ANNA PENG

Do Something Everyday

If you want to learn how to create gorgeous posters on Illustrator, you can’t indefinitely spend your time scrolling through other people’s work.

This is why we learn by doing. 

Just like how we can’t learn to swim by reading a book, we can’t get better at design by simply talking about it.

Doing is the hard part. Fortunately, nobody said you had to be good when starting out.

The key is just to visit the task every day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, because done is better than keeping it all in your head.


The Critics Lie

Criticism is a response to an unfulfilled lie we tell ourselves.

Before you entered the restaurant you’ve never been to, you took one good look at the logo sign, the surrounding environment, and the people around it. Unconsciously within a split second, you told yourself a lie about what to expect.

These snap judgements happen everywhere, and everybody does it.

They’re powerful, because once the lie forms, it hard to convince us that we’re wrong. We’ll even start to seek evidence to support our lie just so we don’t have to change our mind.

This is the battle between Mac and PC, Photoshop and Canva, LinkedIn and Instagram, OCAD and the community college across the street, Fjällräven and Herschel, Dr. Martens and Converse. 

More importantly, if the lie you told yourself isn’t fulfilled, you’ll be disappointed. And so as designers we have to find the lies, understand them, and make sure everything we do fits within the lie that people tell themselves.


Keep it Simple, Stupid

Complexity for complexity’s sake doesn’t improve anybody’s life. You’ll more likely create friction for your audience the more complex your design is.

On the other hand, being able to simplify things while keeping utility intact is a sign of proficiency that mostly goes unnoticed to a general audience. 

Anybody can request complexity and add more work to a design, but it takes somebody who’s familiar with restraint to deliver the least clunky product.

There’s no reward for adding complexity, so keep it simple.

Using Format