Francesco Yates is a 26-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter. His music effortlessly blends the pop sound with nuances of R&B and soul. 360 Magazine’s Vaughn Lowery had the chance to sit down with Francesco and chat about his early beginnings in the music industry, and what’s to come for his career.
Listen to Francesco Yates on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Francesco draws his early inspiration from the iconic movie School of Rock. At age 11, the film felt like a dream to him, one that he knew he was going to chase after. Being surrounded by differing music that his parents would play throughout his childhood, too, influenced his artistry.
Francesco recalled hearing his dad listen to “Brown Sugar” by D’Angelo, and other artists like Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin. Being introduced to a diverse palette of performers gave Francesco the opportunity to play and experiment with his own music. “I never felt boxed in, y’know,” he stated.
Having a more classical musical background, Francesco also learned to play the piano at a young age. He still accredits his experience with the piano as a major shaping factor for his career. Incorporating his self-proclaimed “piano chops” into music production, this allowed Francesco to experiment with his sound. With the piano being the initial instrument, he was trained in, he loves to create music with the keys.
At just 16-years-old, Francesco landed a record deal with Atlantic Records, something that he never saw happening. He remembers the feelings that he felt when signing over, stating, “I felt like a deer in headlights.” He made sure to soak learn everything he could during the experience, asserting that “the lessons I learned are invaluable.”
Francesco’s debut EP was released in 2015 while being co-produced by Robin Hannibal and Pharrell Williams. The opportunity to work with such legendary artists is one that he surely did not take lightly. Francesco remembered Williams vision that he had for him, always offering up this one piece of advice. He recalled Williams stating, “the only thing you gotta do is play guitar and chew bubblegum and not look at the audience, that’s what you gotta do,” referring to Francesco’s effortless self-assurance.
Francesco’s latest track, entitled “JIMI” combines his natural imaginative flow with a seemingly pop/R&B/rock feel. He recollected on the writing process for the track, and how the lyrics nearly popped into his head instantly. Using the beloved piano to advance the writing process, “JIMI” hints to Francesco’s laid back, modern vibes
The track carries a feel-good, upbeat aura throughout. The chorus is met by Francesco’s uplifting, impressive voice when he sings out to a lover, “I think I love you, baby, like I love my guitar.”
Modernly as an independent artist, Francesco’s excited for what the future holds next. He hopes to continue to grow and build his own imprint, his own record label. When discussing his number one goal to achieve in the next few years, Francesco communicated that he would love to play theater tours consistently. He’s not driven by the metrics and streaming numbers that he could generate, but more motivated by his passion for his craft. Francesco simply wants to “just be happy and be living.”
We’ll see Francesco join the Backstreet Boys on their North American tour stops in Canada beginning July 24. Opening up for such an iconic group comes as nothing new to Francesco, as he’s opened up for other popular artists like Justin Timberlake in the past. Being able to have opportunities to open for incredible artists has ultimately shaped the way that Francesco works, always striving to learn from other musicians.
Electric Dance music phenomenon YVONTI has caught the attention of countless for their distinctive take on concealing their identity. Though mask mandates have slowly been lifted in the year 2022, YVONTI keeps themselves hidden by wearing a mask. That’s right; this artist’s true identity has been kept completely secret.
So, why exactly do they do it? Why did this choose this route for their career?
YVONTI decided to hide their identity to take a stand in opposition to societal norms, forcing audiences to throw away preconceptions revolving around race, gender and sexuality. In hopes to remind audiences that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, the true matter at hands matters is the music that is being produced. An artist unlike any other that we’ve seen modernly, YVONTI continues to break boundaries.
Adding in the likes of Swedish Dance Pop Music producer/artist MVRE, we see the two powerhouses collaborate on YVONTI’s latest single “Looking For Me” with a fresh remixed track. The track is full of modern, reimagined pop and dance music influences, showcasing the duos true mutual power.
MVRE, too, stands up for what is truly important to him through his musical endeavors. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, MVRE has continued to voice how he often grew up with no other artists inside of the Electric Dance music category that he truly connected with. Speaking on such important topics has cemented himself as an advocate within the musical realm.
The 360 team had the opportunity to chat with both YVONTI and MVRE about their artistic careers.
When speaking with YVONTI, we were able to learn more about their reasoning behind the choice to conceal their identity, their musical inspirations and so much more. Let’s dive in.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
A: Music has been a key part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my teens I discovered Electronic Dance Music and fell in love. After that I started producing and realized I wanted to pursue a career in music.
