From Concept to Creation—5 Simple Graphic Design Tips for Non-Designers
More by design than by accident.
Not to get too graphic, but when it comes to building a brand—design is essential. So maybe art school was never really in the picture, and perhaps you have enough trouble color coordinating your clothes to even considering properly branding your business on your own, but that's perfectly fine. Today, free browser based photo editing software such as Pixlr, graphic-design tool sites like Canva, and of course, the highly affordable and infinitely valuable Adobe Photoshop make it easier than ever before to produce polished graphics with a little practice. While there's a wealth of online video tutorials and training to help you develop the basics, we thought it be only pertinent to point out a few hints and hacks when you find yourself waiting at the corner of inspiration and imagination.
1. What the Font?
Selecting the proper typeface for the headings, subtitles, and body text can be a time-consuming and confusing task without a basic strategy. To simplify the matter, put your mind in the frame of the person viewing your newsletter. Consider the difficulty that they may encounter when faced with an image containing multiple font choices, colors and sizes. As a rule of design, try to limit your fonts to no more than 2-3 variations and be sure to do your research on which specific types compliment each other. For instance, typefaces that share common qualities and belong to the same family such as serifs and sans serifs go together like cheese and wine.
2. Space to Breathe
Settle down, there’s room for everything. Resisting the urge to cram, your visual content should be spaced evenly, avoiding the overcrowding of shapes, images and text. Prioritizing readability when taking into account font size and choice is paramount to spotlighting the message while utilizing the image for effect.
3. The Laws of Attraction
Want to really make your text pop? Adjust the brightness of the background image so that it creates an almost three-dimensional effect for white or black text. This simple and effective trick increased the readability of the text and can be accomplished in just a matter of seconds.
Back to the Drawing Board
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. So much of the creative process involves identifying what works and what doesn’t work. From copywriting to video production, creating the kind of content to feel confident about doesn’t always happen on the first—or fifteenth time around. Our advice is to study advertisements anywhere from milled.com to your local mall, making note of what caught your eye and what didn’t. Allowing yourself breaks to stretch and stay hydrated when frustration takes over, and taking the time to revisit a project with a renewed creative purpose. Remember, the undo feature is always your friend.
5. Always Abide by the Style Guide
Depending on whether or not your business belongs to a franchise, there's a good bet that the powers that be have had a style guide devised. Such a publication is a set of standards for design and copy that form and maintain elements for branding purposes of the business. At FetchRev, we take such instruction very seriously when creating content on behalf of our clients, and ask that our creative team be shared on all such documents. As a business owner, it’s essential that you don’t deviate from the collateral with your content and make every effort to stay on brand and consistent with your fonts, colors, and images as documented in your style guide.