Since you’re here, you probably decided that you’ll take up the design work for your conscious brand yourself. We’re here to help! There are some basic principles in graphic design to keep in mind that will help you create better looking designs in no time. Read along with us.
Visual hierarchy is about emphasizing the most important elements in your design, while making other elements less important. It’s how you guide your audience through your design, by making it clear where to look. Decide on what’s the most important message you want to get across and focus your design on it. You can do this for example by working with color, size and proportion.
White space is the space in your designs where ‘nothing’ happens, it’s empty. While it may seem like there is too much of it, this empty space plays an important role. White space in your designs is vital to keep your designs from looking too crammed and chaotic. It creates visual breathability and a calm design with clear focus. The less noise, the clearer your message, the better your design.
his one feeds into the previous tips, but we can’t emphasize it enough: keep it stupid simple. And by simple, we really mean simple. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience. Ask yourself what’s the main function of your design, and take that as a starting point. Only keep what’s necessary and fitting for your brand and get rid of all else. Of course you can use more graphic elements in one design, but it’s all about the right balance.
Keep your designs consistent. This way your brand will be easily recognisable to your audience. Stick to your brand colors, typography, shapes and other graphic elements to create a consistent look. When your brand is consistent, your audience knows what to expect from you and that makes your brand more trustworthy. Keep in mind that you don’t need to invent something new every time you design (we as designers are sometimes guilty of this as well!). Just look at your brand identity for inspiration and remember that repetition is key.
Readability in your design is crucial. There’s nothing worse than a meaningful message that’s not easily readable. In a sea of content, you need to make sure that your message, and thus your designs, are easy to digest for your audience. This keeps them from scrolling past. You can enhance readability by playing with: different typefaces, typesizes, alignment and colors. Test out your designs before publishing to be sure it’s easily readable on the platform your design is made for. Remember that an instagram feed post probably needs different type sizes than a presentation. Insider tip: create a private account with no followers to use as a test account.
One way to make your designs instantly look good is by using beautiful photography. If you have the means to invest in a brand photoshoot, we highly recommend to do so. It will greatly influence your designs, because an image speaks for itself. If you’re not ready to make that investment yet, you can consider using stock imagery, if that’s an option for your brand. Stock imagery has a bit of a bad reputation, but over the last few years it has improved so much. You just have to know where and how to look. We even use them in our own Brand Bundles. We love to use Unsplash and Pexels. When selecting images keep in mind that you want them to have the same vibe. Try finding images with the same colors, brightness and overall style of photography. This will take you some time, but it will be worth it.
Fun fact: we have the ambition to start our own stock image library in the future, completely consciously created! Read more about our future plans.
Knowing the right dimensions for your designs will save you lots of time and headache. Before starting a new design, make sure you start correctly and check dimensions. For social media posts, you will need different dimensions than for a presentation. Be mindful of that. In our Brand Bundles we created templates with the right dimensions already, but be sure to stay informed on any changes that might occur on Instagram and Facebook for example.
We know that graphic design sometimes can feel overwhelming (but also exciting!) for non-designers. We hope these tips – together with our templates – give you guidance in the process and help you create the conscious brand that you’ve envisioned. Feel free to reach out to us with questions anytime. Want to read more about branding basics? Read our Branding Basics Blog Part I on this topic. Have fun creating!