Q: Tell us a little more about your decision to mask your identity as an artist, and when did you make that artistic decision for your brand?
A: I believe that many uprising issues in the world revolves around preconceptions about colour, sexuality, gender, etc. and I’ve seen it affect the music industry as well. I want people to judge me for my music not judge me for the way I look or the way I act. People are different and if there was more acceptance around the differences there would be fewer conflicts. Strong forces are clearly trying to polarize our society and have so far succeeded since friends/families now can become enemies solely based on different political views. Though I understand that emotions are powerful in questions like these, it shouldn’t ruin those important relationships. I want to be a force to counter the polarization that is connected to preconceptions by letting people judge my music not my person. My plan is to reveal my identity in the future to prove my point.
Q: What type of artist would you describe yourself as? What genres are your favorite to create for?
A: My roots come from the EDM genre but recently I’ve enjoyed producing more pop-like music as well as hiphop.
Q: What does music mean for YVONTI?
A: When I was young, music took me to another place where I could escape reality for a while. I believe that many people feel the same as me, an example is when we’re on a bus or plane and we plug in our headsets and listen to music to escape the less entertaining reality. It’s a way to ”capture the moment” even when the moment isn’t the most enjoyable one. In these situations (and everywhere else) you can choose music after your current mood in order to make yourself feel the way you want to feel. Music is powerful, it can help people in all kinds of situations and my goal is to play a part in my listeners life by creating music that connects them to their emotions.
Q: Will YVONTI’s identity ever be revealed?
A: As noted above I will reveal my identity in the future and if you pay attention you might notice when I start dropping clues on who I am.
Q: What’s next for YVONTI?
A: We’re soon revealing my next release which I am really excited about and more news will follow shortly after. Stay tuned!
360 then got to speak with MVRE about their early beginnings, what LGBTQ+ representation truly means to them and about diversification in the electronic music scene. Let’s take a look at what they had to say.
Q: What was it like growing up in a small town with a lack of diversity and inclusion?
A: I guess you never think of it much as a kid cause all you know is your hometown, but as I got older I slowly started to realize that I didn’t relate that much to the people around me and that there were a few too many that I didn’t share views or values with. Anything that stood out in any way wasn’t really received or accepted particularly well amongst (not all but) most people. I do love my hometown and growing up there, but as with all small towns, however charming, people have a tendency to become cut off and conservative in a way. It’s very sheltered if you don’t actively venture out to see and experience “the real world”.
Q: Did you admire/look up to any artists while growing up that have influenced your artistic career?
A: I think Blink 182 were my first idols going into my early teens and pop punk was the first genre that I really fell in love with. I think I picked up a lot of my way of playing guitar from pop punk, something that I’ve carried over into my EDM productions. I always try to incorporate at least some guitar! Justice was a huge inspiration for getting into electronic music and still holds a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget the first time I heard Swedish House Mafia or Skrillex. I think that speaks a lot for how varied my productions can be, I really take inspiration from most music I like in some way.
Q: When did you decide to pursue creating dance pop music? Did you grow up listening to the genre?
A: No, not really. Like I mentioned, I got into Pop Punk early and from that more Punk and Metal as I started to play in bands. It wasn’t until High School when I heard Justice and similar acts that I started to dabble in making electronic music, though I knew nothing about how to do it. At the end of High School I had gotten into more House music and Dubstep as well and I had my first few DJ-gigs at small clubs. I practiced my productions and my sound started to slowly move towards the Dance Pop-ish sound it has today and 10+ years later here I am, still learning haha! MVRE didn’t come around until around 2017, which was when I decided that I wanted to get more serious about my music.
Q: How important is it for the youth, specifically LGBTQ, to see themselves in the people that they look up to the most?
A: I think it’s very important! It’s about feeling validated, that you belong and knowing you can achieve your dreams, the way you want, just the way you are. Seeing someone “like you” that you look up to can mean a lot.
Q: Do you think that the electronic music scene is making steps towards diversification, or do you think that there’s a long way to go?
A: Yes I do, I think that it’s moving in the right direction. You see more female DJs and artist-producers now than 10 years ago, and more LGBTQ representation too. The mainstream EDM scene is still very “straight-male” dominated, but again, I think it’s moving in the right direction. The more diversity in any genre or field, the more vibrant and meaningful the experience can be for everyone and we all learn and grow from it.
Q: What does electronic music mean to you?
A: I think it’s such a wide and interesting span of sounds, emotions and expressions. You can go deep and vibey, dark and distorted, uplifting and melodic and everything in between. To me I think electronic music is both freedom and constraint at the same time. I can express myself really freely and genuinely, but I also want to make you move, to dance, and that keeps me grounded in a way.
