Graphic Design Tips For Non-Designers
Graphic design is steadily becoming more synonymous with how the branding process is done, with 68% of digital marketers incorporating at least one form of visuals in their content and 80% of designers utilizing graphic design for their branding on social media. It is not farfetched to say that graphic design effectively gets people to acknowledge your business and get their attention. However, the world of graphic design is a hard place to navigate without the right guide. You can be lost in the shuffle easily as a beginner if you blindly go in, not bearing any prior knowledge or values that make an effective graphic designer.
Fortunately for you, we have prepared a detailed guide complete with all the wisdom and guidance that lead even the most inexperienced designers into graphic design stardom.
Table of Contents
14 powerful graphic design tips for non-designers
1. Make sure you know what RGB and CMYK is
Most rookies, and even professionals, often overlook the importance of knowing what RGB and CMYK are. If you find yourself reading this article, this may be the first time you have encountered these two acronyms. Perhaps you are already aware of and are frightened by the lack of knowledge to understand these two concepts. Well, if you want to get anywhere in the graphic design world, you are going to have to face your fears.
Think of it as very simple, RGB and CMYK are just color mixing modes for web design and paper printing, respectively.
For RGB mode, you will be mixing Red, Green, and Blue to produce the bright colors and images projected on your screen. If your project revolves around web design, television, or any digital communication channel, expect to deal more with RGB.
CMYK, short for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, are the layers of colors mixed to change a blank canvas of white ink into any shade you intend. Expect to use more CMYK when dealing with physical copies of design such as brochures, business cards, posters, or even T-shirts.
2. Learn what white space can do for you.
A concept that every designer should learn and master is white space. White space is not literally ‘white’ space; it is just parts of the design that are left vacant, such as lines between letters, elements, and patterns. It can also be called blank space or negative space, but what is important to remember is the number of perks it can have if you can integrate it masterfully into a design. Graphic design does not always have to be overloaded, and every single inch has to have a color or element. Most of the time, graphic designers will follow the less is more philosophy, and white space will help you achieve qualities in your design such as
- Emphasis on central elements
- Provide a breather for audiences
- Guide the viewer through scale and grouping
- More focus on your graphic
- Less density means comprehension
3. The power of color psychology.
One thing that graphic design is good at is making people feel something. Empathy, sadness, excitement, and romance are just a few emotions that can be evoked from an effective visual, but how exactly can you achieve such a polarizing effect? The simple answer is color.
Though elements, arrangement, and even the inspiration behind a visual can all contribute to the emotional impact of a graphic, it is color that contributes most. In fact, 33% of the top 100 brands believe that the color has contributed to the success of their logo. It is indeed influential on the consumer side, with 92.6% of them claiming that color is a driving reason for purchasing a product.
If you want to understand the graphic design industry, a lot of it will revolve around that color wheel. It would be best to spend much time understanding what makes it turn, what combinations work, and what group of people resonates with certain hues.
4. A font for your front.
If you want audiences to understand your visuals properly, choose a font that best suits your style and the message you aim to send out. Choosing the right font can do a lot for your graphic; it can help make you professional, playful, or even intimidating if you use it right. Some fonts already have formats synonymous to them, such as serif fonts for newspapers and magazines, sans serif for your smartphones, and display fonts for more niche, loaded designs.
Make sure that you choose a font that resonates with the vibe you are going for and the format you will be taking on for your designs. You can also venture out to combine a bunch of different fonts or experiment with concepts such as hierarchy or leading.
5. Always check your alignment.
An easy way to get your entire visual sabotaged by your hand is to forget to check your alignment. Alignment is simple; it is how the elements of your design are organized across the edges of your canvas along with the other elements on that canvas. Yet, no matter how fundamental that may be, graphic designers still often overlook it.
It can lead to sloppiness, confusing information, and off-putting visuals, labels that should be nightmares for every graphic designer out there. If you want to get it right, you must first remember the main theme or message that your graphic holds. It will help you identify where you want the elements to be and where they can create the most impact or produce the best comprehension for readers. After this, learn how proper alignment: left, right, and center alignment and vertical and justified if you thought it was suitable for the job.
6. Take the reins on social media networking.
All the tips listed and all that is yet to become diverge in this one entry; that is the convenience that social media networking can bring to an aspiring graphic designer.
Top graphic designers are all over social media, and being on at least one channel, preferably Instagram, will allow you to observe how the billing is done. It will also help you build inspiration and learn as much as you can, maybe even connect with individuals faster. Eventually, once you grow your skills and have a portfolio, you can create your own social media account and slowly ramp up your following.
Social media is the gathering place of all things graphic and creative, and you may want to join in on the party if you want to improve as fast as you can.
7. Evolve with design programs.
The automation industry is already evolving to help our every task, and it will continue to do so until all of our work is cut out for us, so it will only make sense that we evolve along with it. Learning what design programs are available will help you boost productivity and quality and help you understand both the basics and the complexities of graphic design.
