Graphic design can seem like a daunting task considering the sheer volume of techniques and software to use. When it comes to professional software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, what seemed like a fun creative project can quickly turn into a dreaded task that has to be done. Fortunately, with the evergrowing use of technology, more and more software is released to help with graphic design from experienced designers to inexperienced.
If you’re designing images for blog posts, social media or online ads, you don’t need a degree in graphic design. You just need to wrap your head around some best practices.
In this post, we’ve put together top 11 graphic design tips that all non-designers need to know. If you follow them, you’ll be well on your way to producing awesome graphics for all of your needs.
Graphic design is a talent. But to learn the skills, it’s not necessary to spend years in school. With a little creativity and by following our tips, you can master the art of design.
So, let’s move forward into the top 11 graphic design tips that will help you approach your work in ways you have never before.
01. Know your objective
Every project starts with an objective. Before starting your design project, the first thing you need to know is why you are creating a particular design. What objective do you want to achieve with that design?
Let’s say you want to create graphics for a social media post. Before designing anything, you need to figure out the purpose of it. Is it for engagement, branding, or for increasing sales? For each of these possibilities, the design would need to be different.
Having clarity in the objective behind a design will help you come up with the best and the most appropriate one.
In graphic design, colors play a crucial role. They have the power to make or break a design, set a mood, or even influence the perception and emotions of the audience.
No doubt, creating a perfect color palette comes with experience, but that doesn’t mean you cannot choose the right color. As compared to experienced designers, you just have to do a little bit of hard work. You need to read and understand color psychology. Every color has its own meaning.
For example, the red color denotes passion, energy, and determination. The blue color signifies trust, professionalism, and security. The meanings of colors vary from culture to culture.
Therefore, if you are designing for a specific audience or country, know the meaning behind the colors you choose for your project.
Don’t get confused with typography. We will get into that at our next point. Text is a series of words, while typography is the visual component of the written words.
Now that you know the basic difference between the two, let’s get into the importance of the text. The text used in graphic designs can be very powerful, and the best way to use them is not to make them appear cluttered or confusing to your target audience. Try to limit your text in one or two lines. Due to an increase in mobile users, most of the text is viewed on mobile devices.
Therefore, the font size you choose should be easily readable on all devices. Apart from font size, the readability of the text depends on the colors as well. It is good to use a dark-colored font with a light background and vice-versa.
Typography is an art in itself. Choosing typography that matches with an image can be quite challenging, but if done correctly, it can bring the graphics to life.
Before finalizing the typography, make sure it matches with your brand personality. Today, there are thousands of fonts available.
Choosing the number of fonts totally depends on you. Although there is no hard and fast rule to use a specific number of fonts, being a non-designer, we would suggest you not to use more than two fonts in a design.
Contrast is one of the design elements that are either overlooked or not used in its utmost capability. In graphic design, when someone introduces contrast, most of the people relate it to the color contrast. Well, there is nothing wrong with thinking this way, but creating contrast through colors is just one of the possible ways.
Apart from colors, you can create contrast through size, typography, and shape as well. To make design elements look different from each other, it is important to add good contrast to a design.
06. White Space
White space, also known as negative space, is the space between the letters and pictures to create a new image. People usually think that white space only means an empty space with a white background. But the fact is it can be any color, pattern, texture, or even a background image. White space improves text readability and attracts the audience’s attention.
FedEx is one of those brands that have perfectly used white or negative space in their logo design. If you look at their logo, you will find an arrow between the letters ‘E’ and ‘X’. The arrow symbolizes speed and accuracy. Being a non-designer, it can be quite difficult to use negative space in designs.
But if you want to add this element in your design, study other designs and keep in mind the message you want to communicate.
Consistency is often the name of the game when seeking to attain sophistication and professionalism. It is used in all areas of design – from packaging, UX/UI to branding and advertising. It is important to maintain consistency in your design.
For instance, if you have designed call-to-action in a square shape, make sure you use the same style for the rest of the designs or pages.
Consistency helps the audience to recognize a brand instantly. It also helps in winning the trust of the audience, saves the design process, and keeps the brand alive.
08. Know your platform
This is an important part of the design. Every platform is different. The design created for a website, for instance, may not be used in social mediaplatforms. Understanding what works best for each medium in advance will not only benefit the audience visually but will also make things easier for you in the long run. The dimensions for creating designs for ads or websites can be flexible, but when it comes to social media, designers need to stick to certain design norms.
For example, if you are creating a design for Facebook, you need to follow the following dimensions:
- Cover Photo — 720 x 312 pixels
- Profile Photo — 320 x 320 pixels
- App Images — 111 x 74 pixels
- News Feed Images — Width of 504 pixels; recommended size of 1,200 x 628 pixels
- News Feed Link Post "Featured" Image — 484 x 252 pixels; recommended size of 1,200 x 628 pixels
09. Use tools
The work of a graphic designer is similar to an inventor. Both research problems, collect information and look at the tasks from a different perspective. However, for graphic designers, this is a repetitive task as they need to follow all these steps for every project. But as rightly said, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, today there are so many online tools that can be used to create designs.
For example, if you want to create a logo for a company, you can create it by using a logo creator tool. The tool lets users, even non-designers, create a design within minutes.
10. Use Icons
Icons can help draw attention to a particular part of a design. If you’re trying to get people to follow you on social media, add the instantly recognizable icons for each platform so that your audience can immediately identify your username. Icons can be a great element to spice things up without adding too much if your design is on the simpler side.
11. Be Creative
Believe it or not, creativity lies in everyone. The only difference lies in the implementation.
Let’s understand this with an example.
For example, a client wants to design a logo for their company. For this, they have launched a logo design contest and shared a design brief. The client may like the designs of all the participating designers, but there will only be one design that will be chosen as the winner. The crux is that all the designers may have come up with their creative designs, but it is the implementation that will make the winning design stand out from the rest.
So, while designing, try to think out of the box. Keep experimenting with the right design elements until you don’t create anything that leaves the mark of norms or monotony on your work.
So, Let’s Get Started!
So, folks, now that you know the top tips to create great graphic design, it’s time to start creating something unique and eye appealing. You may not achieve perfection at the first go, but one day you will.
Keep practicing and try learning more about design by yourself. Good Luck!