6 Graphics Tips for Non-Designers

By December 19, 2018 Branding, Design

The visual appeal is a current subject in a world of digital content, which includes your website, your blog posts, the elements of your branding, and social media posts. Many websites now feature an impressive visual appeal to attract and keep visitors in an increasingly cluttered online environment. Busy Internet users prefer visuals to text; and, of course – well-created visuals enhance the aesthetics of any content.

In the past, recruiting a graphic designer was essential. Today is different. If you have some knowledge about graphics and are willing to learn how to use software, you can create incredible visuals (and create your own logo) for yourself. Here are some key design principles to follow, which will make you a designer in no time.

1. Don’t Copy

Your branding has to represent you only. Feel free to look at other logo design ideas for inspiration, but your designs need to be created for the spot-on branding that you’re after. There are probably many design templates out there that seem like they could work for you. But those templates are already used. So, take the best idea you find, and customize your designs to make them uniquely yours. 

2. Your Colors

They’re as important as the design itself. Notice the difference between the Rolex logo, the upscale brand of watches and Dollar Shave Club, a razor business in the personal products space that works by subscription.

The Rolex brand attracts a wealthy clientele and uses a black and gold logo. If you look at the Rolex site, you’ll see that the palette continues with black, grey and golden shades.

Dollar Shave Club prefers a more “rugged” look. And if this logo has a black background, the true color palette is brown and orange, like on its website and the rest of its online marketing.

Which colors best support the message you want to convey? Start by looking at color psychology research when you plan the colors you want to use for your brand – in your logo, on your website, and on all the graphic designs you want to create.

3. The White Space

If you’ve visited overcrowded sites with mostly content and images, you know how irritating it can be:

LingsCars.com official website of Lings Cars

Look at this crap! There’s a lot going on here. You’d be surprised to learn that Ling’s Cars is a very successful online business. But there’s too much information to digest. There’re too many colors, too much text, too many banners, and no “space to breathe”. When creating your website, or creating other visual content for your audience, don’t forget about empty spaces. They let the brain “rest” between images and text.

Empty Space for Brain Resting

4. Fonts and Typography

If the brand name is a part of the logo, choosing the right font is a design decision. Think of the classic Coca-Cola wordmark logo and other well-known brands like Taco Bell, or RE/Max Realty.

Coca-Cola Logo

Remax Realty Logo

The font and typography of your website are also design decisions. Their look should match your brand and message. You wouldn’t use a formal, conservative font if you have a “casual” or funny product. It wouldn’t communicate your brand’s message, and it would confuse potential customers.

Words can also appear too “fuzzy” (and non-attractive) if you use too many fonts. Pick two or three maximum.

Can you read this flyer with 6 fonts? Pretty difficult, right?

Maybe the designer thought using all these fonts would attract more attention, but I’m sure you agree that it looks pretty stupid.

Now, look at a visually appealing example of a site that uses just a few different fonts.

The PayPal site is an elegant and readable example.

5. Contrast

Contrast occurs when two elements of a web page are different. It may be the color; or differences in typography; or something related to the text. The human eye likes contrast. The key here is to have a strong contrast, not a small one.

Contrast can attract attention and help concentration. Look at the use of vibrant colors and gradients by Spotify:

Bright Color Contrasts on Spotify

Use typography as a design element. The strong black and white contrast is perfect for this business card from a glasses company.

6. The Experience

When you create your own visuals, test and play with different design elements. Take your ideas and infuse them into the design. Ask for opinions from friends and colleagues. If you already have customers/followers, present examples of your designs for advice. Nothing’s better than getting the opinion of the intended audience.

You can also use the services of other experts. Try DesignCrowd where you can access a community of 600,000 professional talented graphic designers.

Conclusion

You may not consider yourself a creative designer. You Don’t have to be. Study the principles of design, look at the examples, and become your own “expert”. Elements like alignment, hierarchy, repetition, proximity, balance, and space are technical aspects of design that you want to know and begin to use easily. Yes, it’ll take time and practice, but soon, you’ll be able to create good design elements yourself. And with all the tools of design software that technology offers, what’s stopping you?

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