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Design Lessons

Design Lessons

Tips for Improving Your Logos

March 1, 2017
Some of my best tips for how to improve your logo designs.

Over the past year I’ve gotten a lot of questions about logo design. I’ve approached this topic by showing you how to create a few different types of logos in Illustrator. I also want to emphasize that just knowing how to make a logo is not enough. We need to know what makes a GOOD logo. Having a good logo is the first step to amazing branding. It is also a great skill to have if you are trying to make money as a graphic designer.

In this video, I will be critiquing some logos from Fiverr and giving you guys tips for improving your own logo designs. The critiques and tips I cover will help you stand out from the Fiverr crowd and better sell your design skills to clients.

Check out some of our other videos:
Which is Better for Logo Design? Illustrator or Photoshop?
Create a Custom Type Logo in Illustrator
Mascot Logo Design Speed Art Tutorial

Design Lessons

How to Be a Good Graphic Designer

February 15, 2017

In this video I will be talking to you about different ways that you can be a good Graphic Designer, not just technically, but fundamentally. Over the next month I will be giving you more tips that will help you understand the industry, what makes good design vs bad design, and ways to help you start to carve out your own path in making a profit as a Graphic Designer.

Check out some of our other videos:
Adobe Illustrator Basics Videos
Using the History Panel and Snapshots in Photoshop
How to Create a Subway Sign in Photoshop

Design Lessons

Why Fiverr is Hurting Designers | New Intro Video for Teach Me To Design

August 16, 2016

In this video I’ll talk a bit about Fiverr and my own personal experiences with it. I used the website to get my first intro video for this channel, but then discovered another channel with the exact same video. Previously, I had already I decided that I wanted to learn a bit of motion graphics… this just lit the fire under my butt. After studying After Effects over the last few months, I felt it would be a good idea to create a new intro video for TMTD. I am proud to share the finished video with you all today!


Design Lessons

Intro to Design Theory

April 14, 2016

What is Graphic Design? All along I have been saying how Graphic Design is more than just knowing how to use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign – it’s about visual communication. In this video I am going to be discussing Design Theory and how your education in Graphic Design needs to begin with a solid foundation. The terms, ideas, and practices that we use to communicate visually (and also the ones we use to talk about design) are known as the elements and principals. That is why over the next couple of weeks I will be doing videos that focus on these elements and principals of Graphic Design to help you get your design career on track.

Design Lessons

5 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Next Design Project

April 5, 2016

So you have your first (or maybe not your first) client. You are excited to get started and you jump right into Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign to get started only to find that you have a ton of questions that you haven’t asked about. In this lesson I will give you the 5 questions to ask before starting your next design project. This is a starting point will help you to get the information you need from your client so that you can do the best work possible. As I’ve said before, it’s about working smarter, so make sure that you get lots of info before deciding to jump right into the pool.


Design Lessons Inspiration

Anatomy of Typography

March 20, 2016
Anatomy of Typography

In order to become a better designer you have to communicate using all of the design lingo and terminology. Remember, at it’s core, Graphic Design is about visual communication – particularly if you want to be a great typographer or create amazing type.

When you begin taking on real-world projects (whether for a client or your own business), a basic understanding of letter forms and all of their parts is essential. For example, if you were an illustrator hired to draw cool comic book characters, you’d need to know basic human anatomy to begin drawing the characters accurately.

(It may seem like a dry subject, but think of it like showing an appreciation for your craft and it will make it a little more enjoyable.)

I created the image below to be a study guide of sorts. It should help you learn all of the different parts that make up the anatomy of typography.

Anatomy of Typography

An image showing all of the terms that make up the anatomy of a typeface.

Creating type used to be a painstaking process. Often times setting type and page layouts by hand took hours. Now with programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, we can digitally typeset. This means you can download a font and slap it on your website or projects fairly easily. However, we should still be mindful of not only the kerning and linespacing of our type, but also our font selection.