Q: What can we expect from MVRE in the future?
A: A lot of new music, I’m really excited for the projects coming up! Also it would be really fun to get out and start playing shows again. Nothing is in the books yet but who knows what the future holds!
Both Winnetka Bowling League and Demi Lovato came together when Demi got into touch with head singer Matthew Koma. He posted a short video of the track onto the popular platform of TikTok, where Demi was drawn to the song.
Matthew raves about the inspiration behind fiimy (fuck it, i misss you), saying ““fiimy” is about running into an ex for the first time since a break up and the rush of mixed feelings that ad target you. There’s wondering if you even know that person anymore and there’s reckoning with your own “did i fuck up a good thing”. When Demi heard the lyrics, I think they reminded them of their own version of that experience…so it was really cool to hear them come with a verse framing how that story was told in their world. It takes dismissing a lot of pride to admit to yourself you miss someone.”
Demi spoke on their collaboration on the track, stating, “Winnetka Bowling League has such a unique sound, and I am excited to be on this record with them. If these times taught us anything it’s the power of human connection and missing someone, and I think this song speaks to that in a very honest and relevant way.”
The new EP pulp was written and produced by Matthew, and comes after their accomplished 2020 EP Congratulations.
Matthew talks about pulp, asserting, “Writing songs feels nauseatingly self-important and talking about writing songs is worse than a writer’s camp. But alas, I wrote most of the songs for the new EP in New York and felt panicked for 2 months that I was only capable of pure shit. I grew up in NY but I’ve spent the last 11 years in Los Angeles and sometimes the mentality here makes you forget about doing stuff you actually love. Being back in New York sort of sparked all these memories of being a kid recording terrible demos on ACID (the recording program, not the drug, unfortunately). And that headspace got me thinking about things and people I haven’t thought about for a long time. Usually I’m arm wrestling myself to write something about my current circumstance that’s relatable to more than my three friends who like quarantine as much as I do. But there was this shift in NY and I started writing about people and feelings I hadn’t visited in a while. Time grants you kinder eyes and with songs like ”barcelona” and “fiimy” I got to re-explore those relationships from a helicopter’s view and see it a little differently. “pulp” was about this really odd memory that came back to me one day when I walked by Port Authority and smelled hot pretzels. It made sense to call the EP “pulp” because every song was born from some specific snapshot detail that wasn’t at all the main juice (lol). I usually like my own music for 2-3 months after making it then I’m paralyzingly humiliated. I wrote this on 4/22/21 – use that information accordingly.”
This spring we see Winnetka Bowling League heading out on a series of shows while backing CHVRCHES on their practically sold-out UK Screen Violence Tour. To access more information on the tour and to get your own tickets in Newcastle and Birmingham, visit HERE. See tour dates below.
About Matthew Koma and Winnetka Bowling League
Head artist in charge, Matthew Koma was raised in New Jersey and became a critically acclaimed performer, songwriter and producer who has worked for the likes of Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Keith Urban, Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson. The beginnings of Winnetka Bowling League came in 2018 when Matthew, his brother Kris Mazzarisi and Sam Beresford joined him to release their self-titled EP. They soon released two more Eps, Cloudy with a Chance of Sun in 2019 and Congratulations in 2020, all showcasing impeccable songwriting paired with memorable lyrics. V Magazine proclaimed, “Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Matthew Koma…[as] raw and honest, possessing a dry sense of humor that is reflected in both his songs and his mannerisms…[Winnetka Bowling League is] the perfect pairing of deep lyrical content and alternative rock melodies.”
pulp EP track listing:
2. “fiimy (fuck it, i miss you)” with Demi Lovato
3. “barcelona” with Sasha Alex Sloan
CHVRCHES x Winnetka Bowling League tour dates
March 14th – Edinburgh UK – O2 Academy (SOLD OUT)
March 15th – Newcastle, UK – O2 City Hall
March 16th – London, UK – O2 Academy Brixton (SOLD OUT)
March 18th – Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy
March 19th – Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo (SOLD OUT)
A pioneer in the international unity between fashion and sustainability, Jesscia Minh Anh, elevates the new LNG-powered cruise ship, Costa Toscana, into a fully immersive ocean catwalk in Portofino, Italy. The J Spring Fashion Show 2022 will take place amongst the Italian Riviera, articulating the significance of Fashion x Sustainability in the world. The announcement of Jessica’s inimitable fashion show will not only alter the world of fashion and design, but the travel industry as well.
