Topic: Recommendations for improving design skills?

I know variations of this question come up regularly, but I'm not seeing anything *quite* the same in the archives.  smile

I consider myself a web developer, kind of half-programmer, half-designer, and honestly, "fair to middling" at both.  I'm content enough with my programming skills at the moment (mostly because I have a plan to improve those), but I'd really like to upgrade my design skills.

I'm hoping you all can recommend books/sites/etc. that will help me get a little more polished (my stuff isn't hideous, it's just kind of boring).  Part of my problem is that "I don't know what I don't know", I just know it's missing something.

Any suggestions?

Re: Recommendations for improving design skills?

For typography, I would recommend this book - http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Typograp … 0881791326

Give me liturgy or give me death.

Re: Recommendations for improving design skills?

Find sites you admire and blogs of designers you admire and learn from them! smile A big help for me though, beyond that, is looking at all design - graphic design for print, movie credits are cool inspiration, even automobile design and fashion design are great. Pay close attention to color, space and lines. Look at photographs from pro photographers too. Get 3-D. Get on your knees and look at the world from the ground level, then climb a ladder or a hill and look down. Change perspective and most of all, get off the computer. Design can't be taught in a book or a blog, though there are the fundamentals, like web standards, typography and what-not.

One other thing... don't be afraid to ask specific questions as you run into places where you're stuck. I still get stuck too and Godbit peeps have been awesome in helping me figure things out. If there's a technique you need help with or something just isn't as snazzy as you'd like and you want help there, we're here for you!

Re: Recommendations for improving design skills?

Whenever I am feeling dry I go surfing...

Design Meltdown
Logo Pond
Fascination.se
Design Shack
Veer.com (Excellent typography)
Corbis Image Search

Re: Recommendations for improving design skills?

while looking at sites for inspiration is helpful, it can be a really time-consuming way to learn if you're trying to figure out what works or doesn't work. knowing the basic rules of design can make a huge difference in your work, you'd be surprised how big of an impact the little things can make.

The Elements of Graphic Design is a great place to start, Creativity for Graphic Designers is another of my faves when it comes to generating ideas. hope that helps...

chris (fig): i'm not random, i'm tangent oriented... : www.tangentoriented.com