Graphic design allows you to express your creative ideas using visual media. It is a blend of fine arts with design and helps you reach out to your customers in the best possible way. Whether it is to create a website, a marketing brochure, or an advertisement, you need graphic design for your business.
When you are using graphic design, you naturally want the best results. Here are ten rules to follow while carrying out graphic design. Following these rules will help you get the best results. Your design will be one that stands out and helps you communicate with your target audience effectively.
10 Graphic Design Rules
- Ensure consistency
The key to great graphic design is consistency in using design elements. This consistency is crucial for brands. When you post something or release an ad, people should instinctively know it is yours just by looking at it. For all your designs, you must ensure consistent use of fonts and colors. The design must, of course, be branded with your logo, motto, and other elements.
Consistency ensures familiarity. This allows your target audience to recognize your designs thus helping in ensuring brand recall. The same design has to be followed whether on a website or in a print ad.
- Ensure legibility
A big mistake many designers do is to focus on colors and impressive fonts while forgetting about legibility. If you do not choose the right combination of text and background colors, legibility is affected. Similarly, a font that looks attractive to you may be irritating for the user if it is not legible.
It is very important that you look at your design from the POV of a user. Is the text on the design legible? Is it easy to read or does it require effort? You need to review this before going ahead, so your text is comfortable to read.
- Use not more than 3 fonts
Another mistake rookie designers do is to use many fonts. They want their design to look very attractive. So, they use multiple fonts. This makes the entire design looks messy. It also gives an amateurish look to the design. Professional design rules call for using not more than 3 fonts. Ideally, 2 fonts should be sufficient. One font for the headings and the other for the text.
- Ensure proportionate scaling
Images may need to be resized. For example, you may create a high-resolution image for a print ad or a social media post. When you use the same on your website, it has to be resized. This is because images on your website must have a smaller file size, so they load faster. Don’t make the mistake of doing this manually.
Don’t stretch the image, it would look awful. Instead, ensure proportionate scaling. Use a tool to reduce image size, so it happens proportionately.
- Practice minimalism
A minimalist design makes use of a simple and clean design. An effective design need not be complex with too many elements. Simple and minimal text with just one or two images is sufficient to create a strong impact. Minimalism in design is the trend today because such graphics are appealing and ensure the focus is on the core message. Using a lot of white space with text and images ensures readability is improved.
- Follow the rule of thirds
A key rule in photography is the rule of thirds. The same rule applies even to graphic design. Create a grid of 3 horizontal and vertical lines. The places where the lines intersect are the key areas in your layout. Placing the most important image or text there can help make it stand out. Following the rule will help you ensure symmetry in design, which is pleasing to the eye.
When people look at a design, they follow an ‘F’ pattern with their eyes. They start at the top left, go bottom left, top right, and bottom right. Following the rule of thirds will help you ensure that your user sees all the important parts of your design first.
- Follow a visual hierarchy
Design elements need to be properly organized in a hierarchy. As mentioned above, the F pattern is used by people while looking at a design. If your design has more images, then readers may use the ‘Z’ pattern. The human brain processes images faster as compared to text. Following hierarchy will allow you to take advantage of this.
Start with a headline on the top to grab attention. Then use subheadings to organize text before coming to the body. Place images along the ‘Z’, so it is visible. Elements that are larger net noticed better. Smaller text may be ignored. So, ensure the key information you want to communicate is in the heading or image.
- Create contrast through colors
You need to create contrast, so you guide the user to look at the most important element first. This contrast can be achieved through the right use of colors. The use of bold colors can help you focus on a specific element more. The color scheme is important, and your color combination must ensure harmony and emphasis.
- Review the content
Graphic design is not only about images and colors. There is text in it, which communicates something to the user. The text is your content and plays a very important role in winning over your target audience. Ensure you review the content thoroughly. Spelling and grammatical mistakes can ruin the impact of your design. So, do a proper review of the text.
Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS), is a basic rule in communication. It emphasizes that good design can be done by using simple colors, fonts, and stock images. There is no need to use complex elements. Also, keep the text content simple. Use short sentences with words that are easy to understand. Let everything be crisp and clear. Remove all elements that are not necessary. Every element should serve a purpose and not be included just because it looks good.