Catch a sneak peek of the out-of-this-world catwalk HERE.
Jessica’s catwalks always serve a deeper purpose than just marketing a new collection; the shows serve as advocation for global transformation. Each production is cleverly debuted at iconic international venues. Every runway has an underlying cause in support, like her J Summer Fashion Show, One World Trade Center. The event signified the newfound power and strength of America that was symbolized in the construction of the One World Trade Center. The event was held at the center 6 months before it formally opened.
The J Spring Fashion Show 2022 serves as Jessica’s return to the catwalk after her last show, “Runway on the Runway,” that occurred preceding the onset of the pandemic. The show took place at JFK International Airport in New York City, where inspiration came from Jessica’s mission to durability in the global supply chain.
Watch the newly released Official Campaign Video featuring high fashion on the world’s newest Liquefied Natural Gas cruise ship in Italy HERE.
“This particular moment in history provides an opportunity for a sustainable “restart” of our society. Costa Toscana aligns perfectly with my mission of highlighting sustainability in a visually attractive way. It represents a breakthrough in the travel industry”, said Jessica.
Former captain of Manchester UnitedEric Cantona announced the launch of his very own travel brand in collaboration with DHARMA, the travel organization that has released travel brands such as Equinox and Culture Trip.
Cantona commented on the inspiration for the travel brand, stating, “Our idea was to create the most passionate football trips on earth, with charisma and soul. Everything today is optimized for price – we wanted to optimize for passion.”
Looking FC, named after the Looking For documentary series produced by Cantona and his brothers (Canto Bros Productions), includes 4-day trips produced by Cantona himself. Guests are taken along an exclusive experience traveling global football cities through the point-of-view of the world’s leading clubs and their devoted fans. Each trip concludes with a Game Day experience seated in the passion sections of stadiums showcased for big League and Champions League competitions. If the Game Day experience wasn’t enough, trips also consist of immersive experiences like fan chant workshops, sports-themed graffiti tours and method briefings with journalists.
The nine trips included this season consist of Manchester (United), Buenos Aires (Boca), Liverpool (Liverpool), Milan (Inter), Madrid (Real Madrid), Barcelona (Barca), Paris (PSG), Lisbon (Sporting), and Casablanca (Raja), with thrilling events planned including Liverpool v Manchester United at Anfield, a Real Madrid v FC Barcelona El Clásico at Bernabeu, and a PSG v Marseille Le Classique at the Parc des Princes. Scheduling is intended for groups but is available to be booked privately to enjoy with your friends and families.
Pricing starts at 1,290 Euros per person based on double occupancy. Included in each ticket is all accommodations, experience, most meals, guides and game tickets.
Looking FC showcases the use of a people, plant and profit approach; in the first-of-its-kind partnership with Common Goal, Looking FC will donate 1% of its returns to fund the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Initiative. The trips are designed with intention to strengthen local businesses, and each trip is carbon offset through Thrust Carbon.
DHARMA is an emerging travel brand that creates one-of-a-kind experiences. Entering a pivotal period of growth for the company, DHARMA is creating relationships with brands at the top of social markets to continue their purpose of uniting the people of the world through the “power of shared experience.”
CXO and co-founder of DHARMA Leah Howe spoke on the company, stating, “DHARMA brings the passion economy to the travel space by applying the people-buy-people mantra that has been tried and tested for products to experiences. When you build an experience for a specific community it is hyper-personalized. Am I going on a fitness trip curated by my favorite wellness instructor, or a culinary trip curated by a star chef, or on a football trip designed by my idol? The future of travel is social.”
About Eric Cantona
The French football player Eric Cantona has been in the spotlight since the beginnings of his career. Cantona’s football career took off when he was 15, and he started playing with Auxerre during the 1983-84 season. Later in his career during 1993, Cantona played a vital role in Manchester’s first league title in 26 years. Cantona was voted the greatest ever Manchester United player by Inside United magazine. After his retirement from football, Cantona began his career as an actor. In 2009 he played himself in ‘Looking for Eric,’ directed by Ken Loach that won a British Independent Film Award.
The one-of-a-kind, acclaimed artist Flore is joining forces with Art Angels to drop a new line of NFT designs on Nifty Gateway. The collection will release on Thursday, January 13, featuring a group of collectible pieces titled “Unidentified Foreign Objects.” Flore’s inspiration for the pieces of work stem from the Atomic Era, a period where curiosity of outer space ventures and mid-century modern design came together.
