Design as function
At the cornerstone of the design process is the need to create something that functions brilliantly for the audience and surprises them with excellence, telling a story. This allows the design to present itself as seamless, invisible, and aesthetically mature.
Grid is gold
Aligning elements to a grid is a first step in the design process. Always make the grid as foundation; Make it in order to break it.
Typography as king
Strong typography is at the heart of every successful creative endeavor. Using simple, structured type choices that support the aesthetic and function of the product is crucial. Typography must be finessed and fashioned to a high standard and hierarchy.
Less is more
We hear this often; When applied to the design profession, it is what makes or breaks the created work. The ability to leave only what is necessary, while also allowing for an element of intrigue and discovery, is the designer's true success.
God is in the details
Mies Van Der Rohe said it at one point. We see this in things such as the Fibonacci Sequence. High quality of work, standard of excellence in craftsmanship, and seeing through to every last pixel is to mimic the highest example of excellence.
Purpose. Process. Passion.
The three P's of every design concept (book cover, website, identity, etc.) Each of these nouns play a vital role for the designer; and each needs the other to really function well.
Purpose: Each project has a value statement, problem-area or complicated story at its core; always with something to solve. Comprehending this purpose is important to achieving a successful solution to any presented problem.
Process: An extensive design process (from projected problem to final solution) requires incremental steps, collaboration, and solid critique. A dynamic design process is necessary to achieve any design that can be called a tried and true solution.
Passion: Each creative project requires passion to make the design the most fitting it can be for both user and client. Passion can present itself as the unseen, microscopic detail; as going the extra-extra mile; or as simply having a reason for every decision made.