Visual designs are a great way to capture audience attention and quickly convey information. Whether it’s a flyer, poster, advertisement—you name it—just like anything a communication professional puts out, it must be effective. If you’re taking on a design task in-house, here are a few of my favorite tips:
- Move away from the middle. Avoid centering your text unless it really, truly adds something. Try using right-justified text instead. Though not great for body copy since it’s tough to read large chunks of text in this format, it’s a nice way to break up the page.
- Think about the fonts. Chances are your design is going to require a few different typefaces, but, with a seemingly infinite number of fonts, it can be hard to know which to choose. The key is ensuring the fonts you use are very distinct from one another, that they come from different families. Also, don’t use decorative fonts for body copy—they are too hard to read.
- Keep it simple. Cliché? Yes. Important? Definitely. All too often “simple” is thought to be synonymous with “boring” but that doesn’t have to be the case. If there’s too much stuff on your design, you’re going to overwhelm your audience. Pick out the top one to three pieces of information you’re trying to convey, and focus there.
- Don’t be afraid of blank space. In line with the previous point, blank space is the best way to guide your viewer’s eyes to what’s important. If every inch of your design has a visual element, your audience’s eyes will be bouncing all over the page and not grasping your message.
- Proofread, proofread, and proofread again. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your piece is, if it contains typos or misinformation it’s useless. For body copy, read it in your head, read it out loud and read it backwards, one sentence at a time. If you can have someone else proofread your work, do it. For dates, addresses, phone numbers, etc., be sure to triple check them. Google the address and call the phone number, it only takes a few minutes and can make all the difference.
You tell us: What are your favorite design tips? Please share in the comments!