The collection of NFTs includes six assets with a physical piece that is currently held in the LA-based gallery of Art Angels. The drop is sure to attract collectors across the metaverse to engulf themselves in Flore’s point-of-view throughout the space-time continuum with six new UFOs. The physical piece of art will become that of the owner of the NFT ‘Invader.’
Art Angels is the admired, female-owned contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles. Known for their provocative style, collectors are attracted to the diverse collections of art at the gallery. The gallery has gained success swiftly, appealing to high-profile businesses and individuals, offering a VIP experience paired with a sociable vibe. Housing an array of avant-garde pieces by Hollywood elites like Elizabeth Taylor and Simon Cowell, Art Angels is a luxury brand that houses truly eccentric pieces of art.
PUMA x TMC come together for the third collection of 2021 together to honor MOGUL. THE HUSSLE WAY | MOGUL pays homage to Nipsey Hussle’s journey of entrepreneurship, and gains inspiration from the tracksuit that Hussle wore during the Victory Lap campaign.
The “MOGUL” capsule collection is comprised of four pieces. This includes an all-over peacoat colored Ralph Sampson, gray as well as a branded t-shirt, gray pants and a basketball sweater. Pieces of the collection range from $40-$95. The collaboration of PUMA x TMC is available at PUMA.com, the PUMA NYC Flagship Store and at specific retailers, including The Marathon Clothing Company.
Born in Berlin, Esther Perbandt studies fashion design at the Berlin University of the Arts and polished a master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Design in Paris. In 2020, she made it to the finals of international designer show “Making The Cut” with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, supported by Naomi Campbell.
Not only is she a contemporary fashion designer, but also a visionary, performer, and mistress of ceremonies. Esther Perbandt describes her fashion as an act of (post)feminism irrespective of gender: personality, autonomy and individuality are at the center of her avant-garde style. The non-binary silhouette is deconstructed and reframed with classical menswear details, however, maintaining timeless aspects of elegance and style.
360 MAGAZINE had the pleasure of corresponding with Esther to learn about her inspiration, goals, and much more. Read on to find out her answers!
What/who are your biggest inspirations?
The joy of life is my greatest inspiration. This motor is so big that I can’t imagine running out of ideas at some point. I like doing two things for a living: sleeping and dancing. Many ideas come to me when I fall asleep or wake up and when I can dance without restraint.
How did Making The Cut (MTC)change your view of the fashion industry?
When I studied fashion design in Berlin and Paris in the nineties and early noughties, the term “digitalization” was not really an issue in the fashion industry. I founded my own label over 17 years ago, which has grown very slowly on its own. Until I took part in MTC, I didn’t have an online shop, or only one that didn’t work. But I knew that if my brand was to survive the next 30 years, I had to change and become more digital. Who should I learn from, if not the biggest?
From a show like MTC of course you don’t only learn, you see what’s possible with a lot of money. But if you manage to transfer what you have experienced and seen at the highest level and translate it to your very own DNA, you can take the next steps. I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way in the fashion industry. There are an incredible number of individual paths. Depending on what the goal is.
After coming back from the MTC shoot, I didn’t do anything creative for 8 months, I just prepared business-wise for the airing of MTC: New website, new online store, new strategy. Today, I work with my pattern maker with avatars and digital fittings. This saves us a lot of time and resources.
How has the newly found attention changed/shaped you?
The new attention was a boon for my brand to finally grow. Many things have become a little easier professionally. But the pandemic probably slowed down the speed of this growth a bit and still does. Personally, I only got a limited amount of that attention. When the first season of MTC came out, which I was part of the cast of, the world went into its first hard lockdown. For months, I just worked a lot with my small team and sent packages all over the world every day, but especially to the US, without having the opportunity to meet many people. Germany is a grateful or ungrateful country, depending on how you take it, when it comes to addressing public figures. In the meantime, I had the feeling that hardly anyone in Germany had seen the show.
You were unsure about whether or not to take part in Making The Cut. How do you feel about it now?
Yes, I was indeed very unsure when I received the first request to participate in MTC 1. For 16 years, I had been flying the flag for a freer, more unconventional and uncommercial way in the fashion industry, which also had a stronger connection to art. I felt it wasn’t for me or would betray my brand. But quite the opposite. It was the best decision I made for my business, but also for my life in general. In the last three years, since shooting MTC 1, I have learnt an incredible amount and finally started to build a sustainable foundation for my brand. Every path in the fashion industry is very individual and mine is probably also an atypical one. But it’s fun to see myself making strategic and business decisions in a very different way now and to see that the word “commercial” is not a dirty word for me.
Do you have any moments in your career you look back to often?