When working on a project, you may be frustrated when the pixels you are handling do not appear the way you want them to be, and it seems rough and not scaled right. If you want an easy remedy for this, you need a free image vectorizer tool.
A free image vectorizer tool will help identify geometric shapes in your project and scale them to the size you need without losing their quality. It is something beginners should write down because a free image vectorizer tool will help them avoid the costs of more expensive software such as CorelDraw or Adobe applications.
If you want a great free image vectorizer tool, look into one of these.
8. Practice how you practice.
Entering a new craft may be a daunting quest in life. Leaving our comfort zones often leaves us with cold feet and a dazed mindset. We give up on the first lap and do not bother picking up where we left on, and this is often a flaw that traces back to how we develop our routine of practice.
Developing a good practice ethic early on will allow you to continually stand up after being knocked and acknowledge why you were in that situation in the first place. It will passively help you become an individual that does not relent until all flaws are rectified, and all skills are acquired.
It is no different in the graphic design industry. Experimenting with colors, people, and personal style will have you finding yourself beat and doubting whether you should continue in this field. If you want to remain headstrong, build that practice ethically, focus on how you fix yourself, and make sure that you have the energy to do something about it through continuous exercise.
9. The simpler, the better.
Sometimes, it is best if you do not overthink it. If you have a message, the best thing you can do is merely deliver it.
Simplicity can often be the most effective of mediums if you time it right and do it right. People are busy, rushing, and tired to the point that they would not bother to read or look at designs that seem overwhelming or too much to take in. Being simple can allow people to take in a design at first glance and already know what is being marketed to them.
You do not need to do much other than do the fundamentals, and that is to reach people with an effective, slick, and straightforward design that gets a message across as quickly as possible.
10. Build relationships with other designers.
Being a beginner in the industry will make you realize just how big the world of graphic design really is. So, being unsociable will only make life harder for yourself. Learn how to network with your fellow designers to find a group of people who may share the same dreams and visions. In no time, you can find yourselves growing together and improving your creativity while gaining more traction in the industry because connections equal opportunities.
11. Consistency is key
Though this may be a cliché, it is a tip that will always do you some good. If you want to maintain a respectable following for your business, art, or blog, you need to serve up consistent visuals that your audience can connect with.
You can not just create a stunning visual one and turn up with a lazy and plain one the next; this will show carelessness, vulnerability, and weakness. Being consistent with the quality of your designs will help set in an image of professionalism that can help boost both the confidence you have in your work and the confidence that the audience has in your content.
12. Value any feedback you can get.
A beginner in any field needs to know the value of humility, and they can acquire this by learning how to take and value the criticism of other people. If you are only starting to learn a craft, it will not be perfect. It will need a lot of fixing, editing, and careful deliberation if you hope to improve your skill.
Peer reviews, customer feedback, or the comments and suggestions of industry veterans can help the process of improvement quicker than you expect if you allow it to simmer in you until you can embody the advice that only wants to bring out the best version of you.
If you want to create the best, most original designs, then the only way to get out of that shell of mediocrity is to take in criticism.
13. Choose what you are passionate about
Going into a field that you have no passion about is a situation where no one comes out winning. Not only will you suffer for entering a project that you have no energy for, but the audience and people that will be expecting quality content will receive disappointing results. It is going to be ugly, so we encourage that you choose a project or endeavor that you are 110% sure about pursuing.
If you want graphic designs that tell a story, then find a way to do just that. And if you’re going to showcase your art on social media, well, there are a bunch of channels suited just for that sort of activity.
If you want to branch out and spread your wings of creativity, let your heart speak and guide you where you will be happy.
14. Risk-taking will get you places.
The graphic design world is full of statistics and probability. What color works best for business-related ventures, or maybe figuring out which visual medium will help you reel in the most customers, is a task that is harder than it sounds. Let’s not get started on how easy it is to displease people and leave them with a sour taste on their tongue as well, even if you just gave them a butterfly that may be a little browner than they prefer.
We mean to highlight that graphic design is a lot riskier than you think it is. But the risk is what you should exactly embrace. Being yourself in the graphic design industry will make or break how you do in your career; it all depends on how you carry yourself stylistically and how much you can dissect an audience.
It all starts with the small risks you take at first, however. The few hundred dollars you spend on that first graphic design tool, the first visual you put out, or maybe the first version of your logo are all gambles that you should be willing to take. Being afraid will leave you stagnant and idle, without any room for growth.
Venture out, experiment, spend on improvement and watch how fast you can be catch up to the veterans in the industry.
With all the tips listed above, it is established that pursuing a career, or even just a hobby, in graphic design is no foolish move. Even if you are a beginner, all the tools and rules are already set and ready for you to use and follow. Indulging yourself in the world of graphic design will not only help you understand the use of colors but also allow you to build social relationships and take up values that will help you elsewhere in life.
Shelly Solis is a digital marketer who loves learning and case studies. She is currently the CEO and co-founder of SaaSLaunchr, a digital marketing service provider specializing in guest post outreach, content writing, content marketing, and SaaS SEO
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