If you have ever studied design at College or University, then you will have experienced a design critique. Back when I was studying, we had a few formal critiques per semester, and informal critiques every week between our peers and our design lecturers. These critiques played an important role in the ongoing development of our design projects.
Typically, a critique would involve us walking over to the wall and sticking up a printout (or sketch) of a logo or poster. Then we would step back, and the class would take turns to comment on the work and our lecturer would contribute to the discussion too. It was quite a difficult thing for me to get comfortable with at first because people are basically standing around passing comment on your work, which you may have poured your soul into for a few weeks. Once you get it though, the experience is ultimately a really positive one.
When you are in such a thriving close knit design group it is easy to get immediate feedback on your work. But when you are out of that environment and floating about in the real world for a while you can very easily fall into the trap of working in isolation. I’m not necessarily talking about working on your own – you coud be working in a busy team and still technically be working in design isolation (in my opinion).
What I mean by design isolation is you may not be actively seeking feedback on your work from your design peers. Seeking feedback from a Sales Manager is not the same as seeking feedback from another designer.
Regardless of how skilled and experienced you may be, you can always benefit from getting constructive feedback from other skilled designers.
You may see where I’m going with this now – dribbble. I have been using dribbble lately to get some feedback on logos, and it has always helped me better my work. However, you don’t necessarily need to be using something like dribbble to get feedback, even just asking a few people on twitter or other designers you know to take a peak at something for you can be helpful.
Even if you can’t disclose your work to anyone else due to privacy issues, then you could still work on little fun projects to keep your skills fresh and seek feedback on that work to continue to better yourself.
Recently I was getting feedback on a logo from Graham Smith, and Catherine Azzarello. And when you have the privilege of getting a critique from designers with 25+ years of experience… be smart, and listen. This feedback is the most valuable you can receive. Graham enjoys sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience, and he has just launched The Logo Clinic for designers to submit their logos to him for feedback and advice.
Do you value constructive criticism and actively seek feedback on your work?
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