Saturday 17 April 2021
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The Novice Designer: 5 Basic Principles of Design

Crafternoons have existed since the invention of glue, but creativity has taken a turn for the digital with all the new technologies available. Before you fire up your brand new design software, check out this list of basic design principles every novice designer should consider. If you’re a bit stuck for ideas, or it’s not quite turning out how you want, you can always contact a digital print and design company like The Print Group and see if their services might boost your exciting new venture.

Make it Memorable

Nothing is worse than hard work going to waste. If you are creating a design that will hang proudly on your own bedroom wall, it won’t really matter anyone else thinks of it. But if you someone else is going see it, then you want your design to make an impression. Does it stand out? Is it memorable? If your clients walk away remembering and recognising your logo, you have already taken care of the first potential hurdle. Just don’t mistake flashy for memorable.

Consider the Professional Principles of Design

There are six principles design professionals use in their work, which may give you a building block to leap from. The principles are as follows: Balance (how objects balance one another in the frame); Proximity (how different objects relate to one another); Alignment (how the different elements connect to create an image); Repetition (great for consistency and coherence); Contrast (have something that pops); and Space (negative and positive space can work wonders). Don’t panic about implementing all of these, but it gives you something to think about if you are feeling a bit stuck.

Think about the Message

A peaceful sunset may be stunning, but it’s not a good image to use when advertising the loudest, thrashiest heavy metal band in the city, is it? In the same way, you want your design to send the right message. A great way to test this is to write a list of what you want the design to evoke, then take your design to some trusted acquaintances, and ask them to describe what the design evokes in them. If the words don’t seem to fit, it might be worth drafting a second draft.

If it Ain’t Broke…

If you have a current design theme – and it’s working – you may be able to run with that theme. Use it as a guide, choosing the same colours, lines and, if applicable, fonts. If you aren’t happy with your current design theme, you can decide if you want to use it as a starting block for a new design, or throw it in the proverbial bin and start from scratch.

Less is More

It’s easy to get carried away when you start designing something you are passionate about. But it is vital not to get so attached to every spark of creativity that you can’t step back and cull the unnecessary additions. If you’re not sure, take out different objects and see if they are actually adding to the overall design. If in doubt, always remember: less is certainly more.

One final tip: practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to let the first attempt be just that. Keep working at it, and soon you may just love what you create.