30 Apr Graphic design tips for non-designers
Achieving a professional and iconic graphic design requires many years of study and experience. Not to mention an innate inclination toward the visual arts… But, if this is not your case, that does not mean that you cannot learn some basic graphic design tricks that will allow you to:
Identify what works in a good design
- Better communicate your needs and expectations to a graphic designer
- Know how to avoid some classic design mistakes
- Evaluate whether or not they are delivering quality design work to you
Sketch creative graphic designs
For this reason, at Workana we want to share with you this list of design tips for non-designers that we have gathered from our best freelancers in this category. After reading it you will be much better prepared to start building or improving the visual identity of your project.
We are going to divide the following tips into those that apply when you work with a designer. And you don’t know anything about graphic design, and those aimed at starting to experiment with your own designs. Although they will surely all be of great help to you at some point.
Asking them to “design a logo for you” is a mistake
If you are starting your business, you know that you need a logo. What you may not know yet is that the logo is only the central pillar of something called “visual identity”. Which establishes the color palette, styles, fonts, and other necessary rules. So that all the designs associated with your brand have consistency and internal solidity.
The appropriate thing, then, is to ask a designer to give you a complete identity manual. It is a little more expensive, but it is a document that will save you a lot of time, money, and errors in the future.
Every graphic design is part of something bigger
Just as a logo is part of a visual identity, an art, ad, or flyer for networks is part of a marketing strategy. A corporate presentation is part of a sales process, an infographic is part of training, etc.
- The best way for a designer to understand the objectives of a design is to explain to him what his role is in the whole to which he belongs.
- The designer adapts to your identity, not the other way around
If you don’t have a visual identity manual, every time you work with a new designer. There will be very noticeable differences in the style you project. Plus it will never be clear which changes break with consistency. And which ones really add value without altering the tone of communication.
There is always a lot of room for creativity and innovation. But the essence of each piece must necessarily refer to the general design guidelines of your brand.
Analyze the designs you like
One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with good design practices is to take a moment to analyze what works and what makes the artwork, logos, or images that catch your eye different. Thus, when you summon a designer it will also be much easier for you to give them examples of what you are looking for.
Try to imitate designs and compare them with the original
This does two things, firstly to give you a better understanding of complex concepts like proportion, contrast, and Gestalt laws, and also to draw a clear line between the kind of simple designs you can do yourself and those for which it is best for you to hire a freelance designer.
Remember that design trends also change
Visually speaking, the world was very different twenty years ago: in a few years, the design, in general, became much more fresh, schematic, and minimalist. Keep up to date in this regard and this will help you take better advantage of the services of a designer and optimize the quality of your corporate and personal communication in general.
For example, did you know that more and more people change the typical boring CV for an infographic about themselves?
Take advantage of design tools for non-designers
Apps like Canva, Looka, or Relay help you create simple designs through pre-designed templates with the right size and proportions for social media arts, presentations, flyers, brochures, and more.
If you have already invested in your corporate identity manual made by an expert, it will be easier for the designs you make with these tools to look more professional and not lose homogeneity between one and the other.
Less is more
One of the maxims of design is that it always seeks to convey rich and complex meanings using as few elements as possible. When we clutter a design, the brain gets confused and fails to grasp the message at a single glance.
However, creating a “simple” logo that projects that yours is a young, reliable, sustainable, and dynamic brand, for example, is actually NOT easy at all. Fortunately, there are tools like Gestalt principles that allow us to say a lot with very little.
Design is also what does not seem so at first glance
When we think of design we usually think of logos, business cards, brochures, or documents that integrate images. But consider that there is also design in documents that are mostly text, like email templates and blog posts.
Design is present, literally, wherever the eyes can rest. And it is important that each piece of communication that your brand generates has its distinctive stamp. So that the public can identify “at a glance” who is communicating.
Colors are never chosen at random
Color science is one of the most complex and important areas of design. There is a whole underlying theory that allows professional designers to determine what kind of visual impact a particular combination causes. And not only that but also what kind of emotions and attributes evoke.
Colors can be considered a language in themselves and are capable of communicating the values of your brand and the type of experience you offer.
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