google Design team which offers some insight into their approach to the new redesigned identity.

The 4th item on their brief immediately caught my eye:

A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.

It is a simple statement that immediately addresses what any good redesign should be about. Taking the best of what we know and feel about an organization and considering what we will need moving forward.

A logo redesign (whether it’s for a small company or a huge corporation) isn’t about just “a new coat of paint.” It isn’t just about finding the perfect balance, flow, legibility, and whatever graphic design lingo you want to throw around. No, a graphic redesign — at its core — is about something much simpler (or more complex, depending on how you look at it). It’s an acknowledgment of the past with an eye towards the future. It’s about taking your best qualities as an organization and refining it to remain relevant for the things to come.

I think this is why Google’s redesign has left a positive impression on me. After learning of Google’s restructuring into Alphabet recently, I was indeed a little worried about what kind of company Google was going to become. Given that “Search” is one of the most powerful forces on the internet for quite some time now, Google’s redesign feels like an affirmation — or at least a statement — that Google will still be the Google we know… but slightly different.

With the new logo, Google remains quirky and fun and lighthearted but a little grown up. At least it seems that way for now.

What do you guys think of the new redesign? Discuss in the comments below.

Exceptional Vistas Captured on Google Earth

Photography has always been about having a vision, first and foremost. The camera is merely a tool one uses to achieve that vision.

Meike Nixdorf,the photographer behind the project “Your Earth Transforms, in fact uses images from satellites orbiting the Earth to capture some of the world’s most renowned mountain ranges from a very different perspective.

The project aims to capture the effects of the earth’s weathering and erosion at a certain point in time with the knowledge that the world is always changing and is always in a state of flux and may never be the same again.

According to Meike Nixdorf, “Your Earth Transforms” aims to show “the beauty the earth’s forces created and are still creating and the invisible transformations within the earth’s crust.”

Check out some of the images she’s created below and make sure to visit her portfolio to see more of her work.

Your Earth Transforms by Meike Nixdorf

image_01_meike_nixdorf

image_02_meike_nixdorf

image_03_meike_nixdorf

image_04_meike_nixdorf

 

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

50 Restaurant Websites for Inspiration

With over 1 million restaurant locations to choose from, how do you ensure yours stands out? You create an effective website that draws people in.

Designing a worthwhile website for a restaurant entails more than vibrant colors and pictures of food. When a website is designed successfully it is easy for customers to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and includes key details such as location, menu, hours, etc.

If a person has never been to your restaurant before, then your website is their first impression. That’s why it’s so important for your website to highlight all the great qualities about it.

The purpose of your restaurant website design should not only be to increase awareness of your restaurant, but to also give potential customers a sense of what they would experience.

If you need help creating a website perfect for your restaurant you can contact us today to talk to a design expert! You can also check out our website design tips for restaurants for additional guidance.

Below you can see lots of beautiful restaurant website designs for ideas and inspiration!

Image of a restaurant website: Ruxbin ChicagoRuxbin Chicago

Image of a restaurant website: Risotteria MelottiRisotteria Melotti

Image of a restaurant website: The Eddy NYCThe Eddy NYC

Image of a restaurant website: BrassBrass

Image of a restaurant website: Quay RestaurantQuay Restaurant

Image of a restaurant website: Junction MoamaJunction Moama

Image of a restaurant website: Marianne RestaurantMarianne Restaurant

Image of a restaurant website: Arbor RestaurantArbor Restaurant

Image of a restaurant website: BaobabBaobab

Image of a restaurant website: Mercer TavernMercer Tavern

Image of a restaurant website: WhitmansWhitmans

Image of a restaurant website: Brindisa Tapas KitchensBrindisa Tapas Kitchens

Image of a restaurant website: Cow&Co CafeCow&Co Cafe

Image of a restaurant website: The Monocle CaféThe Monocle Café

Image of a restaurant website: Drury BuildingsDrury Buildings

Image of a restaurant website: Fino ParFino Par

Image of a restaurant website: Colonia VerdeColonia Verde

Image of a restaurant website: Bay Street BiergartenBay Street Biergarten

Image of a restaurant website: LemonadeLemonade

Image of a restaurant website: Fuel CafeFuel Cafe

Image of a restaurant website: OLÉ SOIREEOLÉ SOIREE

Image of a restaurant website: Big Apple Hot DogsBig Apple Hot Dogs

Image of a restaurant website: Restaurant Can JubanyRestaurant Can Jubany

Image of a restaurant website: giraffegiraffe

Image of a restaurant website: Benito's HatBenito’s Hat

Image of a restaurant website: Cafe SydneyCafe Sydney

Image of a restaurant website: BraeBrae

Image of a restaurant website: Shizuku RamenShizuku Ramen – Contemporary Japanese Restaurant

Image of a restaurant website: Jaffle JaffleJaffle Jaffle

Image of a restaurant website: FifteenJamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant London

