As a Graphic Designer you may design for digital or for print. Of course, there are many technical aspects in which we can make mistakes while managing a project file.
But this blog is about another kind of mistake. The one that makes a beautiful -cohesive Instagram worthy design- to fail. You can master the most amazing Adobe Illustrator tools but if your design is not functional, organized, and attractive, you have made a mistake.
A design that serves its purpose.
When we design, we must think about what we want to say vs. what we need to say. Maybe you want to say, “Come buy my new book!”. But what you really need to say is “You can buy my new book at "X" book store”.
You must make sure to provide the necessary information about what you are excited to share with our community. Think about the who, what, when, where, why and how.
Who is the director of that short film? At what time is the event? When will your class be published? Where to sign up to be a volunteer at the fundraiser? Why is the protest important? How can I get the discount?
A functional design serves its purpose.
A design that has hierarchy.
When designing you must determine what is the most important thing you need to say. What will have the most impact in your viewer? That must be the thing that is bigger in size in your design. It can be text, or it can be an image that visually represents what you want your community to be part of. For example, the name of the event.
After that you must put the most necessarily information to support that very important thing. This will be the second thing in size in the post. For example, for whom is the benefit of the event.
Finally, you must put the rest of the information that will be the smallest in size, but still necessary for the functionality of the design. For example, the date, time, address and cost.
An organized design has hierarchy.
An eye-catching design.
Finally, your design post must be attractive. This a sensitive topic. Traditionally, most non-designer people think that a good design is a design with A LOT of “bells and whistles”. The more, the better.
But there is also the other spectrum of people. The ones that think that good design is the minimalist one.
I believe as my grandma taught me “all excess hurts”. More is not always better and less is not always more.
The truth is that your audience will react to what speaks to them. So, you must use the style that will attract them the most. For that you must know who your audience is.
I would say that in my experience, designs in social media suffer more of over design than under design. I believe this has to do with the fact that the more elements you have in a design, the more principles of design you must master to make it work.
How make your graphic design work.
Graphic Design is usually mistaken with traditional art. As we said in the first blog of this series, it is not the same. Graphic Design is meant to serve as a communication tool to achieve a goal. Whether it is to inform, persuade or remember.
There are many free tools out there to produce graphic design. They give you the power, but not the knowledge.
I remember that at one point in my design studies I felt like I was an Adobe expert, but didn’t knew how to make a design functional, organized, and attractive. Through time and more learning that changed.
You can learn to create functional, organized, and attractive design that helps and connect with your community. Through mastering the elements and principles of graphic design; and understanding what mistakes to watch out for.
This blog is the fourth and last one of a blog series called “The Building Blocks of Graphic Design”. You can read the first one here"What is Graphic Design".
They support my Skillshare class “Design for Non-Designers: How to Create a Functional & Attractive Design”. Skillshare is a paying platform with thousands of classes about design, business, creativity, and lifestyle. As a teacher, I an able to invite you to join a free trial for 1-month! If you are interested, click here.
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