Whether you’re a student, business owner or influencer, you’re going to come across the need to read up on tips on graphic design. Graphic design is used for blogs, social media, brochures, books, magazines, presentations, signs, restaurant menus and more. In fact, everything you see has some sort of graphic design influence to it. For someone just starting off dabbling in the field of Graphic Design, it can be a bit overwhelming. Just remember that you’re not going to become a pro designer in a month. Don’t set your expectations through the roof, focus on little goals to build up your strengths.
How do you learn Graphic Design?
That is a tricky question. I mean, learning how to do something is easy, it’s how do you become good at it is the different question. Becoming a master at graphic design will require time, effort, hustle and overall strong observation. To get you started, we listed 8 tips for beginners entering the world of Graphic Design.
1. Pull Inspiration
No matter what project I am working on, I always pull inspiration from one of my many design books or my best friend, Google. There is nothing better than getting inspired by the masters in the discipline. Not to mention, someone else’s design could spark a new idea that you can take ever further. However, it is important to remember that it is never okay to copy someone else’s’ work. I mean, graphic design is all about finding your own style, not copying what has already been done. Challenge your creativity and use what you see as inspiration for your own creativity.
Typography is the most important element of any graphic design project. I mean, you could have a kick ass graphic, but if you have the wrong font, your piece will be ruined. For web, stick with sans serif font families (fonts without the hooks at the ends of the letters, like Times New Roman). For print, I find it best to use a mix of both depending on the feel of your design.
PRO TIP: You are better than Comic Sans.
Keep it simple, stupid! There is nothing worse than an overcrowded design that the viewer can’t even figure out what the point of the piece is. Creating a simple design will not only help you make the piece look more elegant, but it will also increase engagement with your audience. I mean, some of the best designs have 1 word or graphic on them. You can do a heck of a lot with negative space.
4. Know Your Audience
If you don’t know who you are designing for, how can you know what type of feel you should portray? There is an important difference in a design from a brand like Nike as compared to Adidas. Sure, they are very similar, but their approach to design is polar opposite. On the same note, just because you like a design style, doesn’t mean the intended viewer will. Be adaptable to what company you are designing for and who the target audience is.
5. Use the Color Wheel
One of the most common mistakes of beginner graphic designers is that they try to show off every skill in a single design. This ties back to K.I.S.S. The last thing you want is a creation that is full of colors, fonts, shapes and all kinds of random elements. It is important to think of the color wheel. Too much contrast is not good for a design. I mean, the viewers eyes should be going crazy when they look at your piece. Stay away from the red-green, purple-yellow, or orange-blue combinations. Instead, choose colors that compliment each other more subtly.
PRO TIP: Read up on color expression and theory, each color means something different!
6. Pay Attention to Image Quality
There is a reason why you never see a pixilated image in a magazine. As a designer, image quality is vital in both print and web design. In fact, print and web use polar opposite requirements when it comes to image quality. For print, you want images at 300 DPI at the size you need it to be. You can’t stretch a 300 DPI image at 3″x2″ and expect it to still be clear at 15″x10″. For web, you want images at 72-150 DPI at a max 1000 pixels wide. This is because the image quality effects the size of the file which then effects the speed of your website.
7. Hierarchy is Your Friend
What’s the reason of your design? If you can’t tell what the most important elements of your design are, you might need a little tweaking. I mean, if you are trying to present an important message that is supposed to make an impact, you don’t want to overshadow it by positioning it over a bright, colorful image. Focus on prioritizing the elements of your design through scale, composition, typography and color. The message and reason for the design should always remain dominate, no matter how many other elements you use.
8. Get Feedback
You will never get better as a designer if you do not ask for feedback about your work. I mean, you can’t critique yourself, right? Ask for opinions and be ready to take their criticism professionally rather than to heart. Revise your project and make improvements as necessary. Getting multiple perspectives on your work will actually push you to be a better designer. Try to make a habit of revising each piece you work on at least once before making it public.
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