Graphic Design 101
This article was written by Maanasi Shyno, a sophomore at Dartmouth College interning with Launch gURLs this fall. Maanasi is currently running the Launch gURLs social media and developing marketing strategy.
One of the most important aspects of starting a business is branding! Branding is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. Your branding is how your business is identified by those who are familiar with your product and draws in those who aren’t. Good branding will help you stand out and convey the tone of your business.
Creating ads, social media posts, and packaging are all part of branding! Creating visuals that look appealing can be challenging, but a few simple tips can kick your skills up a notch. Check out my design tips to help you get started. After that, it’s all about practicing!
- Color Wheel Basics: You probably know about warm and cool colors and how those look together. Warm colors convey happiness while cool colors convey calmness. The color wheel is a tool that displays complementary colors, which are colors that pair together well. Colors on opposite sides of the wheels are complementary!
- Rule of Threes: The color rule of three is to pick one primary color (red, yellow, or blue) and two complementary colors to make an individual item. It also reminds us to stick to a maximum of three different colors on an individual piece so it doesn’t look too stuffy.
- Color Palettes: Utilizing color theory and the color wheel, you can mix your own color palette. A color palette or color scheme is a set of colors that are always used.
- Emphasis: Emphasize most important elements by bolding or italicizing font. You can also choose different fonts or make the sizing bigger to bring out specific texts.
- Fonts: I would recommend not using more than two fonts. One font can be the main font, like the title while the other can be a sub-title or text font.
- Spacing: Crowded graphics can be tiring to the eye and turn away audiences. Try to keep some blank space in your image to keep things simple. Keep text spaced out so it doesn’t look congested.
- Symmetry: Symmetry helps create balance in a graphic and is thought of as more appealing to the eye. If your graphic looks odd, try centering the information or imagery on it!
Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!
When you’re new to design, it’s easy to get really excited about adding a lot of ideas or elements into a graphic. Sometimes, this results in crowded or complex concepts that aren’t as attractive as they could be. When in doubt, KISS— keep it simple, sweetheart! Simpler designs are harder to mess up and get complicated.
These design tips will help you get started designing brand material or ads for your business. Never estimate the power of a beautiful design and keep practicing!