Monday, September 10, 2007

Are You A Great Graphic Designer? If Not, Read On...

But not all design can be considered great, or even good for that matter. Great design must convey a message quickly and cleanly, with little guesswork. Your audience should never have to guess what it is you’re trying to say. Some of the more popular tools used by graphic artists today are, the Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign), along with web applications such as Dreamweaver. Here are some tips you can use if you’re just starting out in the graphic design field.

Too Many Fonts
You should strive to keep the number of fonts to no more than two. I typically prefer a serif font, which is a font that has “feet” if you will, such as Times, for body copy. Then I create my headlines with a san serif font such as Helvetica to distinguish paragraphs from one another. Too often, a novice designer will attempt to experiment with too many different fonts in the same piece. Keep it down to two if possible.

Too Many Design Elements
Another issue concerning novice designers is that they tend to cram in as many visuals as they can. All in a bid to display their design skills. It’s important to remember that you are trying to convey a message and get the viewer to react to your design. You are not trying to show off your design skills because more often than not, you will create an eyesore and distract the viewer.

Like all of the other elements in your piece, you should control the amount of colors used. Generally, two complementing colors should be used, with a third color for accent. This is a general rule so you can be flexible. Just remember, keep it simple!

Keep It In The Family
It’s important that all of the elements in your piece complement one another. Each image you use should relate to any other image in the piece, thereby creating a consistent theme to your piece.

I hope these guidelines can help you be a better designer. Keep in mind that you want to reel the user in so keep it simple, legible and attractive. If you can master this idea, you’re on your way to a great career in graphic design.

Steven Pepe has been a graphic designer for over 15 years. Working as both an employee and a freelancer, he has worked in many areas of the field, from graphics production to web development. He is the founder of a freelance community site working with individuals across the globe seeking freelance work. If you're looking for freelance work, or interested in posting a job, visit

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