Graphic Design Best Practices

With more years experience than we’d care to mention, making things look good comes pretty easily for – after all we’re the experts in this game. From logo design, through to choosing your brand colours, fonts and how your website should look and feel to get the best results, we know what it takes – it’s kinda like riding a bike, once you learn, you never forget how it’s done.

We though we would share some little golden nuggets of advice, to help you uderstand our process, what we do and how we can help you get the most out of your brand and identity.

Here are Startup Smart’s top tips:

1. Create a colour palette that stands out and defines you

Think of the biggest brands you know. Most of the best brand designs use beautiful colours, even if it’s just black and white, it’s probably that way for a very important reason. Therefore, choosing a suitable colour palette is key. If you have an eye for colour, this is a great place to start – think of the iconic red and yellow of McDonald’s. The green on your Starbucks cup. The yellow and blue of Ikea. These colour palettes are synonymous with the brands that use them.

2. Create a moodboard

Moodboards (or inspiration boards) can help you top work out what you like and dislike, what you want and don’t want. Often a great starting point to help you make the decisions for how things can look that you’d previously struggled with.

3. Make space. White space.

White space is often neglected. Whereas we consider it to be one of the most vital aspects of design. The space found inside and surrounding your branding or design can aid by emphasising certain elements.

4. What the font?

When starting a new brand, it’s a vital to experiment and find the perfect fonts for the business that fit your brand and will look great on your website/business cards/everywhere! A font is like your brand’s personal handwriting. Are you a Times New Roman? Lets hope not… just don’t be Wingdings!

It’s important to keep it simple too… the human eye finds it difficult to scan multiple fonts/typefaces, so when it comes to our website or any printed pmaterials, it’s key stick to a simple collection of fonts (maybe 2 or 3 at most). If you can, choose a single font family, with a wide selection of weights and styles (Bold/Italic etc), so you can still create variations and break any text up so it’s easier to read, safe in the knowledge that the fonts you pair up will be completely compatible with each other.

5. Alignment

Alignment is an art. See how this section being right aligned throws the whole page off a bit?

It is an essential design principle, that can help you create order. However, it can also be used as a tool to catch your eye.

Admit it… even though this bit of the page looks odd, it caught your eye eh? Probably just for the wrong reasons.

6. Create a Contrast

Contrast is a vital principle of design that should be considered in every project. It will help your brand stand out from the noise, be recognisable and stick in the memory. With design in general, a good use of contrast will add visual interest and generally speaking, just spices things up.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these branding and graphic design tips. Interested to see if we can help? Get in touch.

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