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design tip

10 Graphic Design Tips for Non-Designers

Top tips for design from designers for non designers.

Let us share with you our awesome guide top 10 design tips on how to create the perfect printed design. Whether you’re designing the artwork for a promotional leaflet, the layout of your latest business card or an eye-catching banner to grab the attention of passers-by, you want to make sure you get it right.

It could end up being the first impression of your business, after all. So, instead of just half-headedly slapping your logo on a plain background. Here we share our most common tips for designers and non-designers alike.

Table of Contents

Graphic design tips from us to you!

1: Keep It Simple & Plan Ahead

It’s OK to admit you’re a beginner in creating design, most of us are. And when you’re a beginner, the best thing to do is to keep things simple. There’s no point in trying to overwhelm yourself with overly complicated design tools and theatrical imagery. Instead, make a plan of all the basics.

What is the aim of your graphic design? What effect do you want it to have? What information does it need to display? Once you have all this down, it’s much easier to begin. Design tip 1 down on to the next!

2: Do Some Research

Next, we suggest taking a look at what the leaders in your industry are doing. This is not to say that you are going to copy their design – that would be a terrible idea! However, it’s a good idea to grasp what is working for others and in turn give yourself some design inspiration. Maybe there are certain elements of one design you like and elements of another you know you want to avoid.

Together, with your own brand colours, logo and artwork, something unique and special may come to life. They are plenty of places to look for inspiration now more than ever platforms like Instagram and Pintrest and TikTok as some great starting points. Design tip 2 done!

3: Use a Cohesive Colour Palette

Speaking of colours, one of the best design tips we can give you is choosing your colour palette wisely. Yes, you want your design to stand out, but you also don’t want to overload it with too many shades and graphics. Instead, achieve a nice balance of colour and contrast by using some of the “louder” colours on text and imagery you want to be noticed the most.

Additionally, if you’ve already got a well-established business then it’s worth using some of the colours already associated with it – it’s the perfect way to determine a strong brand identity! Design tip 3 destroyed!

Colour Palette

4: Choose Your Fonts Carefully

Another key to learning graphic design is understanding the importance of fonts. Like our advice with colours, you don’t want to overdo it with too many type faces and it’s a good idea to consider how easily you need your customers to view it, whether it’s a design being seen up close or from far away.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with fonts with so many graphic design tools offering an abundance but we recommend choosing one or two fonts that pair nicely together across your entire design space.

Alternatively, you could choose just one font and use different formats for different aspects of design such as bold for the heading, regular for the subheadings and italics for the small print. Design tip 4 done – you are on fire!

5: Don’t be Afraid of White Space

This can be a hard one to grasp, but a good design will often implement plenty of white space. Why? Because white space can help make your graphic design more visually appealing and in turn, make it easier for customers to read and understand what you’re trying to advertise.

For example, imagine you’re creating a flyer and you cover every element of its white space with some form of imagery or text.

The consumer isn’t going to know where to look and will likely become too overwhelmed to read it. Design tip 5 keep going!

6: Optimise Readability

Another important principle of graphic design is readability. At the end of the day, you want your customer to see and read your hard work. This can apply to how you overlay text onto background and again the colours and fonts you use. You want the colour of your text to contrast significantly against the backdrop. Again, get some design inspiration and take a look at some graphic designs that you yourself are attracted to the most. Design tip 6 – your over halfway now!

7: Keep in Mind Your Dimensions

This is an easy one to forget; we are all guilty of getting overly excited about a new design scheme that we forget to stop and consider what dimensions we need. Again, make a point of researching the different sizes available, whether it’s an A4 folded leaflet, a slim-sized business card or an A5 brochure.

Once you have determined the exact size you need, you can add the dimensions into your design tool or programme to ensure you’re left with the right amount of design space! Design tip 7 nearly there.

8: Check What File Type You Need

Like dimensions, another thing often overlooked during the design process is what file type you need. If you’re creating an online graphic for your website or social media, then this is even more important but those creating printed designs, it’s worth noting where and how you are getting it printed and what file type you need. Design tip 8 completed, woo hoo!

The best way to do this is to get in touch with the company you’re printing through, like that of Print Stafford, and just ask!

9: Use Exciting Imagery

We’ve talked about the consequences of your colour palette and fonts, but what about imagery? We like to think of imagery as the salt and pepper of a good graphic design. It doesn’t need to be the centrepiece, but it can really make all the different to a final product.

Some good examples of imagery is what is known as flat design. Flat design uses simple, two-dimensional elements and bright colours to create a three-dimensional effect.

It’s often easy to create but can be super impactful. Another piece of imagery worth using in your design scheme is your logo.

Exciting Graphics

10: Get Your Facts Straight

One of our final design tips to keep in mind when becoming a great graphic designer is to proof read. Read, read and proof read your design more than you might want to. This will make sure the entire design space is not only accurate so you don’t mislead customers with false information, but it will ensure there are no silly spelling mistakes.

There’s nothing more unprofessional than a good design ruined by a mere spelling mistake! Take a break and step away ask a colleague to take a look send it to someone not in work, breathe, then read again!

Take a break

11: When it’s Not Working, Take a Break!

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, remember that! When you feel like you’ve been staring at your graphic design for too long and design inspiration fails to come, take a rest, go on a walk, sit down with a cup of coffee and think about something else for half an hour.

You’ll be amazed at the design thinking that will come after giving your brain some time out.

12: Hire a Professional

Yes, we know we said this was a list of 10 design tips, but this last one is for those of you that would prefer to leave your design up to a professional. There’s no harm in admitting defeat. Creating design can be a time consuming job and it’s not always easy to trust your own instincts.

If that sounds like you, why not consider hiring a professional graphic designer. You can tell them exactly what you want, and they’ll use their years of experience to deliver exactly that.

Print Stafford eat, sleep and breathe graphic design so whether it’s a new logo, a banner, leaflet, business card or poster you’re looking for, let our team utilise our design skills to help you. Simply get in touch we would be more than happy to help.

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