5 Quick Tips for Good Design

5 Quick Tips for Good Design

If design concepts seem like ‘Lorem Ipsum’ to you, take this simple crash course offering 5 tips that designers follow on a daily basis in order to create good design.

1. White Space

The basic mentality for for most people is ‘fill the space’, which leads to things looking messy and cluttered. It’s important to allow images and text to breathe. Have you ever heard the term, ‘less is more?’ This phrase is essential when designing a piece. White space in your designs allows the viewers eye to be drawn to the more important components of the specific piece. If the layout is unorganized, the reader may quickly lose interest and you may run the risk of losing your main message.

QUICK TIP: As essential as it is to implement white space throughout the design, it is equally important to stay clear of the pages edges. When designing print pieces, such as flyers and posters, give yourself at least a quarter inch border/margin.

2. Typography

I cannot stress enough about the importance of Typography. In my opinion, typography is 80% of the design, so if you have terrible type treatment, you’re entire design will suffer for it.
The typeface(s) you choose will drive the overall look and feel of the design, so choose carefully. Everyone wants to start off by mixing fonts in a design, but this is an art and takes time to get the hang of. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t experiment, but if you do choose to do so, try looking at some other designers work that have achieved the aesthetic you are going for. Don’t worry, this isn’t cheating, it’s teaching us how to separate good design from bad design.

QUICK TIP: If you do decide to mix typefaces, make sure and keep it simple. Choose no more than 2-3 font choices in any design. Tip to save the world: In no circumstance, should you EVER choose to use Comic Sans. It’s one of the worst fonts out there.

3. Content

Creating content is a job in itself. Don’t ruin all of your hard work, by making one of the following common errors.

• Width: When laying out content, make sure to keep the paragraphs at a legible width. A good rule of thumb to follow is approximately 10-12 words per line. This allows the content to be easier on the readers eye and makes things easier to digest.

• Leading: (The distance between lines of type). This might be a little harder to judge and everyone has a different preference. However, the default leading is usually too close together. My best advice to give is to allow the text to have some breathing room, but not so much so that the readers eyes get lost.

• Widows & Orphans: Yikes, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen this error. These are common terms that typographers refer to as ‘single words at the beginning or end of a paragraph.’

Paying attention to these small details can help take your design to the next level.

4. Color Palette

Choosing a color palette is one of the most daunting tasks when designing. A good place to start is by choosing colors that you know will convey the tone of the message you are trying to get across. Try choosing two primary colors and two/three accent colors for your piece. Your design should convey no more than 5 colors.

QUICK TIP: If choosing colors is not your expertise, I suggest going to: https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ where you can search by category or theme. One of the best barts is that Kuler gives you the actual Hex values, so you can get the colors spot on.

5. Consistency

If you have failed at all of the other steps above, keep trying. These steps take time to grasp. In the meantime, make sure all of your designs are consistent throughout. This is great practice for a new designer. Make sure all of your headings, sub-headings, spacing, fonts, etc. are the same throughout the piece. It’s very easy to get off track once you get into a piece. So be sure to go back and revisit other area’s of the piece.

If all else fails – Thrive has your back! Give us a shout (931) 221-4991, email us or tweet @thrivecreative! Our Graphic Designers are here for you!

Til’ next time!

Posted In: Marketing Tips