Four keys to better graphic design

Graphic Design 101

Would you like to learn four simple principals of graphic design that will help you to bring spectacular results to anything printed or visual? Whether you’re doing it yourself or approving the work of a designer, you’ll never look at anything printed the same way again.

C = Contrast
Avoid having different elements – type size, colour, line thickness, shape and spacing – too similar. Contrast is often the main visual lure on your page or email. Use large versus small fonts to show different levels of importance. A dark background with light type is good for ease of reading.

R = Repetition

Repeat visual elements for consistency (for example, bullet points, line thickness, shape, size and colour). This helps organise and strengthen the unity of your communication. In PowerPoint presentations, it’s a sign of an amateur to have one slide coming in from the left, the next from the right and the following from the top.

A = Alignment
Every element should have a visual connection with another. This gives you the clean, sophisticated look of a well-done communication. Left align – don’t centre anything other than a headline. Look at your business card – can you draw an imaginary line along the edge of your contact details?

P= Proximity
Items relating to each other should be grouped together. When several items are in close proximity, they become one visual unit rather than separate ones. This helps organisation and reduces clutter. Have your subtitles directly over the body copy – don’t have a space between them.

Judge your business card against the following criterion: do not allow the designer to make your contact details too small or too bland for want of ‘white space’. And why not use the back of your business card to outline how you can be of assistance?