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Graphic Design tips: Simple is best

Graphic design tips by Andrew Greenhalgh Design and Communications

Graphic design tips 1: Keep things simple

Graphic design tips don’t come much more basic than keep it simple. In this blog I’ll be explaining why that is my golden rule for any kind of graphic design.

Whether you’re working out how to use Photoshop on your family pictures or trying your hand at Adobe Illustrator for a bookclub poster, it’s tempting to make use of each and every one of Adobe’s whiz-bang functions, tailored specifically to make graphic design professionals’ job easier.

Don’t. You’re more likely to end up with something closer to a dog’s dinner than if you’d just stuck to designing it using Word or Pages. And even if you are using Microsoft’s hardy perennial or Apple’s much better counterpart, you can faff around to such a degree that the results would shame a seven-year-old.

Use the graphic design tools as what they are: tools

If you want to use Illustrator, Photoshop or even InDesign (they all come bundled together now in the Adobe Creative Cloud, payable annually), then that’s fine.

But first of all, have a physical layout to hand – by which I mean a hand-drawn guide to what the finished graphic design will look like – and stick to it as closely as you can.

Keep that design nice and simple, with some easily understandable words in a clear font (I’ve written about the importance of fonts in graphic design before), a sharp and self-explanatory image (websites like pixabay.com and pexels can help with this; Google Images, too, but be careful with copyright) and you’re all set.

Use the tools as just that; tools to help you achieve your goal. Start playing around with every possibility Illustrator and Photoshop throws at you and you’ll get nowhere but in trouble.

Footnote: If you are making a poster or designing a flyer, don’t forget to make sure the grammar’s correct, your words are spelt properly and all your information is spot on. Nobody likes being told to come to an event on Friday June 25 when June 25 is a Saturday. 

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