Oh yes, of course. I often think today where I got the strength to hold out for so long and to go through all the deep valleys. For many years I called my studio the “Palace of Tears”. Every few days there were tears because I felt like I was standing on the spot or because it was financially on the brink. But somewhere deep inside me, I always believed that it would work out and become easier one day.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
The signature of my brand has developed from the three cities in which I have lived in and which have been very important and inspiring for me: Berlin, Moscow and Paris.
Berlin, as the city where I was born, the city divided over the years with a great historical history, with its roughness, toughness, punk, subculture, snootiness. Moscow, with its avant-garde of the 1920s, the constructivists, high-necked, the uniforms and the austerity. And then of course Paris, as the city that gave me the finishing touch, the elegance, the femininity, and the glamor.
This special mix and the reduction to the color “black,” is meant to give my wearers a strength and make them grow. The focus on details should make the viewer curious to take a closer look at clothing.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a designer?
It has always been both a curse and a blessing that I have had to fight my own way through, especially financially. This has extremely slowed down the growth of my brand, but at the same time it has given me the chance and the time to carefully develop my signature and the DNA and to look closely at what I really want.
Do you think your surroundings and environment play a part in how you choose your designs?
Yes, definitely. As a creative, you unconsciously absorb everything you come across. I love observing people and thinking about why they wear the clothes they do. What identity do they have, and which one do they want to slip into? Dealing directly with my customers in the shop every day has of course influenced my choice of designs. Since MTC, I do a lot of styles in larger sizes and now a lot of women come and have my collection pieces made to measure. That’s a big market.
What are the next goals for your brand?
The USA has become my main sales market in the last two years. The next goal would be to open my own shop in New York for a while and then also produce locally so that customers who buy online don’t have to pay customs and the high shipping costs.
In fashion Esther Perbandt will continue to explore various paths, especially in creating haute couture looks for numerous events, as well as digging into costume design areas whenever projects allow for it.
It’s said that the future is unknown but at least with Esther Perbandt it will always continue to surprise and excite. We look forward to seeing more from her.
Being a graphic designer is so much more than what meets the eye. It’s about visual communication; it uses typography, images, textures, colors to transmit specific messages to social groups, with specific objectives.
Although every designer is not just a portrait hanging on the wall, is a specialist who has their own style and specialties, there are some principles of design and basic concepts that seem to span across all areas of design.
Accordingly, I asked graphic designers what design principles they follow and what they would share with their peers-designers.
By gathering a variety of different opinions and fundamentals of graphic design, I rounded up ten essential design tips that can help you create a better-looking design in no time.
What things can you do to help refine your skills and prepare for a career in graphic design? Keep reading for insights from professional graphic designers.
1. Explore different learning methods
There are tons of resources out there for learning the fundamentals of graphic design – beyond books and traditional academic routes. You can learn so much from practicing on your own and checking out case studies from other designers.
Here are a few great resources:
Behance –Behance is one of the best sources of inspiration. But you can also learn a lot from the community by sharing and receiving feedback from other designers.
Skillshare – Watching tutorials is a smart addition to your learning process. Just remember it’s not all about learning color theories, or font hierarchy — tutorials on how to train your mind to think like a graphic designer and understanding customer’s wants and needs are also key.
Networking – Networking is a fantastic way to communicate with people with a common profession and special interest and with potential clients — this is equally important as the work you produce.
2. Look for inspiration outside of your niche
When making up a logo, it makes sense to look at other logos for inspiration, right? It does. But it also makes sense to look for inspiration elsewhere.
For instance, you might look to fashion for texture inspiration or paintings for color palette ideas. Look at the shape of furniture or the way various textures interact with one another for ideas on how to combine elements together effectively.
Looking for inspiration outside of your niche allows you to understand the core principles of what makes a design “good” without the boring conceptions you have about how a design should look.
3. The typography is a king
Typography has a profound impact on the way individuals perceive a product. The right typography creates an enjoyable experience, while a type that’s hard to read or doesn’t match the message of the product can negatively impact. That’s why it’s absolutely worth spending the time and effort to find just the right typographic fit.
If you want to learn how to choose the right fonts for your product, 3 most important considerations:
Don’t overdo the number of fonts
Use contrasting fonts to stand out
Give each letter its personal space
Keep in mind that choosing the right typography for your product projects takes experimentation — expect to try different options until you find the perfect option. That said, the investment’s completely worth it: don’t underestimate the impact that thoughtfully selected type will make on your work.
