Tips For Non-Graphic Designers

Have you started a new business? Could you do anything else to boost your business? Of course! There are always witty and creative new ways to improve your marketing and turn some heads. Read below some tips for all those Non-Graphic Designers that are looking at designing a project.

For new companies starting, word of mouth is often what inspires people to push an everyday hobby or talent to greater heights. To be able to do something that you enjoy or naturally find easy and generate an income out of it, makes for an enriching career.

Your product might be impressive, though you may reach a point where you need to start advertising. Nobody expects you to have a vast and dedicated marketing team from the get-go, and that’s okay. Just like your business, these possibilities will become available after you give time for growth. If you’re not yet able to budget for a professional Graphic Designer, there are ways to do it yourself.

Please note: Graphic Designers are going to have invaluable levels of experience, and you should expect higher-performing results from them. However, if it’s a little bit more public visibility you want, then there’s no harm in attempting the odd printed flyer or social media post.

Below, we go through the essential starting points as to how a Designer would consider when setting up your design.

What is your main message?

Advert Design

All design is created for one reason.

To deliver a message.

This message can be to provoke any desired emotion to a target audience. It could be that you want to entice customers into buying the latest version of your product. It may be an overview of your brand and the services you can offer. Choosing the right words will help deliver the message with the best intentions. Take your time on this, as this will be what inspires the rest of the design.

Make sure that the title is clear, using an easy-to-read font. Try to keep the title simple with just a few words. The title is your main message and the crucial bit of information that you would like people to read before anything else. Make sure that the wording in your title is exciting enough to prompt customers to read the rest of the text. This may seem simple, but some Graphic Designers don’t do this. And it’s essential.

White space and layout

White space is e v e r y t h i n g.

Too often, people will feel a need to use up all of the page, cramming in as much information as possible. Too much clutter will leave the viewer feeling confused and overwhelmed. Consider structuring at a grid system to help decide on the best way to layout your headers, body copy (paragraphs of text), and images. Make sure you give each element space to breathe. Embrace the need for empty borders. Break up endless paragraphs with quotes or bullet points.

Using the right type of fonts

It can be tempting to use unique fonts, possibly script or distorted. While they will undoubtedly look different from other people’s designs, they aren’t as easy to read and will not convey your message well as a clear sans serif font such as Helvetica. Please have a look at our guide to fonts here.

Attention-grabbing colours

Graphic Design Colour Palette

Dependant on where your design will be viewed, colours will have different opportunities to make your design stand out. 

Just in the same way as fonts, with colour, it is recommended that you don’t use too many. Start by researching colour psychology to give you an idea of how different colours provoke different emotional responses.  Have a look at the quick hint guide below. If you are commissioning Graphic Designers to work on your project, it’s helpful to give them this guide.

Quick hint:

  • Yellow – happiness, energetic, smart, optimistic
  • Orange – confident, encouraging, fun, rejuvenating
  • Red – loving, active, physical, powerful, exciting
  • Purple – creative, luxurious, imaginative, spirituality
  • Blue – trust, peace, loyalty, competence, calming.
  • Green – freshness, nature, growth, healthy
  • Grey – formal, neutral, conservative, practical
  • Black – authority, respectful, elegant, prestige
  • White – clean, simple, innocent, honest

It would help if you also thought about how the colour works with your branding. If you already have a brand identity, you’re likely to have some colours already which help identify your brand’s personality. 

Using good quality photos

As the Graphic Designers – Images will make all the difference to your design.

Try to use images that are taking in good lighting, preferably natural daylight. If you’re taking shots in low light, use a camera that can handle a low-exposure environment. 

For extra points, grab a tripod to eliminate camera shake. Remember that digital zooms can cause the photo to blur, so try and get as close as possible to the object(s). Combine these for tips to have no more blurry photos!

Even though it is tempting to use filters on all of your pics, the best filter is no filter. Take a good photo, and it’ll speak for itself. If you feel a filter will work well for your design, try sticking to one style for all of your images. Use tools such as VSCO to make your own, then batch copy and paste those edits onto all of your photos. Doing this will help improve consistency.

Use software that makes documents print-ready

One possible pet-hate designers have, is when non-designers submit a document that isn’t print-ready, expecting it to print out at a good quality. This is because they know that just by using the right software, your design can look so much better!

By using software such as Adobe InDesign, you’ll avoid the document from being pixelated or the wrong dimensions. Your print will run entirely to the edge of the page if it needs to.

If you don’t have access to Adobe, then Microsoft Word is okay to use, but there will be many limitations in terms of creativity and style.

Avoid Powerpoint, Photoshop, or web building tools, unless you know how to set these to 300dpi and with the correct colour settings (CMYK, not RGB). These may not handle multi-page documents as efficiently as InDesign. All Graphic Designers will steel weel clear of Microsoft programs and opt for Photoshop or Indesign.

Keep in mind that designers aren’t here to discourage your attempts to be creative; they’re here to help! Contact our design studio if you have anything you’d like any more design guidance. 

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