This was a nice blog post that I read on for start-up-businesses! When you have a minute, give it a read!
Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception:
As a designer when I heard about the Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception they really struck my interest. Gestalt is a psychology term meaning unified whole or visual perception. Referring to the grouping of visual elements when these principles are applied: similarity, continuation, closure, proximity and figure ground.
These Gestalt Principles should be applied to all aspects of design, in my opinion. I have found that they come in handy especially when designing an identity. Attached is a link that shows good examples of each principal.
Similarity is when all the shapes used have similarities to each other. When one shape is not similar to the rest it creates a focal point. Continuation is when you lead the viewers eye to follow a path from one item to another; by using an implied or otherwise line that the viewer can follow. An implied line is used to create closure without actually closing the line. When shapes are placed with-in a close proximity they are perceived as one shape. Which brings us to figure ground. It is when the positive and negative space is used with-in a shape to create a relationship that helps the viewers eye perceive an image that may or may not be intentional. A good designer should, in my opinion, always take advantage of their figure ground when creating an identity, whenever possible.
Here is the link I found, mentioned above, with some examples of each Gestalt principal:
Easy Pancakes from Scratch:

Makes about 20 pancakes.

Hot Keys for The Productive Designer:  
Knowing your Hot Keys, is key to a Graphic Designers productivity. They help the designer to be faster and therefore more productive. So, study your
Hot Keys! 
If you’re like me, and you LOVE Adobe Illustrator. Then here is a list of good Hot Keys to learn:
command + n                 to create a new file
command + o                 open a new file
command + tilda             switch between open files
command + 2                 lock selected graphics
option + command + 2    unlock everything
command + 3                 shut off selected graphics
command + s                 SAVE (it's important to do this often)
command + w                close
command + p                 print
command + z                 undo
shift + command + z      redo
command + c                copy
command + x                cut
command + v                paste
shirt + command + v     paste in place
command + i                 spell check
option + shift + comm + v    paste on all art boards
command + a                select all (unlocked)
shift + command + a     deselect all
command + r                show/hide rulers
command + ;                hide/show guides
option + command + ;   unlock/lock guides
v        selection tool
a        direct select tool
p        pen tool (my favorite)
t        text tool
While using the text tool you press esc + another tools hot key to switch to that other tool.
And many more! My advice is to figure out what you use the most and learn those first!

Here are the image translations for the main keys you will use in combination with other keys that create your Hot Key arsenal:
The Graphic Designers image translations
for the main keys need for your Hot Key arsenal!

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