Solve Common Design Challenges with Roberto Blake, Amtrak, and an iPad
Have you ever started off with a design template, and hours later found yourself looking at a Frankenstein version of your original concept so horrible that you had no choice but to start over from scratch?
Yeah? Welcome to the club.
Templates can be helpful tools, but when it comes to design slower is faster. Many designers concept and ideate long before they start the actual design process.
We ask ourselves questions like:
Where should text go?
Where do I want my images?
Am I prioritizing the flow of information correctly?
Traditionally that exploration starts with pen and paper, where we’ll sketch, scratch and scrap an idea into oblivion. The irony is that all this effort occurs before actual assets are even used.
Sadder still is that solutions to design obstacles come to us when we’re outside the studio more often than when we’re facing our computer screen.
And because most of us are constantly in transit, even if we could Sherpa our entire studio everywhere we went, would we? Are there tools out there that:
- support our natural creative process
- enable real asset exploration
- work with a mobile lifestyle
There sure is, Adobe Comp CC. We asked designer and marketer Roberto Blake to put Comp to the test during his process of creating assets for his brand.
When asked about his creative process, he said:
- Generic templates don’t satisfy my creative needs as a designer or marketer.
- I’m tired of losing track of loose sketches or not remembering what they were intended for.
- Sketching doesn’t give me with a crystal clear sense of the design.
- When traveling a sketchbook is just one more thing to carry around; I have my iPhone or iPad on me 99% of the time.
Putting Comp to the Test
Roberto jumped on Amtrak for an overnight ride out of North Carolina bound for New York City.
When I first launched Comp on my iPad I tapped this little icon in the upper right and noticed I could view a demo of Comp’s gestures. (See Figure below “Gestures”)
Gestures are reminiscent of finger painting whereby an X becomes a placeholder for an image. (See Figure “image gesture” and Figure “image_pho”).
When I tapped into the place holder image box and the image icon at the bottom of the screen, I could bring in assets from my Creative Cloud Files, Market and Adobe Stock. (See Figure “image_library:”)
I scrolled through my files and found the image I wanted. (See Figure “image files”)
All I had to do to complete the flow was select the image and tap Open File. (See Figure “open file”)
I waited a second or two and the asset appeared in the place holder box on my screen in Comp. (See Figure “place image”)
I played around with gestures a little more and discovered I could do really cool things with color and change the background or foreground appearance.
I drew a box around the entire business card and then tapped the color icon at the bottom of the screen. (See Figure “color gesture” and Figure “back color 1”)
Next I chose a color and watched as it filled in the gesture box I drew. (See Figure “back color 2”)
I discovered this tool that let me move the orange box to the background of my business card. (See Figure “background tool”)
Using the same gesture tool, I inserted place holder text. (See Figure text gesture)
Comp dropped in resizable dummy text. If I selected the letter T at the bottom of the screen, Typekit launched and I could swap the dummy text with a real font. (See Figure “typekit”)
And if I tapped inside of the text box, my keyboard launched so I could change the text completely and then pick the right font from Typekit. (See Figure “typing” and Figure “type”)
After a few gestures, swipes and taps on my iPad I had a wireframe for my newsletter in just a few seconds. (See Figure “final”)
Comp let me explore my layout while I was in the moment. Normally I sketch on paper and spend more time getting my idea from the analog world to digital — which kind of feels like the same thing twice. Even more importantly, I spent the same amount of time working through design obstacles and ideas on paper as I did in Comp. With Comp, once the problem was solved, it was solved digitally too.
Comp feels natural to me. Unlike traditional sketching, it removes the additional steps you go through to bring that sketch to life. If you’re a designer that values their time, I suggest you explore Adobe Comp CC. You’ll be surprised by how quickly and freely you can work.
Thanks, Roberto, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Try Comp CC for yourself now.