The Best Design Advice I Can Give. See the Whole Forest.

See The Whole Forest: Design Principle to Live By

See the whole forest.

When you are in the midst of a creative process, it can be easy to focus strenuously on a single design element.

I realized this in a college studio class when I had my eyes inches from the computer screen. A professor saw me obsessing over details. She intervened, sharing a design principle to live by,

“Don’t focus so intently on one little tree, a seedling. Step back. See the whole forest.

In order to gain a sense of clarity and make pivotal design decisions, you need to do more than move your text to the left 5 pixels or change a tone of gray to a fraction of a shade darker. To grasp ideas for critical changes, you need a new vantage point.

Try this:

▸ Take a real step back. Or 5. Try taking 5 paces back from your canvas and then review.

▸ Look from different angles and depths.

You’ll most likely see major shifts and edits that will fundamentally improve your design.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Bateman

    What you wrote is very true. You do need to step back and see the total concept or design. Most things are viewed from a distance and not up close.


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