July 7


Jack Butcher’s Design Fundamentals Course is πŸ”₯ But I Am Not! πŸ˜…

By anna

July 7, 2021

How to Visualize Value is brilliant ( ← there's my honest review! 😎)

I'm learning tonnes about how to present my work online. But the mistakes I'm making shine a light on what truly matters when designing content, & how it so often goes wrong. And we've gotta get this right, people: If we wanna move others with our ideas, we've gotta nail the presentation (or we lose our audience from the start!)

So, here's what I've learned, so far.

Design Advice Gold From Jack:

πŸ“ OBSESS OVER GRIDS - Alignment is the secret weapon that makes stuff 'feel designed'

πŸŒ† FILTER IMAGES - Be consistent about the way you treat images, so your style becomes recognisable

πŸ” LET CONTENT BREATHE - Space on the page is for framing, not for filling up right to the edge!

πŸ”€ BE PRAGMATIC ABOUT TYPOGRAPHY - Pick a typeface from Google Fonts that comes in many versatile weights (from bold to fine)

β›“ EMBRACE RESTRAINT - Make decisions about colour & presentation now to prevent 1000 distracting decisions down the line β†’ just like with poetic form, constraints force creativity to takeoff πŸš€

These insights are πŸ”₯ (& beautifully explained by Jack in spare prose, with crisp images to demo each), but putting these into practice is hard!

Just look at the featured image for this post.  β¬†οΈ  (My first experiment in finding coherent style).

Problems With My Design:

  • Restraint matters, but I just β™₯️ all the colours of the rainbow, so I had to weave them all in! πŸ˜†
  • Alignment is the secret weapon that 'makes stuff feel designed', but I'm so smitten with how pretty the alignment grid looks, that I've left it in the picture! πŸ™ˆ
  • Typography lends your work a unique voice, but I'm so attached to IBM Plex Mono typeface (which Jack Butcher uses) that I risk not finding a distinct 'voice' of my own. 😳

What Do These Problems Have in Common?


Getting attached to the pretty, decorative properties of design elements is a massive distraction from driving home the message of the content itself.


Design elements exist to frame, carry, accentuate content. Nothing more. If I start with the content experience I want to share, I can choose those elements that carry the message best.

Watch This Space!

In my next post, I'll share my experiments with content-first design. Let's see if we can get a step closer to design that leans in to the message it carries. I suspect that's how, as digital creatives, we build a content system that pops!

Check out Jack Butcher's How to Visualize Value course.

Illustration of a kid with green, neon hair enjoying a perfect kick & punch combo move with a big smile.

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