Graphic design always seems to be attractive to beginners in the creative industry. It demands a lot of creativity but also – a lot of hard work. Graphic design demands various types of skills – from communication, innovative ideas, typography, and a bit of coding. Also, it demands a great sense of design. Of course, that is not a superpower and you can improve this aspect in time. If you are a beginner in this field or just a design enthusiast – start small at first and go step by step.
Creativity and inspiration will keep your ideas flowing but what happens when you get your first big web design project? Or if you are a non-designer and you want that perfect website but don’t know how to convert your imagination to reality?
There are certain pillars in design that work their magic every time and once you get how to combine these evergreen elements – you will unlock your full potential.
Check out our tips for design and by the end of this article, you might get inspired to explore even more.
What are basic design skills?
As a designer, you will wear many hats, but first- you will be a visual storyteller. You will be there to tell a story about the brand through visuals, typography, and various color pallets. Your project will be your canvas and your clients will be your biggest inspiration.
Also, typography is often an overlooked skill- but it can be a great tool when it is in the right hands. Learning the basics of HTML and CSS is always great and Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) are the base for this business.
Actionable tips for design, beginners edition
Once you have your baseline, what should you do next?
Study the color psychology
Color themes and color palettes will be some of the most important elements you will work with. So you need to take a closer look at color psychology.
Every color has a different emotion and cultural significance. So keep this in mind when you are helping someone build their brand. Do they want bold and vivid colors to be associated with their company or do soft pastel tones might sound like a better idea?
For example, blue color tones can help you spark trust and make your client look professional. But in some cases, people can associate it with depression and sadness. Balance is everything – play with different colors until you find a perfect match.
Great typography and readability
Readability is one of the most important aspects of a great design. You need to find the balance between the text and the background. You don’t want some large chunks of text, small fonts, or text mixed with the background image. It will hurt brand reputation in the end and it will look sloppy and not so professional.
Readability and clarity are crucial for a successful design and fonts can make a huge difference as well. Since nowadays we have many kinds of fonts available – try experimenting with as many as possible. Try which ones work the best and which do not so much. Mix and match until you find a perfect solution.
Don’t underestimate the white space
When thinking about an awesome design – you will never regret going simplistic and minimalistic. White space may seem boring but it is amazingly effective. Minimalist design is about white spaces, a monochromatic palette, and high-quality fonts. Apple did it among many popular names and it resonated greatly with the customers.
A true artist can make a masterpiece even out of blank spaces. There are two types of white spaces in design – passive and active. Passive white space often occurs naturally, representing the space between different elements. Active white space is added by the designer and it is often asymmetrical in shape. Use both of these wisely!
Practice visual consistency
Consistency is of the utmost importance when it comes to web design and designing different artworks as well. This is the part when you are creating a visual puzzle that will help you see the bigger picture in the end. All the elements need to be in a perfect synergy that will represent the brand in the right way in the end.
When creating the website – all the elements need to have consistency. From thumbnails, buttons, fonts, illustrations… you need to find the pattern in your creative chaos.
Of course, it takes time to find the brand voice and follow it. But there are some questions that can help you set the solid foundations for visual consistency – what emotion do you want for people to associate with your brand? What makes the brand stand out from the competitors?
Establish a visual hierarchy
Clutter doesn’t look great and it can make people feel overwhelmed. Therefore, you need to learn to prioritize visual elements properly so the content of the web page is easy to digest. You need to give priority to certain visual elements. Which element should be a focal point of your design?
Once you establish a hierarchy it will improve the flow of information on your website. It will create a visual balance. You want a steady flow of information, not a sensory overload.
What makes a design great?
If you listened to all our tips for design – you can get a general idea. Overall – it is about balance, clarity, simplicity, and improved readability. The bad news is that there is no universal recipe for a great design…which is also great news. There are so many shades of success you will need to explore while working for different brands.
How can I improve my sense of design?
Design professionals are always striving to reach perfection and to find new ways to rethink innovation. If you follow our tips for the design you are on the right track but there are some things. So in order to get that keen sense for design – make sure to enjoy different forms of art, to always keep on learning, and to see what other designers are doing differently. Of course, you need to find your own voice, not copy what others do.
Painting a few colors on canvas won’t create a masterpiece if you don’t see the intention or emotion behind it. Creativity, the intention, and the context make one complete picture in the end. That is what you need to do – to tell a story of a brand that will make sense to its customers.