Welcome to our constantly updating Insight - EvenVision Design Tip of the Week.
Each week, our team at EvenVision compiles little tips regarding design that we believe are valuable and actionable for small businesses. But in their simplicity these design tips are valuable for everyone.
These tips answer questions from local businesses in Humboldt and around Northern California from the various organizations that we work with. If you've got a design question you don't see an answer for feel free to shoot us a message!
MARCH 27, 2017 - DESIGN TIP OF THE WEEK #1
Clean, Simple, Refined.
"A Good Message is brief, specific and useful. Clean up the chaos, remove the clutter, simplify your imagery and keep your message simple. Doing this will make your message and design refined and useful."
Great designs are clean, simple and refined. We recommend that you clean up the chaos that surrounds your message, make the design as simple as possible, and aim for a refined message (strip out anything unnecessary).
Remember: the whole point of your design is to help facilitate the message, whatever that may be. Do not allow graphics, or images to stand in the way of your message, but let them work to support your message. This is not only true for print, but also for web design.
APRIL 3, 2017 - DESIGN TIP OF THE WEEK #2
Contrast is Key
"Contrast is key to a good design and great message. It's imperative that your design is legible from near and far. Make sure your colors and text contrast with each other."
We cannot overstate the importance of contrast. If you're attempting to make a sign, a poster, or even just a business card to catch peoples attention make sure the text is legible against the background. Feel free to play with contrasting background colors, but make sure that the message is legible.
A perfect everyday example: Yard Sale Signs. When written in black pen on a piece of brown cardboard the message is illegible from a distance because it lacks contrast. Try instead to write your Yard Sale Sign on a red piece of paper with large black block letters. Or better yet, use a dark red and a light white color pen. Contrast is Key.
APRIL 10, 2017 - DESIGN TIP OF THE WEEK #3
Don't be too shy to SCALE
"Use Scale to make a more dynamic design that features a Visual Order, which gives the design the "pop" needed to bring key points to attention. The more dramatic the difference the better."
Want something to pop? The solution is Visual Order. Use Scale to your advantage, but remember, if everything is big, nothing is. Similar to contrast, if everything important is in red, nothing will standout.
Visual Order, as defined here provides a hierarchy, or ranked structure for your message. Certain things just simply aren't as important as others. Looking at the image above you can see that "SCALE" is by miles the most important aspect of the image. That will stick with people when they read it. However, you can also see that there is additional information, so if the word "SCALE" pops out and intrigues you, you can lean in and read more.
APRIL 17, 2017 - DESIGN TIP OF THE WEEK #4
"Use different typefaces within designs for different messages. The typeface you select will speak volumes before the words are even read. The best practice is to use a few carefully curated typefaces that capture your identity, and gives character to your message."
Every typeface is different. Some are clean, some replicate handwriting, others look chiseled and scream with character. Perhaps the best example of typefaces in action is to simply look at movie posters. Movie posters are the golden example of typeface utilization that speak volumes about a movie. A typeface selected for a horror film will differ greatly from that of a romantic comedy.
Want to learn more about typefaces? We've written an insight called "Intro to Typography" which spells out in great depth the basic's of typeface selection. Check it out!
APRIL 24, 2017 - DESIGN TIP OF THE WEEK #4
Alignment is Astounding
"Never underestimate the value of alignment. Simply aligning your test to one side can have surprisingly impressive results. Alignment refines your message, provides a clean design, and is visually attractive."
One of the most common mistakes in designs that we see from small businesses is the spuratic and random alignment that floats through their design work. This is distracting, and as we know, anything that distracts from your message being read and understood needs to go. The simple truth is that aligning text within a design flush left or right can make a design and message infinitely more legible.
That said, flush left is always best. Why? Because we read left-to-right. That simple.