Learning Paths

Graphic Design Tips for Beginners

If you are not a qualified graphic designer but still looking for some helpful tips to make you design like a pro, read on.

Often in today’s digital world, all team members are called upon to create basic designs. Entrepreneurs may have to design their own websites, SEO specialists may design a few web banners and content marketers will need insight into what design elements need to look like in order to best suit the brand audience.

Here are a few tips on how to create more professional looking designs even if you don’t have the training:

1. Choose two readable fonts.

In addition to choosing a font that aligns with your brand and voice, always select clear fonts that are easy to read. Selecting a spectacular font that is barely legible, no matter how grand it looks really defeats the purpose. The most important thing is that your target audience can read your message. 

It’s also best to stick to two fonts. One for the heading and another for the body of the text. Any more than that and the design ends up looking chaotic and unprofessional. Less is always more.

2. White space is a good thing.

With every design created, the text and graphics tend to get all the attention. But the areas without text and graphics are just as vital to the design; giving it space to take shape and ‘breathe’. And these days, breathing is good!

Negative space is the area around and between your various design elements. It doesn’t necessarily have to be white; it could be any colour, image or pattern. In general, it’s always advised not to overcrowd design elements.

3. Be mindful of alignment.

Poor or non-existent alignment will be a sure sign of whether a design was created by an amateur or professional – and we are trying to look the part, so concentrate.

Many design programs will include grid lines that allow you to see when text boxes and graphics are in alignment. Even if you’re working with a program that doesn’t have grid lines, you can add one yourself.

Try uploading a vector image of a grid and send it to the back of your design until it is complete. Once you’re happy with the alignment, you can delete the grid. We probably didn’t need to tell you this, but it being an amateur graphic designer posing as a pro – we thought we would leave it in…

4. Create a brand style guide.

Things like brand logos, a library of fonts and a colour palette (including CMYK, hex and RGB codes for each colour) are all key elements to include in your brand style guide.

Additional elements such as photos and brand assets regularly used in designs as well as instructions on how to use fonts, colours etc are all crucial for the brand style guide.

Once the brand style has been set, all designs created can be consistent.

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