Design Tips for Designers
As technology progresses, graphic design continues to evolve.
Modern software makes the process easier than at any time in the past.
And yet experience is still a great asset and often distinguishes the better graphic designers.
Which is why we are trying to pass on some design tips for younger designers wishing to develop their careers.
Design Tips for Designers
Here’s our own list of 20 practical design tips for designers.
They may just help some budding freelance graphic designers amongst our followers.
- Listen to your client… Some clients will know exactly what they want while others need help and guidance. You should try to understand the ideas your client is giving you, then you can guide them on what you think will work best for them, based on their own ideas. Remember – the client always knows best!
- Get a detailed Brief… The Brief will make you and them more confident with the design work. It provides the framework for the project and point of reference for service and cost control.
- Design ideas require good research… The only way to create great design work is to base your projects on different ideas you’ve had. Research the client’s market and understand the positioning your design will bring. You should have a reason behind every aspect of the design (colour, imagery etc.).
- Impress with your Portfolio…Show the client web and printed images of the work you have developed. Have a verbal discussion of the process of getting to the finished designs being displayed.
- Show your own expectations… When dealing with new or existing customers, let them know what you expect from them. For example, producing a sheet of instructions asking what you want from them, such as: images, text, preferred layout etc.
- Make the cost clear… If you have agreed to design something for a client, make sure beforehand that they know the price they will need to pay. Pricing your service is the subject of a separate blog altogether but it is important to reflect the value you offer. And allow extra cost for any amendments and change of minds!
- Figuring out requirements… Starting at the end of the project and working backwards is a great way to ensure you’ve thought about and covered every aspect within the design process. Think about how the customer will use the design, when they’ll use it, where it’ll be seen. Think of what message you need to portray within the design.
- Presentation… When presenting your design ideas make the presentation good. Show a version in colour and in black and white (perhaps different sizes, too). This helps visualise the image of their new brand and logo, and see if it works well in different media.
- Show the design in context… If you have designed a logo, for example, make sure you show how it looks on materials such as business cards, letterheads, and newsletters so they can imagine how it’ll look when it’s finally published.
- Check for mistakes… In a business concept, mistakes look extremely unprofessional and can give a bad first impression or reputation. Therefore, it is your job as a designer to check for these mistakes.
- Give three options… Logo design can include lots of different shapes, sizes, colours, fonts and space. It is important to get these right so it doesn’t look too much or too less. You want the design to look just right for your customer, and a choice of three is advisable.
- Print creation… Check everything before making the presentation. When setting your final design it should be printed exactly how it has been designed. Digital printing offers the opportunity to provide proofs and samples on virtually any material. Even a single packaging box can be printed!
- Don’t limit yourself… Don’t be afraid to bring different ideas into your design. You should be creative with your work and it’s better to have more than one idea than to be stuck and unsure on the right design idea. Different ideas can still be developed into something better for other projects in the future.
- Don’t underestimate your work… There is so much to learn within the world of graphic design, therefore you should seek constructive criticism, not praise. Keep practising and sharing things with others until you get the right design for your customer. Seek third party support for your design to reinforce your presentation. And remember the design is under your ownership unless you have agreed otherwise with the client!
- Research successful design techniques… If you research design that has been successful in the past, you can mentally prepare yourself for what your customer is expecting and what steps you need to take next. Keeping ideas and designs from the past can help you in the future when creating a whole new design.
- Figuring out the font… Make sure once you have found the correct font, you remember the name to use again in the future and throughout the business’ brand. Keeping the same font is important for maintaining a professional image as a business. The font should be easy to read and well suited for the specific business you are designing for.
- Embrace white space… White space is extremely important and beneficial for every designer to sue within their work. When creating a brand, white space can create a sense of sophistication and elegance. It can improve readability and creates a balance within your work.
- Improve your own branding… As a designer, it is important to have your own professional look and feel for your brand image. Your own stationery and website should be impressive. This will reassure the customer that you will do a great job of their own work.
- Use other designers for inspiration… Encourage yourself and your work by looking at past work from other designers. If their work has been successful, take note of what they have done and how it has been designed, to use ideas for your own work and creation. There is nothing wrong with “creative swiping” and taking ideas from other people.
- Be unique… Even if you have been influenced by others your work should always be original. The finished result should be supplied in as many digital formats as possible so it can be applied consistently throughout the branding.
And finally, contact us if you have any more useful design tips for designers that we may be able to pass on to others!