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10 Awards Every Ultra Perfectionist Designer Deserves

Kevin Whipps April 13, 2021 · 7 min read

Being a perfectionist designer isn’t easy. There’s the constant need to make sure every pixel is lined up perfectly. How we feel a twitch in our temples whenever a vector-based design doesn’t have perfectly vertical or horizontal bezier handles. Or how our desks always look like they’re straight out of a magazine, because everything is lined up relative to each other in 90-degree angles. It’s a tough life, to be sure.
That’s why we feel that these people need an award; something to make them feel better for accomplishing the impossible on a regular basis. Now these aren’t physical awards, mind you, but they are JPEGs, and that counts for something, right?

Perfectionist Awards
10 printable awards every perfectionist needs
Print them all

If you deserve them all, go ahead and download these awards, print and hang them where they make you feel most proud.

Download them now

The “Perfect Bezier Handles” Award


Did you know that having perfectly flat horizontal and/or vertical bezier handles was a thing? Oh, it is, and it’s quite the OCD dream. The concept is that you place your nodes at the outermost point of the curve, and, while holding the shift key, pull your handles so that they stay flat in either the vertical or horizontal plane. Now at first, this might seem like a needless challenge, but it’s sure cool-looking, and it can actually make your life a little bit easier. And if you’re someone who likes to be a perfectionist, seeing beauty like that is not just something you aspire to, it’s what you attain on a regular basis. And for that, you deserve something.

The “Iconic Icon” Award


Who made the first “cheeseburger” icon? Who was it who designed the first email or save icons? Those people are heroes because all of our UX work since has been derivative of their successes, just like theirs was based on what came before. If you’re working on icons for any project, there’s always the chance that it becomes the next gold standard, and that’s not going to come easily. Your lines will need to be perfect, the design simple and clear, yet different from the rest, and you’ll need to make something that just doesn’t exist. And if you do that, you, my friend, are a legend.

The “Flawless Hair Selection” Award


We’ve all been there: the assignment is to place a model in a situation where they were not naturally photographed, and you have to mask them off perfectly so that it looks flawless. Oh, and, of course, their long hair is blowing in the wind. Now there are lots of ways to handle this scenario, but sometimes knocking it out manually is just the best way to go, and it may take hours to do so — but it’s the right thing to do. Did you accomplish this mission? Did you make the hair model look like she was on a beach in Mexico and not the photo studio in New Hampshire where she was shot? Kudos, you amazing designer, you. Kudos.
Yes, it’s a small nightmare to do sometimes, but when you accomplish this feat and perfectly mask off every necessary strand to the point that it looks like that model really is on a beach in Brazil and not in the photography studio in New Hampshire where she was actually shot, you, my friend, deserve an award for perfection.

The “Color Code Match” Award


Pantone junkies know that there are millions of colors to choose from, and not all of them are going to work out. Sometimes you need to perfectly match a hue that you see online or out in the real world, and you have to wing it — no eyedropper tool works when you see that cool color while you’re standing in line at Home Depot, right? When you do match that color perfectly, whether it’s by blind luck or a ninja-like skill, you deserve a treat — let’s call it an award. One with lots of colors, preferably.

The “Photoshop Knoll Ninja” Award


Every heard of knolling? It’s the art of aligning objects parallel or at right angles to each other to become more aesthetically pleasing. You’ve seen tons of desk photos like this, but have you ever been told that you need to arrange a photo like that using objects that weren’t actually arranged properly?
Now this may seem easy, but it’s deceptively simple, especially if you’re a perfectionist. With the need for every pixel to align perfectly, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of whether or not that tape dispenser actually is 90 degrees to the desk, or if it’s just 89. If you’ve made this small miracle happen, bust out the protractor and celebrate.

The “Made a Sucky Stock Photo Look Real” Award


Let’s be honest: stock photos can just suck sometimes, particularly when you’re given horrible choices (not like the amazing ones you find here on Creative Market, obviously). So when you’re given this hunk of junk stock photo with a man using a cake as a pillow (it’s number 13) and told that he has to be sleeping in an ocean made of Jell-O and you can make that magic happen, well heck, you need an award.

The “Perfectly Automated Yet Another Task” Award


Know what makes my life easier? Automation. And because I can automate some tasks, I get things done faster. For example, I have a PSD doc that has multiple colors for a T-shirt design (I bought the template here at Creative Market, naturally). I plop in my design, then click go on a Photoshop action that takes every color, makes it visible, saves it as a PSD file to my desktop, then moves on to the next color. Meanwhile, Hazel — an automation app for the Mac — takes those PSD files off the desktop and dumps them into a special folder. It then appends a text string to the name, resizes them and outputs a set of PNG files, then sorts the PSDs into a folder called Mockups and the PNGs into a folder called Web. Do I deserve this award? Maybe I do. Huh. OK, then let’s just pretend we didn’t have this conversation while I sneak away with my shiny trophy …

The “Dead Center Without Alignment Tools” Award


Alignment tools in our favorite apps make life so much easier. We can take two objects, align them to each other, the artboard or other things, and then we know that there are no conflicts between them all. Oh, the good life. But what’s even sweeter is doing it without any of those tools, just the magic of proper planning and a little bit of luck. Did you make that happen? Oh boy, you’re good. So good in fact, that you deserve — well you see where I’m going with this, obviously.

The “No Revisions Needed” Award


The design brief slides across your desk, with a list of demands that seem undoable. You slave away on the work, making sure that you keep all of the requirements in mind while you push pixels as delicately and skillfully as possible, in the end creating something that you think is perfect in every way — and yet you’re confident that the client is going to hate it. Why? Because that’s the way these things work, right? Not so, here. No, your client *loves* this work — so much so that they don’t want you to change a thing. No color tweaks, no shifting of lines, nothing. You, my amazing designer pal, have created a perfect design for a potentially problematic client, and done so in one shot. Here’s your award.

The “You Finally Shipped It” Award


Being a perfectionist is a difficult thing to deal with because you always feel like there’s just one more pixel to tweak; one more curve to bend. Nothing every feels truly “perfect,” and yet because of your desire to attain that lofty goal, you’re always fiddling with the work. Sometimes, being a perfectionist means knowing when a design is perfect enough, and you ship it, flawlessness be damned. No, it’s not awesome, and sometimes it can cause your head to explode in pain, but that’s why this last award exists. It’s to honor the perfectionist designer that understands his limits, and knows that eventually every design has to go out into the world and make it on their own merits. To you, the designer that gets it and ships their perfectly imperfect work, we salute you.

Products Seen In This Post:

Perfectionist Awards
10 printable awards every perfectionist needs
Print them all

If you deserve them all, go ahead and download these awards, print and hang them where they make you feel most proud.

Download them now
About the Author
Kevin Whipps

Hi! My name is Kevin Whipps, and I'm a writer and editor based in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working taking pictures of old cars and trucks, I'm either writing articles for Creative Market or hawking stickers at Whipps Sticker Co.

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