Five Don’t-Miss Design Tips
By Karry Liu, Brand Guardian
Rogue Water just celebrated its five-year anniversary, and what better way to keep the high fives going than to share my top five tried-and-true design tips? These five fundamentals will always be important to successful design — and this sneak peek will give you the upper hand when it comes to designing your own amazing creations.
Establish hierarchy. Establish hierarchy. Establish hierarchy.
Hierarchy serves two main purposes: drawing the eye to what’s important and organizing information. If you take nothing else away from this, remember this essential tip. Got it? Good.
So, before anything else, decide what the focal point of your design needs to be. Then, make it larger than the rest. This is where you want to immediately draw people’s eyes, so make it not only big, but bold and interesting.
Establishing hierarchy will be your best friend when it comes to organizing pertinent information. Setting a hierarchy lets your audience know what’s most important, then second in significance, third, and so on.
We love good alignment.
Aligning your text and visuals will make your design visually attractive. Just take a look at this example. Need I say more?
Group things that are alike.
Design elements that are visually grouped together suggest that they’re related to each other in some way. When parts in your design aren’t linked, place them farther apart or visually distinguish them.
Don’t overdo it on fonts and colors.
More than likely, you don’t need all those fonts and colors. Keep it to three.
Need a second font? Try a thinner or bolder version of the font you’re already using. Pairing fonts is a different beast and requires more design knowledge, so utilize everything in the font family first for a safer, less visually chaotic route. Use up to three different weights max.
As for color, there’s an endless amount in the world. Generally, you only need three or four max. Any more and you’re looking at a tornado rainbow splashing onto your design! Don’t overwhelm the design with too much. Especially when you’re just starting out, less is more.
White space is your friend.
White spaces are the areas of your design with nothing in it: no text, no visuals, nothing. Don’t be afraid of this. You may feel the need to fill the space with something, anything! Resist the temptation, because this white space allows your design to breathe — and breathing is vital.
Design is a skill like any other, and it takes some trial and error as you’re learning. Take it from a designer like me who’s been there, done that — these essential tips are ones you won’t want to miss out on in your next design. You can thank me later. 😉
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