Design 101: Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Social media assistant Olivia here! Whether it’s creating a simple graphic for yourself or making a logo for a new company, I’m here to help give you a few tips and tricks to get you started! From simple apps to general rules of design, I will be covering all of the basics.
Here are the five general rules to help you create a strong design.
1) Keep it Simple
When creating graphics, I believe it’s important to recognize that less is more. Overwhelming your audience can quickly push them away from enjoying and engaging with your content. Your graphics should highlight your message without becoming too distracting. Remember simple art rules like balance, space, and proximity.
Keeping the overarching theme of simplicity in mind, one of my favorite tools to use is Adobe Spark. This free app has all sorts of templates from YouTube thumbnails to a simple flyer. Spark is a great beginner tool to get started with design.
2) Include an Eye-Catching Component
Once you understand the simplicity and its importance, you can then shift your focus to grabbing the audience’s attention. Use the design to make a certain element more memorable. The balance between the two tactics is important to remember while trying to attract and keep an audience. I’ve always thought that the use of fonts and their colorways are a great way to grab someone’s attention. These two elements directly affect the mood of the design and how your target audience perceives the product.
A website that is helpful for beginners is DaFont. It’s full of endless free and unique fonts that can give you a great jumpstart with your design. Combining that with impactful colorways is a great way to elevate your image.
3) Know When and How to Follow Trends
Once a new trend begins, it’s important to take the time to evaluate incorporating it into your design. Just because something is popular does not mean it fits into your predetermined brand. Investigate new trends and decide if they are cohesive. If you decide to incorporate a trend into a design, make sure not to follow it too closely. Stay true to your brand and how you want your audience to perceive you.
4) Add Elements
An easy way to add interest to a design is to include simple elements such as shapes, stickers, and GIFs. These elements are great to take up blank space and add substance. Personally, I think shapes are the easiest elements to incorporate if you are unsure of what is best. Overlapping lines, squares, and circles can generally enhance your graphic. If branching out beyond shapes, make sure your elements are in relation to the graphic as well as your overall image.
Check out the app Over for element inspiration. There are tons of free stickers and graphics that cover different types of brand images.
5) Stay Cohesive
Out of all of these tips, the most important thing to remember is to stay cohesive. Your audience needs to easily understand who you are, and a strong brand identity can do just that. Using the same fonts, colors, and symbols in your design are a great way to accomplish this goal. Your aesthetic and it’s consistency are top priority. Pixlr photo editor and Lightroom, both free for IOS and Android, are great tools to get you started.
Regardless, keep your design true to what you want your brand to be. Use your creativity and expression to create an image that will make yourself proud. These tips and tricks have helped me and I hope you will find them to be helpful too!