4. Colors are powerful – especially in graphic design
When it comes to designs, selecting a stunning color palette is no easy feat—and it’s certainly one that any designer or illustrator could spend hours achieving excellence.
Here’s a brief rundown of insights and tricks:
Start with a limited color palette. When you’re just starting out, stick to 3 to 4 colors. With a limited color palette, you can see whether the colors work well or make your eyes bleed. Then explore more complex combinations as you go along.
Use contrasting colors. When your colors don’t have the right amount of contrast, your customers will not know where or how to look at your illustration. Worse, your audiences’ eyeballs could get strained, especially if your chosen colors all fight for attention. To check if your illustration has the right amount of contrast, add a black-and-white adjustment layer on your illustration. That helps you adjust the brightness and darkness, play around with the colors and see what works.
5. Understand color psychology
This is a well-known fact: color impacts a user’s perception and interaction with your design. Believe it or not, the right color can keep the customers returning, while the wrong one can scare the audience away.
These are the commonly accepted meanings in most of the Western countries for the most common colors (or hues):
It’s worth mentioning that different cultures interpret color meaning differently.
Visual hierarchy is a vital component of good design. If everything on your page looks like it has the same importance, that’s not a good sign. You need to use visual cues to tell people what to pay attention to first, second, third, etc.
Create visual hierarchy through things like size, perspective (that creates an illusion of depth), or color. Typographic hierarchy can be created by using different typefaces, sizes, and font weights.
The point is to give visual importance to some elements over others.
7. Practice, practice, practice
So what is one biggest piece of design advice for newcomers and veteran creatives alike?
No matter the size or scale of the project, or the trajectory of your career: “You’ve got to do the work.”
Practice makes perfect! Take time every week to create designs exceptionally for the practice. Pick a type of design, a brand, or a concept you want to scrutinize, and then make a design or two.
Consider redoing existing designs to see what you might do differently or enhance. This can be an excellent exercise in figuring out why designs work the way they do and exploring your own creativity.
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Head on over to the site for a complete collection of beautiful mockups – for more details check ls.graphics, to find mockups – made for designers, by designers.
Whether it be for a client presentation or to enhance your design portfolio, use these mockups to present your designs in the best possible light.
Like everything else, skills take time to hone and sharpen. Trust your gut, go down a rabbit hole of researching things you like, use those things for your design content, and follow these 7 graphic design tips.
In 2015, veteran Nyja M. Grant’s health was drastically declining. Her doctor informed her that she was going to have to make a decision. She saw several specialists, and they all agreed. To ensure that she was making the right decision, Nyja began researching her condition, less evasive treatment options and what had possibly caused it.
Nyja’s research led her to alarming data. She learned that by age fifty, 80 percent of African American women of African descent are diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Nyja was astounded. Digging a little deeper, she found out that fibroids are the number one cause of hysterectomies and other reproductive issues. Several studies have linked the ingredients in African American beauty products to infertility, fibroids, and ovarian cysts. Many hair products on the market for Black women contain chemicals that affect hormones and can cause these bodily issues. These harmful ingredients contribute to the higher mortality rate concerning neo-natal deaths for Black women. With Nyja’s failing health, thinning hair and continuous alopecia flare ups, she decided to make a change.
Nyja chose to use this time to heal from the inside out. She promised to give herself a two-year grace period. During this time, she would not relax, cut, or dye her hair. She began to research alternative natural hair care and body products. Nyja searched for products that were safe, good quality and didn’t break her spending plan. To Nyja’s dismay, she was not able to find any products that she loved.
In formulating her product, Nyja chose to use ingredients that were free from parabens and mineral oils, with no dyes or unnatural fragrances. She instead only opts for necessary and natural components, such as avocado, argan and jojoba oil. Not only are her products FDA-approved, but they are also cold-pressed and organic. As such, her skin and hair care easily penetrates hair shafts and absorbs into the body. Nyja’s focus on clean integrants also reflects her simplistic approach to branding.
RESPiRE by DESiGN (RbD) products work for all hair types, no matter one’s ethnicity or gender. These unisex formulations can be also used for the face and skin to provide hydration, exfoliation, and moisturizing properties. R&D’s “Restore” neem oil is has anti-inflammatory attributes, which are great for rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. For those who struggle with pigmentation and dark spots, “Lots of Love” can be used directly on the skin or infused into bath water. The company’s oil can also be used for cuticle care and massages. A little bit of this product goes a long way, and because of its many uses, it is wonderful for travel. Nyja helps heal her customers from the inside out, and they continue to repurchase her trustworthy, versatile hair and skin care.
