10MM: 3 Graphic Design Rules to Follow
The world of graphic design can be an intimidating place to venture for those who may not have much experience with the art. Between complex software, thousands of fonts, color combinations and design options, knowing where to start is often easier said than done. Free online programs such as Canva and Adobe Spark have allowed small business owners to take advantage of graphic design without being a trained designer.
Though the programs make it easy, it’s hard making your designs stunning. We gathered our 3 graphic designers. Each of them gave their #1 rule you can use right now to make your designs powerful or to help better lead a designer you’re working with for a project.
Designer Marta says,“My number one tip would be keeping things simple.” Marta explains how keeping it simple means being aware of your use of colors, typefaces, images and any other elements within the design. Limiting the number of different elements and reusing them throughout various design projects can be a huge asset for a designer who is just starting out and may not be overly confident with mixing a large variety of elements into one project, she explains.
Seeking to give listeners a set of rules they can take with them, Marta explains how limiting yourself to “two, maybe three” typefaces or fonts is a great rule of thumb. As for the use of color, sticking to three primary colors and two secondary colors are the general guidelines Marta identified.
Responding to the same question, Bekah advises ensuring your use of typefaces (fonts) correctly can take a design to the next level. “I like to find a typeface that has different levels of boldness, or weight.” By using different weights of the same font, it opens up many typeface options while staying within the “two or three typefaces” rule laid out previously by Marta. For example, “What you’re trying to get across can be in the bold while the subtitle can be in a lighter weight,” which can prevent your design from becoming cluttered with too many fonts, she explains. Many different fonts and typefaces may seem attractive but pollute the message. Stick to one font style or typeface. Maybe two.
Our third designer, Jonathan, highlights taking advantage of “scale.” Jonathan explains a great design doesn’t need to use a lot of different flashy objects, rather it can use a few, simple things at different sizes, opacities and ratios. Play around with your text’s size. Not every piece needs to be the same size. Trying blowing up your logo to use as a texture; change the opacity of an image or shape to make it darker or lighter to make your text or important message stand out. “The word ‘scale’ can be applied to many different things in graphic design. Stick with a few elements and play with their sizes,” says Jonathan.
Technology and platforms have given the power of great design to the consumer who may have little no training. At Abovo, we always recommend taking advantage of the resources you have; however, it’s important to know your business cards; pamphlets; social media graphics; flyers and everything you do for your brand or company, represent your company’s quality and perception. Make sure that impression and perception is stunning and high quality. Spend time focusing on giving your brand the gift of great design.