10 Basic Tips for Non-Designers to get a Start in Designing

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The application of Graphic Design is highly vast as well as versatile. Designing images for invitations, social media, or online ads, can be tricky, especially if you haven’t studied the fundamentals of design in depth. However, it is easy to wrap your head around the process, best practices, and to follow certain set rules and steps, to get the desired design, and to deliver the best to your clients!

Additionally, there are many tutorials and websites that you can follow for tips, tricks and better understanding of graphic design like Line25 and WebDesignDev.  When working on your designs, you can also browse through other templates and designs and use them without any copyright violations from freebie websites. A compilation of freebie resources is available in our freebie section.

Here are the top 10 tips to help you through the process, and create visually appealing posts!

1. Know Your Client:

Before you begin designing the images for the client, it is wise to know what the client needs the images for, the sector for which you’re working, and his requirements. Understand the audience, so that they can react very favorably to it. Context always matters. For example- you wouldn’t want to use flashy images for a website for an upscale product, which would convey something opposite to what is actually intended.

2. Swipe It:

While imitation can be wrong, nothing is wrong with inspiration. Whenever you are designing, ensure that you research before you actually begin. Even if you are browsing and come across something appealing, you can save it for reference purposes. Good designs are hard to find, and you can take the examples to store, and use them when needed. There are no qualms in getting inspired by the excellence of designs- provided that you don’t copy it completely. There are a lot of articles that provide design ideas for logos, business cards, flyers etc that you can check out.

3. Color Palette:

10 Basic Tips for Non-Designers to get a Start in Designing - Color Pellete

It is worth noting that the aesthetically brilliant and dynamic designs have one thing in common- a great color palette. It is one of the vital components of making a great design. Before this overwhelms you, there are several websites where you can have unfettered access to millions of palettes- for eg: ColorLovers, Coolers, and Adobe Color. Find the Hex Code you like, and go on to create an excellent design!

4. Font Limit:

10 Basic Tips for Non-Designers to get a Start in Designing - Fonts

Avoid going overboard with the fonts, no matter how appealing it may be to you! Ensure that you don’t get carried away, and end up using multiple fonts in the same image. It is important to remind yourself to use fonts which can be read easily, which will contribute significantly to the success of your design work. Analyze the intended purpose of the image carefully, and choose fonts accordingly. For example, the curved and round-edged fonts convey a friendlier feeling. Create a uniformity by sticking to one particular font family. There are many free fonts available that you can use commercially for great designs.

5. Blank Out:

10 Basic Tips for Non-Designers to get a Start in Designing - Negative Space

While most of the designers are afraid to use the blank space, or the so-called ‘negative space’ to their advantage, you can surely try it out to see how it works well with your design. You can create a fluid design, which will draw attention to the actual work done in terms of design. This concept can be extremely helpful when it comes to product placement or when the design consists of text.

6. Scaling:

Scaling is highly pertinent to a successful design. While it is okay to be apprehensive of this technique, the results it gives when used appropriately gives the motivation enough to try it out. Try to apply the scale to the type, shapes, or features which need emphasis. Remember to use appropriate colors, which will enhance the technique used. Ensure that you use the suitable typeface, which would look equally or even more appealing when increased in size.

7. Alignment:

10 Basic Tips for Non-Designers to get a Start in Designing - Alignment

Irrespective of the number of the images you are tackling with, alignment is a crucial part of the process. Alignment is what gives your design a highly professional edge. This also helps in the presentation of the multiple and varied design elements, in a perfect manner- irrespective of the different sizes. Ensure that the layout is appropriate. While this can get a bit tricky, you can use the Snappa to help you out!

8. Icons:

10 Basic Tips for Non-Designers to get a Start in Designing - Icons

While icons can be deemed unnecessary by several designers, it is a fact that icons do give the design an ‘edge’ as compared to the instances where icons are not used. When used appropriately, Icons can reinforce the content or the message in a very succinct manner- thus, making it appealing and easier to comprehend. It also is helpful in drawing attention to the content. There are many resources that provide free icons for use.

9. 3C- Clear, Crisp, and Clean:

The purpose of the design is completely ruined if it is not comprehensive enough. Use clear and crisp typefaces, to ensure the ease in the readability for the viewers/readers. Use contrast if needed, to bring out the elements. Adjust the brightness according to the contrast and colors used, as well as the text. Try to create a sense of order, by using lines and separators. In the end, your design must reinforce the concept of the 3C.

10. Follow Rules:

By this, it doesn’t mean that you follow a standardized textbook approach. Every designer ought to have his/her own set of rules, as well as a process. Set some standard rules for yourself. For example- if you come across an idea and are quite confident about the choice, avoid letting it go for a toss, and going forward to do something extremely contrasting! Learn to trust your choices and your designing skills. Stick to planning the design out, and ensure a flawless execution!

The field of Graphic Design is vast and full of creative freedom. As an aspiring, or an established designer, you must take advantage of the complete freedom that the field provides!

Unfollow the conventional methods and approaches, and push yourself, and your limits, every single day, by implementing new ideas, experimenting, and innovating!

Harsh Raval
HR is a skilled web developer, graphic designer, digital marketing consultant, and content creator. With more than 10 years of experience in content creation, HR has contributed engaging, thorough, and well-researched graphic and web design content for several years here at WebDesignDev.

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