Good design is just something you know when you see it. You may not know the technicalities like balance, contrast and alignment at first glance. But, when a design is well done it shows.
There are certain principles that go into design. When you understand these basic ideas, then you can apply them to anything you design to make it work.
From t-shirts to flyers. From a website to a car wrapper ad. All of these things become easy and effective when you understand what goes into a good design.
Take a look at some of the basics that goes into design and then apply these principles to your own work. With enough practice, you could probably start your own business doing design work!
Understanding the medium
The principles of design work across mediums, but there are some differences in approach depending on what you are designing.
The best fonts for custom t shirts, for instance will be different than the font chosen for a website.
Fonts should also change between messaging, as well. A creepy font that says “I Love You” will throw off a much different vibe than a floral script font.
Bold fonts work best on shirts as they are easy to read from a distance. Lighter sans serif fonts are good for greeting cards or anything that is meant to be seen up close.
Proper use of color
Color affects mood in so many ways beyond just design. The color of a room can affect how you feel, for instance.
To properly convey how you want somebody to feel when they see your design is to use the right colors.
It can also be used to make the viewer focus on a particular part of the message beyond the overall feeling you wish to convey.
It could be done by using a different color for part of the text, or even putting text in a color block to draw the eye to it. If there is an offer like a discount then this part of the text is almost always highlighted with color in some way.
Use of space
To get the right balance in a piece, you need to be aware of the space you use and the space within the space.
For instance, on a t-shirt you may have an area of the shirt where the design should go. Too high up and close to the collar may look awkward. At the same time, if the design is too low and sits on the belly it won’t work.
Here is the key to understanding the space and message, however. If you are designing a witty design for a pregnant mother, then the lower it sits the better since you want people to understand that she is talking about her pregnancy.
Within the space you use, be aware of grouping, proximity and negative space. Elements shouldn’t be too far apart as it dilutes the design. Grouped too closely together and it concentrates it too much. Use the space to your advantage.