Where Does Previewing Fit In Your Designing Process?

The week before Digital Scrapbook Day, I shared on my personal Facebook page that I was previewing a kit as I was designing, as opposed to my usual process of designing first and then previewing in the end. The reason I shared that was because whenever the topic came up, there had always been divided opinions among designers. I thought it was funny that I was “converted,” even if it was only for that kit. My post sparked some discussion and I was fascinated by all the different approaches to previewing. Let me share with you some of the things I learned.



The Previewing-As-You-Go Approach

A lot of designers swear by this way of previewing. They place papers and elements as they design them onto the preview. A designer even told me she designed right on top of the preview! The benefit to this method is it allows designers to easily see how the kit is coming together. Maybe there is too much of one color; maybe there isn’t enough of another color. Maybe the kit needs some more strings and curly elements; maybe it’s time to stop adding flowers. As the designer put papers next to each other and cluster different elements, she is able to see what the kit is lacking and make tweaks and changes as needed. On the other hand, as the kit is not completed yet, the designer may not know what goes where and could end up spending more time moving things around on the preview.



The Previewing-In-The-End Approach

Unlike designers who preview as they go, designers who preview in the end prefer to finish designing everything before bringing them onto the preview. This allows the designer to have a great overview of the kit and to more effectively create an aesthetically pleasing preview. There is usually less trial-and-error and moving things around. However, sometimes the kit may not look the way the designer has envisioned once previewed. As this is my approach to previewing, I can attest that there were times I had to go back and change colors and pattern, or even delete elements to make the kit look cohesive and “right.”



There really isn’t a right or wrong way to preview, and yours may even change from kit to kit! For example, for my latest Halloween kit, because there were so many greys and blacks, I had to preview as I go to make sure I wasn’t using the same shade over and over again. I have also gone from previewing everything in the end to previewing my papers when I’m done with them, then designing the elements and previewing them later. This way I can make changes to the papers when they’re still fresh on my mind! So I’d say I’m half way in between previewing as I go and previewing in the end.



How about you? What is your previewing process like and how has it changed over the years?

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