Top 10 Most Powerful Tips for Graphic Design Beginners
Graphic design is a popular industry among people who love art and those who enjoy creating art.
For beginners, graphic design seems like the best job in the world.
Even without experience, as long as you have passion and creativity, this field will take you places.
Graphic design beginners will most likely take on small projects like a poster design or album cover before they take on a bigger project such as web design.
Beginners can always practice their skills with expert designers or take on additional design courses.
Gaining experience is still by far the best teacher.
Here are some tips for graphic design beginners.
1 – Fonts Make a Huge Difference
Readability and clarity are essential aspects of graphic design.
Learning how to choose the right font can make or break your design.
Do not limit your designs to only one font – think outside the box.
Master this skill by first experimenting with different types of font styles.
Explore new fonts and try to mix and match.
See which fonts look good; scrap those that don’t seem as good.
Choosing the right font can be hard especially if you’re selecting from a pile of fonts.
It’s important to know the main categories of each font.
There are four major font families:
1 – Serif
This font family looks more serious and traditional. Serif fonts have little lines attached at the end of each letter.
2 – Sans-Serif
Sans-Serif means no serif or no “little feet” attached to the ends of the letters. This font type is more modern and common.
3 – Script
Scripts are not necessarily handwritten or cursive fonts. Scripts have connecting letters. This font is used for themes of elegance and creativity
4 – Decorative / Display
Also called “novelty”, decorative means these types of fonts are created to get the reader’s attention. These fonts are unusual and are aimed to elicit a particular effect.
Here’s a quick visual guide of the font families:
2 – Pop-up Colours
The colour pop technique is used by most graphic designers to make their design eye-catching.
This is also a technique used when the text is short, and you need to make an impact.
Designers also use high-contrasting colours and lively background colours.
Remember, first impressions last.
There was a time when metallic designs were a huge hit.
Instagram and Pinterest, for instance, have enabled this trend and somehow formed a new art movement using bright colours that really pop.
These emerging colour trends are very popular and really caught the attention of the people.
Last year was no stranger to these new trends.
Bold and vibrant colours have become an aesthetic staple over the years, as a result of the flat design movement.
In 2014, Google Material Design launched its vibrant palette, which further pushed this trend online.
More consumers are embracing colours and designers recognise the need to add this colour in their designs.
The reincarnation of bold colours is inspired by the hip and bright 80’s Technicolor era.
3 – White Space
The use of white space can be tricky in graphic design.
This technique has become a trend recently.
One of the biggest brands in the world, Apple, is an avid user of this minimalist design technique.
Designers should see white spaces as their design’s greatest asset.
Choose a high-quality font and use monochromatic colours.
Black is a popular choice as it always looks good against a white background.
There are two kinds of white spaces in graphic design – the micro white space and the macro white space.
The smaller elements of white space in a design is called micro white space.
Meanwhile, the larger white space elements of a design is called a macro white space.
Most people would focus on the tangible – what is there?
However, the nothingness is also an element which shouldn’t be neglected.
There are active white spaces and passive white spaces.
What is the difference between the two?
Active White Space – designers make an effort to add this to their design and is often asymmetrical
Passive White Space – this is something that occurs naturally, like the spaces between lines or an element.
Designers should not just focus on the active white space but also be mindful of the passive white spaces and its impact on their design.
4 – Consistent Images
This principle is applied when you’re designing a website theme or a set of artworks.
Your designs need to sync together and create one unified image of the brand’s persona or the message you want to convey.
When designing a website, designers need to make every little detail consistent with the whole theme – from buttons to thumbnails, and even the font.
The graphics, diagrams, images, and illustrations should stay consistent in all your designs.
This gives your project a more significant meaning.
Everything in your design should be consistent with the overall theme.
This trend is evolving and is an effective way to convey the brand’s message.
Consistency is the key to unlock brand success.
Designers developing their visual voice on social media can take time.
However, through a style guide and a consistent theme, your design will definitely stand out.
If you want to create consistency, ask yourself these questions first:
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- How do you want people to experience your product or service?
- What kind of emotions do you want your brand images to evoke?
5 – Sketching your design
Most designers would do it the easy way and just search designs on Google which they can then edit and improve.
They often forget the power of a good sketch and how it can transform their design.
Sketching is a great way to give a personal and unique touch to your graphic design.
Sketching can actually take your project to greater heights!
Sketching lets the designer get rid of the obvious ideas out of the way and dig deeper to produce a creative and unique artwork.
Sketching your design can actually help you develop a strong concept of all the elements in your graphic design.
This gives your design an innovative feel, and you’ll be more familiarised with your style.
6 – Flat Design
This has been a steady trend in graphic design, evolving into more sophisticated designs every year.
It requires a proper sense of balance and alignment to produce great designs.
The flat design opposes all flashy illustrations and animations.
It’s a movement towards a more simple, modern, and digital aesthetic.
A great example of this is Microsoft.
Microsoft was one of the pioneers of the flat design with the Windows 10 interface.
It has converted an app into a small illustration with icons.
A flat design lacks ornaments, but it doesn’t mean it’s boring.
A quick trick used by designers is to use bright and contrasting colours to make illustrations and buttons pop from backgrounds.
On the contrary, flat designs grab attention and serve as a guide to the user’s eyes.
The main principles of flat design are simplicity and minimalism.
7 – Character & Paragraph Styling
Your characters and paragraph style should blend smoothly to create one synchronised design.
The header font style should be consistent with the character and paragraph styles.
Adobe InDesign allows you to make these changes easily and maintain this consistency.
Using paragraph styles, designers can reinvent their designs and create other forms for different sections of a project.
It’s all similar, but you can create a different look with a new paragraph or character styling.
This gives your design a fresh look.
Be sure to make it consistent with the overall theme.
8 – Using Italics
Give your design a touch of perfection by using Italic fonts.
This can also be tricky as you want to use Italics moderately to have that perfect balance in your artwork.
Italic fonts balance the headers and subheaders and are mostly used in small sentences.
9 – Page Balance
Graphic design is all about symmetry and balance.
Your design should exude balance and symmetry for more significant impact.
It should be well balanced no matter what view it is seen from – left, right, up or down.
10 – Separate Lines
Separate lines to make a statement.
Try using half lines or a 3-pixel line to make the text stand out.
Typography is also a critical factor in a great graphic design.
Did you find any of these graphic design tips helpful?
Author Bio: Fazreen Razeek from Grafdom has served the digital industry for over five years. He collaborates and works alongside agencies, event organisers, and suppliers to develop and execute their marketing strategies. He is extremely passionate about education technology and also writes for various local and international publications. A graduate with High Distinction from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, Fazreen holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Marketing & Management.