Helpful diagrams reveal the truth about design

Get to the nub of what design is all about with these incisive and amusing Venn diagrams.

Helpul diagrams - fonts

Consider this next time you see a font you really really have to own

What's design all about? It's a big question, and luckily there are any number of articles and free ebooks you can read that might explain it for you.

Sometimes, though, you don't want to have to hack all the way through someone's treatise on flat design; instead you want something succinct that gets straight to the heart of the matter. Basically, you want a diagram.

Helpul diagrams - portfolios

Putting your portfolio together? Bear this in mind.

Luckily, Mitch Goldstein has you covered. A designer and assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology's School of Design, he's come up with A Helpful Diagram: a series of, yes, helpful diagrams that explain a bunch of design issues at a glance.

Helpul diagrams - backups

Maybe you should get another external drive, just in case

Best of all they're Venn diagrams: the best kind of diagram, we're sure you'll agree. Over the course of 20 of them, Goldstein covers a range of subjects including design education, typography, inspiration and that perennial favourite, Adobe.

Helpful diagrams: creative practice

We got your creative practice right here

You'll also find some useful observations on how designers spend their time, the role of sports in design, and the absolute final word on whether print is dead or not.

Helpful diagrams - Adobe 1

We couldn't possibly comment

It's an essential collection of bite-size design wisdom, and it's not Goldstein's first such collection of tidbits; he's also the man behind Design Process, a fabulously minimal one-pager that comes up with a random pithy design tip every time you refresh it.

Helpful diagrams - restaurants

Stop kvetching about the menu and order your damn lunch

You can see the whole collection of helpful diagrams here. And if you have your own delightfully terse nuggets of design advice, why not share them in the comments?

Helpful diagrams - Adobe 2

Still, those Affinity apps, right?

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Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.