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Creative Tips for the Average Joe

27 Jul, 2015 McKell Naegle


Whether you’re wearing multiple hats in your current position, you’re part of the design team, or you’re a one-person show, knowing basic design tips will help you and your company stand out from your competitors. We’ve compiled nine simple tips for you to refer to when creating company designs.

Grab a sketchbook

No matter the position you hold at your company, having a sketchbook handy will benefit you immensely. Whenever a thought or idea pops into your head, sketch or write it down. This will become beneficial to you when crunch time comes because you will already have countless ideas sketched down in your sketchbook. We’ve mentioned our favorite sketchbook we like to use around the office in the post What’s in a Designer’s Bag.

Limit your typefaces

One common mistakes that companies are guilty of when it comes to design is using too many typefaces on one piece. It’s hard for people to scan the work when there are excessive typefaces cluttering up the space. As a rule of thumb, stick to a few easy-to-read fonts.

Create a style guide

A style guide is a set of guidelines to keep a cohesive feel in your collateral. This is an essential tool to keep handy because you can pass on different projects to various employees, all while using consistent branding.

Love and embrace space

Ah, space—we all love and need it. Your collateral does too! Not every inch of your work needs to be filled up with text, pictures, design, etc. When you let the design have breathing room, people are more likely to understand what your message is about.

Keep it simple

You have heard it since the beginning of time: simplicity is key. This Adweek article shows that out of 50 brands from Fortune’s 2015 World’s Most Admired Companies list, 43 of the top companies use no more than two colors in their logos and designs. You may think that adding another color or font will make your design more unique, but stay away from this thinking and keep it simple!

Invest time into tutorial videos

The Internet is a magical place, full of cat and epic fail videos. However, did you know the Internet is an endless library of knowledge right at your fingertips?! It’s true! There are thousands of sites that offer groundbreaking information, tips, and tutorials. Tutsplus.com, ideabook.com, and codeacademy.com are all useful sites to broaden your knowledge in the design world.

Avoid stock images

Nothing looks worse on your fresh, clean site than a pesky stock image. Using stock images only makes you look less credible to potential customers. If at all possible, avoid stock images and use your own, or hire a local photographer to take some photos of your business for you.

Remember who your audience is

Remembering who your audience is when designing is critical when attracting potential customers. If you come up with a design that you think is awesome but doesn’t really work with your brand, try to adjust it to your brand or skip the design all together. Remember, you are designing to attract your target audience—not yourself.

Make it adaptable for all platforms

Multiple studies show that people are using their phones to access websites more than ever. Making a mobile friendly website that is adaptable for all platforms is essential in the ever-changing world of technology. If a potential customer tries to view your website on their phone but your site isn’t responsive, they will quickly go elsewhere. Do yourself and your company a favor and make your site adaptable.

What did you think of our list? Are there any tips your company uses that you would like to share? We would love to hear about them! Leave a comment below.


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