Okay, so we say “non-graphic designers”, but really this is just good stuff that everyone needs to know and some designers need to be reminded of. So yeah, it’s simple, but we’ve learned that it’s the simple things which make the most difference, especially when it comes to graphic design.
A quick disclaimer: the Wolf Pack really loves good graphic design, so we kinda nerd out. Let’s jump in!
On Why Graphic Design Matters
If you’re going to skimp on anything when it comes to your business (we don’t suggest doing that, by the way), definitely don’t make it graphic design. This is one of the most direct ways you present your business to the world. Whether it’s an online flow chart, a graphic for social media, or your logo, make it good and your business will take almost an automatic leap forward.
It’s not the 90s anymore, so your logo and other graphic design elements should look like they’re from this decade. Here’s how to make that happen with 5 tips right from our graphic design department.
1) Don’t Get Cute
Stick to the basics and keep your designs as straightforward as possible. You don’t want people to have to sift through your mountain of obscure references just to figure out what your business actually offers. What you do want is for your logo and other branding to make it very clear what you offer. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, here, we just need to make it look better.
2) Stay Simple
This applies to everything. Fonts, colors, you name it. Pick one to two of each and just stick with it. Your goal here is to not overwhelm with too much going on. The simpler and more straightforward it is, the better. Always.
3) Look at What Others Are Doing in Your Field
But realize that you don’t necessarily have to do the same thing, or even something super similar. You can look at their basic designs, then do them better, more modernized, and more originally. You want to avoid cliches at all costs (review this article to see exactly what we mean). But looking at what others are doing, preferably the more successful and creative “others”, will give you an idea of where to start for yourself.
4) Ask Other People What They Think
Even if they’re not professionals, asking other people what they think of your designs will give you great insight every time. They’ll see things that you don’t, let you know what needs to be clearer, and generally just help you out in making your designs more consumer friendly.
5) BE CONSISTENT
This one is huge, guys, so it’s going to be a bit more in-depth. One of the most important things you can do for your company is to be consistent with your designs across the board. A great way to do this even as you grow, and maybe hire other people to do you design work for you, is to create a stylesheet and stick to it.
Within that style sheet, define your logo and branding fonts. After that, define your headliner, sub headliner, and paragraph font weights (weights aren’t as complicated as they seem, most programs like WordPress will automatically do it for you).
Your style sheet should also define your kerning, tracking, and so forth. Never go outside your style sheet no matter what, whether it’s web or print mediums. Can you tell we care a lot about consistency? Consistency, consistency! Here are a few examples of style sheets to get the creative juices flowing.
Okay, We Know
That last bit was a little technical, but we linked to a few things that will hopefully help you understand some of the terms. Just keep in mind that, as long as you have a good way of keeping things consistent, that’s enough for now.
We hope our 5 tips for great graphic design are helpful and got you thinking about some ideas. If you’re ready to jump into web design, we’ve got a great place for you to start! As always, if you’ve got more questions about graphic design, sound off in the comments and let us know. We’ll be happy to help you out!