Regardless to what most people think, good graphic design is not about “geeky” computer skills or love for certain brands of “fruity” computers…
The secret of successful graphic design is to enhance visual communications… enhance the way we communicate personally, at work in small or large groups, etc. At Print Bureau we boast a team of professional designers capable to guide our customers in the most effective ways to present their “communications”, whether it is by means of a logo, an brochure or a promotional flyer.
We do understand however that many of our clients like to be “hands on” when it comes to the design of their publications. For that reason, we have asked our designers to give us the top ten tips to good design for everyone:
Use a small palette of 3 to 5 colours throughout your publication. Ensure the palette contains both soft tones and accent colours to enhance key messages. Too many colours can be very distracting and therefore make “visual communications” unclear and sometimes the opposite of what was required.
Just like with colour too many typefaces in the same layout can be distracting. Pick 2 or 3 different typefaces suited to the style of the publication and most importantly legible… handwritten styles can be effective for a highlight or a heading but very difficult to read in a large block of text!
Good structured content and a clean layout are key for any printed design. Ensure your layout is clear and simple and that all alignments and margins are carefully chosen and implemented consistently throughout the document
Highlights such as bold, italic, quotes, etc, are a very important part to bring forward key areas on a publication. Too many highlights will actually have the opposite effect… use sparingly!
Do not be afraid of clean spaces (negative spaces) in your layout. Too much information cluttered in a document can make the message incoherent and difficult to read.
6. Images and Special Effects
Images in a document must be relevant and related to the message, they should only be used when they enhance the content. Equally, effects such as drop shadows, frames should only be used to enhance a particular image and not to become the centre of a layout.
7. Icons and graphics
All icons and graphics used in a publication should be simple, easy to understand and universal. They are meant to aid comprehension and never distract
Don’t overwhelm the reader with multiple graphs and tables. Often combining graphs or tables can make them easier to read and understand.
The eyes can be deceiving at times and computer alignments may not appear correct, in particular when using different size or colour elements. Also, graphs and other data visualisation may appear to be skewed if laid out in the wrong proportions.
Perhaps the top key of effective design is… “Keep It Simple”. Avoid unnecessary design elements, ornaments or colours. Often the best design is no design at all, just let the desired message shine through your publication.