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Simple Tips to IMPROVE your Design

Want some quick tips to instantly improve your graphic design skills? Here are a few simple tips and tricks for posters, logos, and style frames.

This episode is sponsored by Affinity Designer, and is the app Matthew’s using to critique a design styleframe, poster design, and logo design. Why cover three different areas of design? Well, they all follow the same principles: scale, contrast, legibility, etc. It’s important to keep these principles in mind through every piece of design you create.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, use these design fundamentals to improve your layouts, typography, and compositions.

Tip 1: Have a Clear Communication Hierarchy

In the poster design, there are three areas of information that a viewer needs to digest: the event, the location, and what’s being featured. There’s a hierarchy of information that needs to be shown, and Matthew makes this adjustment by adding some contrast. This way, the viewer’s eyes go straight to the information in the middle of the poster—where the most important information is located.

Tip 2: White Space Is Your Friend

Don’t be afraid of white space; it can add clarity to your visuals. Give your design some room to breathe, and it will leave your elements looking less cramped, and more pleasing to the naked eye.

Tip 3: Show The Viewer Where To Look

This might sound simple, but it’s easy to forget about when creating any type of visual. In the video above, Matthew uses the style frame example to show the viewer where they need to look. We, the viewers, should gravitate our eyes to the subject in the center: the guy who’s about to get eaten by zombies. But there are other things happening in the background. How do we get our eyes to focus on him? Drumroll...

Tip 4: Use Contrast To Help Direct The Eye

Yes, with contrast! We’ve spoken a lot about contrast in our other videos because it is so, so important. (Check out this one from Matthew on how to make your compositions more dynamic.) When the contrast is high enough, we can see where the drama and action is taking place.

Tip 5: Look For Visual Balance

Try to eliminate any negative space in your designs, and make sure your visuals are balanced. In the video, Matthew simply adds balance to a logo design by lining up the type with the vector image so that both objects are working together to achieve a balanced look.

No matter what industry you’re in, all areas of design share the same principles. What will you do to sharpen your design skills?

Our sponsor, Affinity Designer, is the first fully-featured vector design app on the iPad. The app allows you to combine vector and render master editing all in one place. Want to try it out? Get Affinity Designer for iPad:

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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