The one and only Figma plugin you need to improve your graphic design skills.
Quantity over quality.
As a beginner, often happens to feel that your design is dull, and there is no way to make it look better. It’s normal. So an important question is: “what’s the best way to improve?”. Well everyone is different, but between artists there is one common approach.
Quantity over quality.
Pablo Picasso is known for his masterpieces, but I guess you can’t name more than ten artworks he made, or even five. But do you know how many did he make? well, around 147.800.
That’s nearly 150k. But why? because doing a lot of practice makes you learn, and by doing a lot of different things, you learn how to do a lot of different things. That’s it. In fact, a lot of artists are extremely prolific and learned their art by doing, doing, doing.
Also, you can not get quality if you’re a beginner, so it is a huge waste of time trying to make a few masterpieces.
But how to apply this “contradictory” principle to Figma? well by designing a lot of different things. And in this case, a very famous plugin comes in handy: Unsplash.
The Plugin: Unsplash.
Thousands of designers use Unsplash, but we’ll discover a new way to use it. Unsplash has an interesting feature which is Insert Random: it lets you bring to the artboard a random image.
To apply the quantity over quality principle, get a random image, and start designing around it. No cheating. The first image you get, the first you use. In this way, you are forced to learn something new, or at least to think in different ways.
I’ll now show four examples of how using random images allows you to design completely different websites.
Case N.1: the Basketball Hoop.
The first image I got was a basketball hoop. Let’s analyze it.
The image has three main colors (orange, dark blue, and white), and the topic is sports.
This already solves two issues: which colors to use and which mood the artboard needs.
Applying those colors and an aggressive font, I got this landing page. Also, the circular geometry of the hoop balances the font and allows me to bring some other rounded shapes around.
Case N.2: The girl.
Let’s analyze the image again. In this case, the predominant tones are light, brownish, and pink. The mood is peaceful and elegant.
Also, it brings up to my mind a professional photographer portfolio, so I went that way designing an elegant portfolio landing page.
Using a fancy serif font, and reutilizing the pastel tints, I got this design. Sure it can be largely improved, but the main idea is to design fast. Remember quantity over quality.
Case N.3: The phone.
Things get complicated. The image is very dark and there isn’t a predominant color.
On the other side, we get two different topics: nature and technology.
Looking more carefully, we see some red shades in the branches, and that the image itself could work as a contrasted background since it’s pretty dark.
The ending result satisfies me: using a modern font-face reflects the nature topic, and the red accent fits perfectly.
Case N.4: The streetwear man.
This has been the hardest random image to use since it doesn’t fit very well in a website or app. It looks like it has been extracted from a music video, so I tried to bring it back there.
By using the Filter Plugin ( I didn’t cheat. This wasn’t mandatory!), I added noise and distortion, giving in the illusion of motion and roughness. Also, by applying some tint tweaks, the full composition became a lot more cinematic and full of flavor.
In the end, just for fun, I animated it with the great plugin BeatFlyer, giving it some motion and life, but this wasn’t necessary.
Forcing yourself to use random images, help you think in alternative ways and find out new design techniques. This principle should be applied to create a lot of different designs, even if they don’t look that good.
In fact, If you’re able to achieve great quality, you’re not a beginner and probably you don’t need to improve that much. But remember, Picasso kept doing a lot of practice even in his last years!
A Jack of all trades UX guy. Mainly interested in human-computer interaction, contemporary sociology and art.