We live in a visual world. People today prefer colorful images and eye-catching typography, even when they choose products that have nothing to do with graphic design.
Logo design and branding for your business give you credibility in the growing marketplace. The design of your company’s products and advertising make your goods recognizable and gives all of your materials a consistent look.
You attract new clients through word-of-mouth reviews. And while you love this endorsement, you still want to expand your customer base through other forms of advertising. As you prepare posters, pamphlets, and business, cards, you wonder how your design will impact your audience.
The following basic principles will help you create outstanding visuals for your small business and distinguish yourselves from corporate competitors. No matter where you choose to print your designs, these principles will guide you towards a visually stimulating, clever, and professional brand.
Principle #1: Contrast
When your design has contrast, your text, images, and color scheme stand out from one another. Use contrast to draw the viewer’s attention towards the most important points on the page.
If you want your company logo to stand out, consider placing it on a background of a different color. Make your title big and bold. Put less important details in a smaller text, and place this information in a less-obvious location.
Depending on your project, you can also use up to three different typefaces to help further the contrast. Note that you should use fonts that balance out the piece as a whole. For example, pair a script or grunge font with a thin, sans-serif font for maximum contrast and elegance.
Remember that your eyes can only handle so much contrast on a single page. If you use too many colors, font styles, and images, you won’t capture the attention you want.
Principle #2: Repetition
It might seem contradictory, but the second principle of design differs from the first. Though contrast will make your design interesting and help your customers note important information, you need repetition to create consistency.
A design that uses repetition effectively organizes the information and repeats the same colors, shapes, or textures to add depth and unity. For example, when you put your logo on banners, posters, or flyers, you’ll want to repeat the same color scheme throughout. That way, your customers will know that the repetition of those colors represents your company.
Principle #3: Alignment
The alignment of your design refers to the invisible line where your text and images sit. Most text that we read uses left alignment, so every new line starts on the left-hand side of the margin and proceeds to the right.
When you align your text, you tell your readers what material they should look at next. You organize information that corresponds together, and you leave enough white space to give the eye necessary breaks.
Most designers use a grid system to make sure that your designs align perfectly, but don’t be afraid to try different orientations, such as center aligned or diagonal. Whatever you choose, align your text and images to make your design more reader-friendly.
Principle #4: Proximity
In accordance with alignment, this principle allows you to group aligned items together. Like the name implies, proximity gives your design closeness, and it makes the overall piece appear cohesive.
Imagine, for example, that you want to design a catalog entry for some of your products. You keep all of your product images and descriptions aligned on a grid, but the prices for each item lie on a separate page. This example features bad proximity. When you separate related items, you make it nearly impossible for your customers to find the information they need.
However, when you situate images and correlating information near each other, you give the reader a group of details they can interpret all at once. Good proximity makes your design more usable, and it also helps your customers quickly understand the overall message you want to portray.
Design for Every Business
Whether you decide to put these principles to use in your brochures and calendars, or you want to expand your market through other forms of advertisement, these four principles will help you create your own identity. When you follow the basics of design, you communicate to your customers that your company cares about aesthetics and that they can trust you for quality product design and easy-to-read information.
After you’ve created a design you feel proud of, talk to a print shop to transfer your designs from inception to actual products. Or, if you aren’t exactly sure how to design your own flyers, banners, business cards, or other items, work with a graphic designer. He or she knows more in-depth principles that will elevate your design ideas and attract new clients for years to come.