When it comes to designing marketing materials for your business, it’s incredibly important that your designs stand out. It doesn’t matter what you’re designing, if it fails to stand out in a sea of other designs, it’s not going to create the desired impact as people simply aren’t going to take much notice of it.
Strangely, I see a lot of designs out there on a day to day basis that I consider to be quite poor; and some of them are even created by ‘professional’ graphic designers. I’m not exactly sure why this is; it could just be me being a design snob but my view is that if something doesn’t instantly jump out at me with a clear message, I haven’t got time to take any notice of it.
I’m sure a lot of other people feel this way too, especially when it comes to things like banner advert designs and other materials that people have a limited time to view. But the question remains, how do you actually create a bold design that will make an impact? Well, here’s a few basics.
Focus On Color
One of the absolute most important things for you to consider when you’re creating any design is the color scheme that you’re using. A lot of designers often try and cram far too many colors into their designs and although you might think that the more colorful something is the bolder it’s likely to be, this isn’t always the case.
Using colors is something that should not be taken lightly. If you look at a lot of designs, you’ll notice that very few colours are actually used. Take the example above for instance; you can see that although the design seems to jump out of the paper and there’s a clear message, very few colours are actually used. In fact, only white, orange and black are used in the sticker design above.
Again, this is something that is common with most good designs; only a few colours are used. Don’t take my word for it though, take a look at a few designs yourself and count how many colours are actually used in the design; I’m almost certain that you’ll find around three in most cases.
The reason using less colours works so well is because the choice of colours works so well. If you look at our example above again, you’ll see that the colours are contrasting (e.g. white on black etc). It’s this kind of colour combination that makes for a great design, so you need to master the art of choosing complimentary colours.
If you need some help doing this, take a look at the colour chart above. This is only a rough guide and obviously, there are a lot more shades of each colour but this is a good start. The colours opposite each other are complimentary.
Focus On Typography
When I say typography, I’m basically talking about the fonts and size of the fonts that you’re using in your design. This is once again something that a lot of designers get wrong, and it’s easy to see why as there are a huge number of fonts and typefaces to choose from.
Your choice of typography and sizing/spacing of that typography will contribute hugely to your design. In order to create a bold design, you need to use typography well, which in itself is an art form.
If you take a look at the example above, you can see how typography can affect design. It’s extremely difficult to use typography this well and people actually study typography as an art form itself. Steve Jobs is known to have enjoyed taking typography classes when he was dropping in on courses at University in his early years.
You’ll also notice that in the design I showed above (which is one of my favourite website designs by the way) that only a few colours were used throughout (refer to point one). You can see that there is a couple of shades of green, white and then a dark grey. That is all.
You can also see how well this design works, especially when combined with the incredible use of typography that the designer has created fantastically well.
Keep It Simple
For me, this is the ultimate golden rule of creating bold and stand-out designs; keep it simple. As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of this post, a lot of designers tend to over complicate their designs and this is where good design can often turn into bad design.
You need to keep things as simple as possible if you want it to be bold. It’s not just about colours and typography, but also about content. Typography and colours can be used to attract attention to the information that you deem to be the most important too.
Again, if you take a look at the example above, you can see how keeping things simple works. Notice the bold use of typography in contrasting colours to the subtle background; the spacing of the elements and also, the inclusion of only the information that is the most important to the design.
All of these factors combine to make a great, bold and eye-catching design that draws the viewers attention to the most important points.
Design is a difficult thing; hence the numerous courses and degrees that you can undertake in which you learn about many of the elements I’ve briefly touched on in this post. However, it’s my belief that while there are a lot of theoretical factors to great and bold designs, not everything always conforms to these rules.
For example, you might be able to make a design with 20 different colours look great; you just have to know how to use them.
Author Bio: Joshua is a design enthusiast with a passion for simple, minimalistic and bold designs. He works for the print and design studio, Discount Banner Printing who specialise in banner and sticker printing/design.