There are many different categories of fonts including scripts, serifs, sans serifs, and slab serif’s, but if you aren’t familiar with them or know how they are used it will be hard for you to make effective design choices when pairing fonts together in your work. I go into more detail about this subject in a recent video post called Communicating with Typography. Here you will begin to see how your font choices impact the viewer and the way your viewer feels. It is important to understand this and to remember that type should be legible and easy to read, but just because something is legible does not mean that it communicates effectively.

Learn from the masters

There are  many great typographers out there who are a constant inspiration for me. I would highly recommend finding some great examples that speak to you and try to understand what it is about them that you like so much.

Some of these artists even create their own fonts and books of beautifully crafted typography that you can purchase to add to your design collection. The artists mentioned below are a few of my personal favorites who not only have a mastery of type and design, but also have an incredibly inspiring body of work.

Louise Fili
Louise Fili is not only an incredible, highly-decorated typographer, she has been extremely prolific since founding her company Louise Fili Ltd in 1989. Specializing in brand packaging for food and restaurants, her design studio has also created many great book covers, signage, and logos for a lot of big names. Earlier in her career, Louise Fili actually worked as a Senior Designer for Herb Lubalin who is one of the most famous American Graphic Designers and the inventor of the Avante Garde typeface. I was fortunate enough to see one of her lectures in New York a few years ago. I can tell you that she is equally sincere and passionate about her art as she is skilled.


Luke Lucas
The Australian-based Art Director, Illustrator, and Graphic Designer Luke Lucas is the Co-Founder of Lifelounge and Fourinarow Magazine. Luke has a hugely diverse portfolio of highly detailed and fun typography. Many of his projects include logos, magazine covers, and advertising for some big name clients such as Nike, McDonalds, and Maxim Magazine.

Jessica Hische
Jessica Hische is an amazing artist who creates beautiful illustrations spanning several genres of art from film and book cover designs to cards, invitations, and even her own typefaces that she sells through her website.


Alex Trochut
Alex Trochut has a deep understanding and appreciation for typography as an art form. On his website he says “Typography functions on two hierarchical levels. First, there is the image of the word we see; reading comes secondary.” Alex is extremely gifted at mixing different visual styles drawing from fashion, music, and pop-culture. Some of his clients include Time Out Magazine, Pepsi, and Absolut Vodka.


Additional Resources: Typography Deconstructed, Designer Insights, Typedia.

If you are interested in learning more about typography or if you enjoyed this article, please let us know in the comments below.

Design Lessons Video

Communicating with Typography

March 10, 2016

The typeface we choose can often help or hurt our message. Yes, all type communicates, but the font or ‘appearance’ of those words can have deep meaning and evoke certain feelings from the viewer. In this lesson we will discuss the differences between styles of fonts, kerning vs linespacing, and using type as a metaphor or words that look like their meaning. This will be especially helpful for people interested in learning some tips about layout and logo design as we look at several ways to use typography to communicate.

If you enjoyed this video you might also like:
Logo Evolution Episode 1
3 Ways to Create Custom Type in Illustrator



Design Lessons Video

Logo Evolution Episode 1

March 2, 2016

In this lesson we will take a look at some well known brands and how they have evolved over the years. It is important for companies to reinvent themselves and stay current although some have done this more successfully than others.

Design Lessons Video

Leading the Viewer’s Eye

February 16, 2016

In this video I am going to be talking about how you can lead the viewer’s eye in your artwork. It is an important design lesson that you may be using already, but perhaps without realizing you are doing it. If you become more aware of these invaluable tips you can learn to use them intentionally in order to make your work stronger and more deliberate. I will demonstrate some of these graphic devices with several examples that I have put together as well as showing you some real world examples of how this works so you can see it in action.

Suicide Squad Poster by Works LA

Macbeth Poster by Empire Design

Kill Bill Poster by Gianmarco Magnani