I don’t consider myself a graphic designer; I don’t even know how to use programs like Photoshop or InDesign.
My only recourse: to “Frankenstein” my way piecing together screenshots and icons from anywhere I could find them. Whenever I’ve done that, I have always tried my best because the bottom line is: design matters.
So here are 3 tips in case you you ever find yourself creating (or hiring someone to create) a piece for you:
1. Design small.
If you’re creating a logo or even cropping a headshot for your Twitter or Facebook, look at it small. If it looks good small, it will look good when enlarged.
For example: you might be better off creating designs that DON’T rely on intricate patterns. Think of the Nike ‘swoosh’ … you can recognize it as a small icon, or on a huge billboard.
Another example: you might not want to cram too much text onto a cover or art piece; no one will be able to read it when downsized.
2. Make sure your design looks good in black & white.
Think of all the places you’re going to post your design: on top of pictures, as a letterhead, even on the sidebar of your blog.
If you rely too much on color or shading, you’ll run into a lot of complications when using your design on marketing material — especially if it’s a logo.
If it looks good in B&W, adding color will add to the power of the design, rather than making up for a cruddy logo or look.
3. Use just two fonts.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it’s a helpful one for most situations. Use one font for headlines and subheadings, and the other for body text.
In my PDF eBooks, I often use Montserrat for headlines, and Lato for body copy. I use the same for the pics on my blog posts, which keeps “brand continuity” between all the content I push out.
Want some more design tips?
Next Tuesday, December 8th my designer Jason Clement and I will be hosting a free design class at 7:00PM EST.
Jason designed my blog and has also created for Cici’s Pizza and Cold Stone Ice Cream, and I’ve *begged* him to help you and I with one design piece in particular:
Those stinkin’ 3-D book covers!
If you’ve ever created a PDF guide as a lead magnet, or wanted to put a nice image of a document on your site, you know how frustrating it is to create a picture that has a 3-D depth to it like this:
It seriously took me many hours of “Frankensteining” my way to creating that picture. The shadows, getting the book to face left instead of right … oh my gosh.
Why didn’t I pay to have it designed? Because it looks so simple and I need pics like this so often! I don’t want to pay EVERY SINGLE TIME I need a 3D image.
So, Jason is going to show us how to create these 3D covers, totally free. Reserve your spot here:
He’ll also walk us through a few more design tips that I’m sure will help all of us develop a better eye for design, even if we don’t plan on being designers.
P.S. – if you think of anyone else that might benefit from this class, just forward this post. Since there are a few tips in it, you won’t come across as spammy!