Graphic designers are trained professionals. They know the significance of designs when it comes to making a desired impact on viewers. But sometimes even trained eyes fail to judge a design with impartiality due to closeness with the work. However, if a designer checks out a key list of design features, timely improvement can be made in the design for simplicity, quality, and impact.
Graphic designers usually trust their visual instincts to check if a design is good enough to impress audience. However, remember that every individual has different choices. So, what you think is aesthetically pleasing at its best might just not be so for your client.
Here are six (6) tips to help you identify good design:
1. Focal Point
In design, a focal point serves as something that attracts readers and pulls them in. It could be the graphic, the image or the content. To find out main focus of a design, ask the pivotal question – what is the purpose of this design? Find out if it is the graphic, the image or the content.
If you use simple black-and-white typography with an elaborate illustration, the viewer will find the focus on the image first then the text. It is not possible to emphasize every part of a design and neither is it required, so you need to decide what’s most important.
That image or piece of information — your focal point — should generally have the most visual weight (i.e., stand out the most at first glance). You can draw attention to this part of your design through size, shape, direction, position, color, texture, or other qualities.
Symmetry is one of the biggest contributors to a balanced design. A symmetrical design is equally balanced on both sides of a central axis, either vertically, horizontally, or radially – whatever is the alignment, maintain the balance. Poor alignment with improper margins throws a design off balance. The human brain finds symmetry attractive, but besides being aesthetically pleasing, a balanced design also has a practical purpose: it helps you establish a hierarchy for your layout and prioritize your content.
3. Visual Flow
After a focal point gives viewers a place to start looking, then your design needs to be organized in such a way that their eyes can navigate the rest of the layout easily. This is often referred to as hierarchy — which simply means that the design elements are arranged, sized, and spaced in such a way that it’s clear what viewers should look at first (i.e., what’s most important, the focal point) and how they should proceed through the rest of the design.
Because when design elements are all over the place without any clear organization, the eye doesn’t know where to look — the design has no sense of flow. Things that can impede flow include having no focal point (or too many), no hierarchy, or a cluttered design.
To improve the flow of your design, try one of the following:
- Divide your design into clear sections
- Use sufficient white space
Typography is an important part of almost every design. So how well you choose your fonts has a great influence on the overall attractiveness of the design. If two typefaces clash, that might distract the viewers from your design’s message.
For beginners, it is wise to stick to one sans-serif font and one serif font. One thing to remember is the mood and personality of the tone of the text and then chooses the font. Again, it is not such a clever idea to use fake italics for fonts which do not have them originally.
5. Readability of the Text
What scatters the purpose of design is when nobody can read what is written on it. Size is thus one thing that looks much larger on screen but looks different when printed. Print out a proof of the design before the final output. Do not use impractical fonts.
Typefaces in all caps increase the scope of readability and are often used as the technique for writing the important information such as address, price, etc. The sharp contrast in colors between dark and light colors also serve the purpose.
Lastly, choose the perfect font style. While some fonts are easier to read others may be too cursive, not enough to read from a distance. Display fonts are best when used sparingly.
Contrast is an important element for making a graphic design appealing as well as functional. To mark more emphasis on certain elements of the design, simple choice of color won’t serve the purpose
Shape, scale, and typography are the support elements of contrast which brings out the drama in the text. Contrasting design elements, however, should be placed in a complementary way.