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10 Graphic Design Tips 2021

Peisi Chan | 21 July 2021

10 graphic design tips

Why graphic design tips?

We’ve seen how businesses are moving online as the pandemic continues and as the norm of retail changes. So, what does this entail? To survive and thrive in the online marketplace, you would probably have to start social media or digital marketing. This signifies the importance of the roles visual and graphic design play.

There are countless tricks to perfect your designs, but today, we will look at the 10 core graphic design tips that lay the foundation of good designs for your business. 

– OVERVIEW –

Before we start, here’s an overview of the 10 graphic design tips: 

  1. Research It Out
  2. Balance With Your Eyes
  3. Use White Space
  4. Alignment Should Be A Basic
  5. Make Use Of Lines
  6. Use Icons
  7. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Flat Designs
  8. Be Careful With Fonts
  9. Don’t Neglect Hierarchy
  10. Be Consistent

1. Research It Out

The best designs do not just come from a moment of inspiration. They actually require a lot of research even before starting the first draft. One great example would be to do up a mood board. You can visit various social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. Having a mood board will give you an overall look and feel of how you want your designs to look.

Of course, try to find a few mood boards to draw inspiration from. Referencing only to one may cause you to copy or follow too closely. Besides, having a few mood boards can also help you discover new ideas and spark creativity.

Before you even start clicking away, it is also helpful for you to plan first. Your plan can include defining your target audience, their preferences and their interests. List down the objective or message you want to bring across with your designs, and what you want your audience to experience or see. Based on the mood boards you have created, you can also plan and draw out rough sketches before you get started on the real deal. This will make things clearer for you, such as which font types, colours, graphics go well together. 

research it out, mood board

2. Balance With Your Eyes

Many designing tools out there provide grid lines that help you to centralise your images, icons, words etc. While these are great tools to use and align our graphics, there may be times when human eyes play tricks on us. This means that even when we align our graphics to the centralised lines, our work may still look unbalanced or not aligned e.g. bottom or top, left or right heavy.

Hence, it is important to double-check before following the grid lines blindly instead of balancing it with your eyes. If unsure, you can always get the help of another pair of eyes!

balance with eyes, not tools

3. Use White Space

White space, or negative space, refers to space in between your graphics and elements. It may certainly be tempting to fill up the white space with more information or icons to show more content. However, this will only make your work harder to read and follow, worse still, it may look cluttered.

What you can do instead is to maximise the purpose of white space. White space portrays a clean, simple and minimal look. It can even help your audience to spot the key point at a glance. For instance, you can keep space all around the icon, graphic, element or even the headline you wish to bring across first. This will help your reader to follow the flow more easily.

4. Alignment Should Be A Basic

It is common to have a variety of elements and graphics in your work. The key to making it look professional and sophisticated is to align them. Generally, your words or point forms are aligned to the left, while images or small blocks of text are centralised. 

However, there is really no one size fits all approach to designing. You can always have your pointers on the right or centre depending on your designs. The key here is to align your elements in a way such that it helps to structure your work and make it look presentable.

5. Make Full Use Of Lines

Lines work great in two different ways. Firstly, lines can act as a focal point and guide your audience to read on. For instance, you can line or use a box around your call to action. Secondly, lines can also be used to compartmentalise or as “separators” in between your elements, giving your design more depth and a neater look. 

6. Use Icons

Icons may seem like a simple and no-brainer in design, but many people tend to overlook it. Instead of just using words for your pointers, you can “categorise” it with icons as well. Icons act as interactive elements that can provide your viewers with a more engaging experience. 

These icons do not necessarily have to be famous logos that are well-recognised but can simply be those that represent or reflect your pointers. In some cases, these icons can actually get your message across faster than words.

use icons, tips

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Flat Designs

Contrary to popular belief, the best design may not always be 3D graphics. Flat designs work just as well too! Flat designs have become increasingly popular over the years, most importantly, it is easy to use and beginner-friendly. 

use flat designs, tips

8. Be Careful With Fonts

Font types can be a great way to help your main idea or message stand out, for instance, you can use contrasting fonts such as pairing cursive together with bold fonts. Additionally, you can also use varying fonts of the same type to separate your headers or titles from the main block of text. The varying font looks different enough, yet still gives the consistency between fonts that a good design needs.

That being said, it is still important for you to limit the number of fonts used in one design. 1-3 is certainly fine, anything above you might want to reconsider and relook on the overall feel of your design. Too many fonts may make it difficult for the human eye to read, and may also look messy, complicated and unorganised.

Before settling down with a font for your business, do explore the many fonts available online, and find one that suits your business and design needs the best. 

be careful with fonts, graphics

9. Don’t Neglect Hierarchy

The human attention span has decreased from 12-8 seconds over the years. This means even lesser time for you to capture attention before they swipe away from your post. 

What you can do is to make use of elements like lines, font type, icons, white space etc. as mentioned above. This will help you prioritize the important points and guide your audiences’ attention to your main message.

10. Be Consistent

Consistency plays a key role in connecting and tying your different designs together. A good design with consistency can also help the audience to recognise its brand. There are many ways to being consistent with your designs, fonts, art styles, colours etc. 

A good way to start is to create your own colour palette. That way, you would have a set of complementary colours to stick to for all your future designs, ensuring consistency for all.

be consistent, colour palette

WHAT CAN YOU DO NEXT?

As some inspiring guy said, “Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated”. Feeling more confident to take on graphic designing works now that you have learnt of the 10 graphic design tips? Don’t stop here yet, further enhance your online marketplace with web designing tips, or learn new tips to boost your e-commerce sales, or find out more on how to push for social media engagement

Wish to start your own e-commerce business but not sure how? We can help, contact us today.

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