We all recognize when a design looks a little off, but we can’t always explain why. Here are 5 impactful graphic design tips that might explain what you see and feel, but can’t always put into words.
Tell Me Where to Look:
Although all of the elements of a design (text, fonts, images, colours, shapes, etc.) are important and work together to convey a message, they can’t all be equal. If there is no focal point, all of the elements will be competing for attention and the message can get lost. Having a strong focal point (by giving greater visual weight to one element) tells us where to look first, adds visual interest to a design, and helps to effectively convey the key message.
Balance in the Elements:
Just because there is a focal point doesn’t mean there can’t be an overall balance to a design. We instinctively seek out balance whether we realize it or not, so we’ll sense when the balance isn’t quite right. Balance doesn’t necessarily mean symmetrical, although this can be pleasing to the eye. An asymmetrical design (which creates a deliberate imbalance) can create a sense of movement, add tension to the design or further direct the eye towards the focal point.
White Space Matters:
Not every inch of a design needs to be “designed.” Just as the eyes need a focal point, they also need to rest. When we look at a design that has too many layers or too many things going on, it’s hard on our eyes, can be distracting and can muddle the message we’re meant to receive. White space (or better yet “negative space,” since white space doesn’t technically need to be white but could be any empty block of colour that fits the design) can be an effective design element in and of itself.
Contrast in design can be highly effective: contrasting colours can add excitement; contrasting fonts can emphasize certain words for greater impact; various contrasting shapes can add visual interest. But even contrast needs to be consistent to be effective. When we see primary colours on one page and pastels on the next, we know something isn’t right. When we see different fonts for every paragraph, we might begin to question the message. And if circles and squares are used as a design element throughout a project and then all of a sudden a triangle appears, we’ll focus on the triangle—whether that was the intention or not. In this sense, contrast can be good, but consistency is key.
Repetition Bears Repeating:
Like consistency, repetition in design gives a project a unified look. But it can play and even more important role as well. Repetition can be a great way to reinforce your message. This is why logos and taglines can be so effective. And when you combine an eye-catching logo with a memorable tagline, and apply them consistently across all of your marketing projects with strong focal points, a sense of balance and a judicious use of white space…well, it all just WORKS.
At CP Business Solutions, our experienced and creative graphics team uses these elements and more to produce unique and cutting-edge designs to support all of our clients’ graphics needs.
If you’re looking for talented graphic designers who will convey your message with designs that far exceed your expectations, contact CP Business Solutions for more information