Tips, Tricks and How-to's for designing Assets

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Tips, Tricks and How-to's for designing Assets

I was wondering if there are those interested in designing assets for scrapping, and if they would like to share ideas, how-to's and so on in a thread?

Sounds like a good idea. I might need something a little more specific to respond to, but perhaps others have tips or questions that can get us started.

I have no idea how to design anything, and I haven't the first idea where to look, so I'd be interested about how to start out, simple / standard / basics of it.

Well I usually design with a kit in mind, so I start with a color palette and a theme. Doing a bit of brainstorming before you begin is really key, also choosing wisely. I've picked out a couple color palettes that it turns out I really secretly hated and the whole design process really dragged. Picking colors can be quite complicated because obviously I can't keep using the same colors, but knowing which colors you will love and which ones you will hate is surprisingly hard to tell (at least for me). Usually I'm surprised by enjoying colors I previously thought I didn't.

Joining a blog train where the color palette and theme is already set is a great way to get started. Takes all that thinking out of it and you can just jump in a do something. Perhaps you saw the one we're having here in December. That one is great because it's no commitment and you can just share whatever you end up with. A good chance to get your feet wet.

Thanks. I saw that, and have the color palette, we'll see if things work in my favor so I'll have more time to test the waters!

Marisa has a ton of awesome templates that are perfect creating digi-scrap! I've been using them for a couple of years. There's so much variety that there isn't a need to create your own templates until you feel ready to try.

Also, when I'm stuck for a set of colors to start a kit, sometimes I find photos i like color-wise (pinterest, flickr, etc.) then use the ChipIt feature on the Sherwin-Williams website http://letschipit.com/ which extracts many of the colors which you can save and download. This is a helpto me because grouping colors for a kit/set is tough for me.

Great tip Elizabeth... I hadn't seen the Sherwin-Williams tool before. Thanks for sharing it!

This is a cool and very use tip related to trimming out the unwanted pixels when designing assets. I posted it yesterday or the day before, and frankly I didn't know where to put it, so I put in in the Photoshop forum. How Remove Pixels on Assets

This is probably a silly question, but I don't know much about designing assets. Why would you need/want to trim the unwanted pixels if the element is already on a transparent background? I should probably do a bit of research. smiley

One reason is that sometimes the element isn't already on a transparent background; it has been extracted from a larger composition, like from an old greeting card for example, and it has jagged edges or stray pixels which remain in the background that need cleaned up.

Thanks Tina for the pixel trimming tip!! smiley

nice tip, it will help to keep files smaller.

I have actually tried to make my first designs, using the december blog train colors and christmas theme. Although I am not going to post them, since I don't have a blog and I have too little time to actually finish it. But I am very interested in trying to design. Where do I start? I tried this method: staring at CU kits, trying to figure out what they are meant for... But that doesn't seem to get me very far smiley Have any of you seen good designing tutorials by 'established' designers?

What I used to do when I started designing was find a layout I liked and completely recreate it myself (making all the papers and elements). Trying to learn the skills you need to design plus coming up with ideas can be very challenging; too many things to think about. So just spending some time recreating things you like will help you build skills and help your brain start thinking like a designer. I still keep a folder of stuff I like to browse through when I need some inspiration.

Good tip, Marisa! I have just been aimlessly making papers and christmas trees, but trying to re-create something is a much better way to go. Although some techniques still have me stomped..

Working on the blog train, I really struggled with staying on-palette (sorta like staying on task, also a problem for me). I ended up with five different kits.

In terms of design inspiration, I clip anything that appeals to my eye in any way - a shape, a color combo, a font, a photo - and then when I'm in need of inspiration, I dig through that file. Things in that file include the side of a kleenex box, bits and pieces of magazine pages, parts of Christmas and greeting cards, fabric swatches, a wine label, a piece of stationary I've had since I was 13.... And sometimes like my recipe file, I will look back through it and pull out something and wondered why I ever liked it in the first place! Pinterest of course is good for that too, but that turns into a huge time suck and I'm wary of being "overly" inspired by the work of others, so I try not to spend too much time there.

If you have specific questions about making something, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

I am a minimalist when I scrap traditional layouts (as opposed to art journaling) so I struggle with knowing what assets to include in my kits. One thing I have learned- scrappers love flowers for some reason... you can't go wrong including lots of flowers! And flowers need greenery. Pictures need fasteners or frames. Project Life is big now so journal cards are popular.

There are certainly design classes you can buy at a couple of digiscrap stores but there's tons of free how to videos too. Most of the free stuff is aimed at scrapping more than designing but it helps to get familiar with your graphics program and then you can start adapting those lessons to designing.

My final lesson was just recently learned in a design contest- have a terrific set of Quality Check actions and know how to use them! I got booted out because I hadn't properly used my actions...

Quality checking actions sound nice... Wonder if they have something like that for PSP?

@Molly

Quote:
have a terrific set of Quality Check actions and know how to use them!

I never even heard of Quality checking actions... haha, better hold of designing till I figure out what they are (and how to use them!)

I´d like to know more about quality check on designing too! What I did with my freebie for the blogtrain was asking my husband, thats a professional graphic designer, to see if the images were clear and in good resolution, but, in fact, I have no idea if I did it right or if I´m missing something!

The Daily Digi has a nice quality control manual. If you go to this post the link is in the first paragraph.

There are lots of things in there I never thought about, and some I have still to implement, but I think they pretty much "wrote the book" on digi scrapping quality control.

Thanks for sharing smiley

great post, very informative information. I too have often wondered about this topic. It really boggles me as a starting point, like how to create that texture that is used to create a paper. I'm trying to pick up bits and pieces of information from various sources but the tutorials and forums here have been very informative.

I have an action for PS that will do the quality check. It runs through the gamma & trimming. It will also help you see if there are stray pixels & straggleys. You can dl it free here. I used to have posted a bit about helping become a designer (well, my thoughts on the subject anyway). I have expired it but if anyone here is interested I would be happy to email the zip to you so you can see if it you'd like. Just let me know by letting me know here or emailing me at sugarbuttdesigns@yahoo.com. Either way I would be happy to get it to you.
Hugs

Thanks for the generosity! As soon as I have a little bit more time you may be getting an e-mail from me smiley

Anytime sweetie. Please just email me. If there's anything I can help you with please ask. I may not have the answer but if I do I love to help!
Hugs

Wow, thank you for this! This upcoming blog train will be my first time making stuff for other people and I've been researching how to make sure it's high quality. The actions will help so, so much!

I have a question, how do you deal with copy writes when it comes to scanning or photo acquiring of something that wasn't made by you...idea fabrics with patterns, buttons - my daughter came home with a handful of gorgeous Christmas buttons, silk flowers, ceramics that you didn't make....etc?

I've always been comfortable with making my own wood burnings or sketches and paintings, but have no idea on other items. I've scanned a free of my daughters old dress material, but at this point only use it in my own scrapping.