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5 Things Obsessive Designers Love

Creative Market March 31, 2021 · 4 min read

We designers obsess over the littlest details, often to the point of ridiculousness. Do you spend hours looking for just the right color? Have you ever manually tweaked the letters in a font because they weren’t quite right? As self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive designers, here are five things that we love, and we’re guessing you do too.

1. Neatly Organized Photoshop Files

Is there anything worse than a poorly organized Photoshop file? 47 layers labeled “Untitled,” haphazard use of layer groups, hordes of hidden pieces, I shudder at the thought. By contrast, when a designer who religiously follows Photoshop Etiquette sends you a PSD, it’s pure bliss. You use layer comps? Your effects are non-destructive and your shapes are all meticulously vectored? We can be friends.
Fortunately, for those terrible days when you do receive a messy PSD, there are some plugins that can help your rapidly clean things up. Check out our recent collection of amazing Photoshop plugins to get started.

2. Perfectly Straight Bezier Curve Handles

Have you ever seen a piece of fine vectoring where all the bezier handles are perfectly horizontal or vertical? It’s something only the nerdiest of designers truly understand, but there’s just something beautiful and awe-inspiring about it. It feels clean, perfect.
When I first learned to use the Pen Tool over a decade ago, no one ever suggested this technique to me, but these days, it’s quite the trend. I have to admit, the first time I pulled it off, I felt like a king. It’s not all vanity either, the technique does actually make it easier to create smooth curves.
If you’re not convinced or would like to learn more, check out this fantastic tutorial from AGSC.
The examples above and more can be seen in this Dribbble bucket.

3. Color Names That Are Words

Remember the first time you realized you could write “hello” on a calculator? This is a lot like that, but for designers using CSS. Why settle for a boring green like #b6d553 when you can have something awesome like #bada55? Colors that are words make your CSS look nice and organized and are much easier to remember than typical hex colors.
Looking for the right word for your color of choice? The site has a big collection of these that you should definitely check out (warning: the selection of words can skew towards the NSFW side).

4. Moving Something One Pixel to the Right

You know you’ve been there. Whether it’s in Photoshop or the browser, you’re looking at your layout, and it’s just not quite right. Any mere mortal would think you a raving lunatic, but to you, the solution is clear as day: it needs to move one pixel to the right. Not three pixels, not two, one. And let’s face it, somedays, even that’s too far.

5. Perfect Kerning

Perfect kerning is part art, part science, and all design nerd. We obsess over the placement of every character in a logo or headline, and we judge others harshly when they neglect this sacred task. Until recently, any old designer could brag on his or her kerning skills with little ramification, but a recent browser game takes you to task and actually scores your performance.
When I play this game, I squint, sigh, shake my head, move letters back and forth a million times, and probably even talk to myself a little bit. In short, I look like a mad man. But when I press that button and see that I scored a perfect, I feel like some kind of design god.

What Do You Obsess Over?

If you’ve got a mad case of obsessive design, leave a comment and let us know which of the things above hits home with you, and also what we missed!

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