Working with graphic design templates is super convenient. It really helps you get things done in a timely manner. That said, there are many aspects that must be taken into account when designing layouts and graphics, whether you're using one of our templates or not.
I put this gif here because it felt "design-y". Don't follow my lead on random gif usage.
Anyway, here are 6 of the most important to focus on.
Design with intent
Design with intent is a phrase that I use in my daily work to describe a design strategy which helps to create an audience and purpose for the design in question.
This is different than just creating a pretty picture, and then trying to find some way to use it. It's not about the visual elements in the design, but rather what its intended use is, and who or what is going to be using it.
People can see when there is no purpose in a design, and when you address the audience's needs in the design, you give them more reasons to be interested in your work.
Look through designer portfolios for examples and inspiration
When you are working with graphic design templates, it is important to know what constitutes a good design. Find out what makes designs attractive and effective.
If you want to get inspiration, look for examples of good design in the portfolios of designers whose style you like. Pay attention to how they use color, shape, and texture to draw attention to their work; notice how they balance different elements; see if there are any patterns or techniques that you can incorporate into your own work.
Keep it simple
The simplest design is the best design. It's easy to overcomplicate things, especially when you're not an artist. You might think that adding more elements will make your design stronger, but it usually does the opposite. A few clean lines are much more effective than a lot of disorganized ones.
One of the most important rules to remember when designing any kind of graphic is KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
You need to grab your audience's attention and hold it in a way that makes them care about what you're presenting, all in a matter of seconds. This doesn't mean that you have to resort to sensationalism or gimmicks, but instead use good design principles that will help your designs get noticed.
We live in a society that is obsessed with size. The bigger, the better. If you are not bigger, you are smaller. It's easy to see why this mentality has taken over our culture. We are always looking for ways to make things easier, save time, and produce more. But in the process of making something bigger, we lose other elements that can make it better.
We have all seen graphics that are so big they don't fit on one page or screen without being zoomed out too far to be useful. We have all seen graphics that have been shrunk so much they are hard to read because of how small they are.
It's vital you know what size your graphic will be displayed or printed at before you start working on it. You want your graphic to look good wherever it's displayed, and at multiple screen sizes if it's a web graphic.
Select your fonts carefully, and make sure they complement each other
The wrong font can ruin the whole design. The right font can make your design stand out or enhance it.
Choose fonts that complement each other. Like attracts like. Choosing fonts that "don't go" together will confuse your viewers, and may even distract them.
Fonts are like people; they have personalities, likes and dislikes. They're not made to live with each other, but to stand out on their own. So don't just choose two random fonts you like and put them together. Choose one main font (the one that conveys the most meaning), with a complementary font (the one that will make your design more attractive).
If you use more than two fonts, make sure they all fit in the same category, e.g., serif or sans-serif; light or bold; condensed or extended; modern or traditional; formal or casual. Each has its place, but as a rule of thumb using more than two fonts will make your design look cluttered and disorganized.
Leave some white space in your designs to let people breathe
There is nothing worse than a design that has too many elements competing for the same space. When this happens you end up with a design that looks busy and cluttered. I don't know about you but when I look at designs like this, they don't make me want to invest in them or buy from them. This is not what we want our designs to do, we want them to be inviting and appealing.
We can achieve this by leaving some white space in our designs. This will allow people to breathe and they won't feel overwhelmed by the amount of information on your page.
Just remember though, it's important not to have so much white space on your page that it looks sparse or unfinished. You want to strike a balance between too little and too much space so that your page becomes inviting and appealing.
Use templates to get started with design, but don't be afraid to make it your own
The internet is filled with templates for your graphic design needs. But using graphics templates can be a slippery slope for designers. It's easy to rely on the templates to do all of the work for you, but in most cases, you should try to make them your own.
The template will provide you with the overall layout for your design, but that doesn't mean it should become the full focus of your design efforts. You need to take what you like from the template and then tweak it until it fits your needs. If you find yourself thinking, "I like this template because…" then you're already making it your own. Happy designing!