Image of a restaurant website: CARAVANCARAVAN Restaurant, Bar & Roastery

Image of a restaurant website: WiredWired

Image of a restaurant website: Duke's Brew & QueDuke’s Brew & Que

Image of a restaurant website: Jacks BarJacks Bar

Image of a restaurant website: The Paper MillThe Paper Mill

Image of a restaurant website: The Kings ArmsThe Kings Arms

Image of a restaurant website: PitchPitch

Image of a restaurant website: The BancroftThe Bancroft

Image of a restaurant website: Joe's GarageJoe’s Garage

Image of a restaurant website: Maaemo RestaurantMaaemo Restaurant

Image of a restaurant website: Supreme SupremeSupreme Supreme

Image of a restaurant website: GauchoGaucho

Image of a restaurant website: Chick's Fry HouseChick’s Fry House

Image of a restaurant website: The Black SparrowThe Black Sparrow

Image of a restaurant website: easybistro.comeasybistro.com

Image of a restaurant website:

Image of a restaurant website: The OrdinaryThe Ordinary

Image of a restaurant website: Marco GrillMarco Grill

Image of a restaurant website: L’Amour FouL’Amour Fou

Image of a restaurant website: Artifact CoffeeArtifact Coffee

Your website is your introduction to potential diners, so you need to make a good first impression. Potential customers are more likely to dine at your restaurant if your website makes them feel engaged and informed.

Don’t just take our word for it though – four in five restaurant operators agree that restaurant technology helps increase sales, make their restaurant more productive, and gives their restaurant a competitive edge!

Do you need help creating a website for your restaurant or updating your current restaurant web design? Contact us today to speak with one of our design experts! With over 350 client testimonials and over $700m sales driven for our customers, we have the knowledge necessary to make your website successful.

Related Content

Jacob Gube is the founder of Six Revisions. He’s a front-end developer. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Watch Artists' Creative Process in Real-Time at Sywork.tv

Sywork– short for Show Your Work — is a new sharing platform which allows illustrators and creatives to show off their work as it is being created.

The really exciting thing about Sywork.tv is the fact that it was created specifically for artists and creatives enabling them to share their process with a community of like-minded and passionate individuals. There’s a real potential for learning and collaboration and we can’t wait to see what the community comes up with.

While it can be argued that the mystery surrounding an artist’s creative process can add value (i.e. mystique, awe, or “how did that happen?!!?”) to their work, allowing others to get a glimpse of how it’s done can also be just as valuable.

Artists who choose to show their work on Sywork.tv get their own profile where people can watch them work and chat and interact with everyone else watching. For those interested in the creative process, real-time insights and meaningful discussions regarding the artist’s creative process can easily develop in the comment boards and chatrooms. If you’re looking to improve your skills or learn some new techniques, then watching other artists “do it” can certainly help with that as well.

Of course, not everyone will get on board with this idea. We personally know some artists who are very guarded with their process and their techniques. But for those who love to share and get feedback on their work, Sywork.tv might just be what you’re looking for.

Check out Sywork.tv here.

image_01_sywork

If you’ve created a Sywork profile, let us know about it in the comments section and share your stream with us!

Zero UI — The Future of Interfaces

Are we in the era of Zero UI? Not quite, but we’re getting close.

Zero UI is the concept of removing the barrier between user and device, and having a more seamless interaction with technology.

Industry advancements are moving towards not only more intuitive and integrated pieces of tech, but also an environment that creates less disconnect from our world, providing authentic, meaningful interactive spaces.

Zero UI is all about how we as the user interact with our content. Typically we have a device being interacted with directly through a touchscreen, or indirectly with a remote control. Zero UI is the push to become even more integrated with our tech. Touchless tech or Zero UI.

While a world completely devoid of physical interfaces may never be a reality, being less tied to our devices may be in the cards.

At the helm of this transition are gesture-based user interfaces. The gaming world has been one of the first to adopt gesture controls as a way of providing a more natural user experience.  Think Wii, PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect. Our ability to control our gaming console has become less tied to button commands and instead allows us to incorporate more properties of physical space and motion into our experience.

More recently, Google has announced an advancement to gesture control through Project Soli, a chip that will allow users to gesture above a device without needing to touch the screen directly.

Say "so long" to tapping tiny buttons on a small screen; with this project by Google, users will be able to press their fingers together and incorporate other hand gestures that simulate using physical controls.

Machine-learning technologies employed by companies like Nest are helping to further the idea of touchless interfaces.

Having tech that doesn’t get in the way is crucial to having devices that feel more like a part of our environment, rather than foreign objects taking up our space.

Just as our lives are multidimensional, our devices must also be able to have and understand a complete 360o vantage point.

Related Content

Jenna Palermo is a designer for ESPN and also an online design instructor. She’s based in Los Angeles, CA. Check out her projects on Behance, follow her on Twitter @wittythings, and visit her site: Yes Juliet.