UNESCO Cities of Design

The placement of every pixel must be considered. No detail must be left uncritiqued. No typo can be left unfixed. If something is off-center by the slightest degree, it can quickly become a visual abomination. 

Big Picture 

Take a first glance at the design. Then take a few steps back and look again. 

Objective: That is the objective of the design? 

Action: Will the viewer know what action to take in each area of the design? Call, click, read or visit?

Brand match: Does the design match the client’s brand? 

Composition: What would improve the overall composition? 

Client examples: Does the design meet or exceed the quality level of example designs the client has mentioned? 

Inspiration examples: Does the design meet or exceed the quality level of example designs from your research?

Dimensions: Are the dimensions appropriate for the project? 

Broad Strokes

Begin thinking about the main qualities of the project. 

Eye flow: How does the eye flow through the design? Is the eye resting on the right elements in the right order? 

Weight: Does the visual weight of the design elements work? Is there anything too heavy or too light? 

Colors: Is the color palette working? Are there colors that seem to not fit the brand or design? 

Typography: Are font choices appropriate for the design? Are there too many being used or too few? 

Photos: Do photos and images match and support the overall design and messaging? 

Messaging: Is the core messaging clear? Is there a headline or other text that needs to convey a certain message? Will people easily see what you want them to see? 

Nitty Gritty

Examine every pixel of the design in close-up detail. 

Typos: Look at every single word. 

Grid: Are design elements structured on the grid properly? Is there anything that could break the plane on the grid to add more interest to the design? 

Alignment: Is there anything off-center or out of alignment?

Photo treatment: Have photos been treated properly? Are photos facing the proper direction? Are photos cropped effectively? 

Typography: Is font usage consistent in the design? Is the text spaced properly?

Tangents: Are there any weird design tangents? The unintended visual tension between objects?

Great designers have a vision of both the big picture aspects and small details of the design.