RESPiRE by DESiGN is geared towards 30–40-year-old women. However, Nyja’s demographic is expanding now more than ever as Black hair is becoming more protected by HR agencies. Whereas Black hair has wrongfully been seen as unprofessional– and children have been banned from school for sporting their natural styles– this antiquated attitude is beginning to shift. Now, celebrities like Justin Beiber are sporting dreads, and the politics of Black hair are being brought into the cultural conversation by change-makers like Gabrielle Union.
As the years passed, Nyja started to give out her butters as gifts. People loved her healthy, safe, affordable product and wanted more. One day, Nyja’s son told her that she should sell her product. He even provided her with a whole business plan. Nyja launched RESPiRE by DESiGN as a birthday gift to herself, while living in the United Kingdom.
RESPiRE by DESiGN Mission Statement
“’Respire:’ to build hope and strength, despite difficulty. I understand that life is not all about looks, but let’s be honest – people feel better if they are comfortable in their own bodies. Something as simple as a good hair day and glowing skin can do wonders for self-esteem. ‘RESPiRE by DESiGN’ was birthed from a difficult situation, and evolved beyond being just a business. For founder Nyja, ‘RESPiRE by DESiGN’ is personal. The lowercase ‘i’ stands for inner beauty, insight, inspiration, and intention. ”
How did your diagnosis affect your outlook on life?
When I was diagnosed, I felt vindicated. I had been seeing doctors and specialists for nine years, only for them to insinuate that I was a hypochondriac. While I was elated to have a diagnosis, my new reality hit me hard. I would no longer be able to bear children. My hope for a little Nyja was not going to happen. The pain made me go into research mode. I wanted to identify ways to help myself, what caused fibroids, and how to prevent this from happening to others. I couldn’t change the damage that was done, but I can prevent further by using healthier products. When I could not find healthier products, I decided to make them.
What type of ingredients do you use in your body butter?
Each of my products are formulated with ingredients that are cold pressed, vegan-friendly, and do not contain preservatives, chemicals, and dyes. Each product is safe if ingested, making it safe for our skin and hair to absorb.
The oils I use are: Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argon, Vitamin E and Neem Oil
For scents I use the following essential oils: Lavender, Tangerine, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang, and Peppermint
The butters I use are: Mango Butter & Cocoa Butter.
Whether you choose RbD products or not, please keep in mind that your skin is the largest organ on your body. Everything you put on your body will eventually be absorbed into your body.
What is the difference between a body butter and lotion?
To be honest, not much. Several soap recipes use similar ingredients. I just haven’t had a large enough demand from my customers to add soaps to my product line. However, my plan is to add hand-crafted soaps to my line in 2022.
The key difference between a lotion and a butter is in their ingredients. Body butter contains shea butter, and various oils like coconut, or jojoba. Body lotion is often a combination of water and oils. Body butter is often thicker, heavier, and has an oilier finish to it. However, RbD products are uniquely formulated to absorb quickly into the skin and hair to prevent leaving an oily finish.
In what ways does hair butter help hair?
RbD’s ReNew Hair Butter is naturally formulated using oils similar to those produced by our body. This makes it easier for these oils to penetrate quickly to soften hair, minimize tangles, smooth hair follicles, provides moisture, prevent split ends and breakage, improve retention, nourish the scalp, provide protection from sun damage, and promote hair growth.
Would you recommend your hair butter for all types of hair?
Yes, I would recommend ReNew for all hair types. However, I would suggest the product be used as described below:
For thin or straight hair– Use ReNew Hair Butter as a hair mask. Let the mask remain on your hair for 10-20 minutes. Wash your hair as normal with lukewarm water.
For thick, coiled, kinky, or curly hair– Use ReNew Hair Butter when pre-shampooing. Apply a generous amount to your hair, then add your conditioner of choice. If you are going to use a plastic cap, allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. If you are using a steamer, allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse out the conditioner using lukewarm water.
Does RESPiRE by DESiGN have any new products coming out in 2021?
Yes, I have two products coming out in 2021–ReStore Hair Oil and Bath Bombs.
ReStore Hair Oil was formulated for individuals who have a temperamental scalp. The key ingredient is Neem Oil. Research has shown that Neem Oil has the following benefits: promotes hair growth, prevents boldness, conditions hair, helps with dandruff and itching, treats head lice, treats scalp infections, and prevents premature graying.
If used as a body oil ReStore will: moisturize, sooth inflamed and itchy skin, repel insects, treat acne and pimples, treat hyperpigmentation, treat scars and blackheads, act as a layer of protection against environmental damage.
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