5 Basic Design Principles for Better Graphics

Graphic design is all about graphically communicating a message. If your graphic is hard to read or understand, your audience will miss out on the great information you are sharing. The 5 design principles below will help you communicate more clearly, whether it’s a social media post, a multi-page workbook, or course slides.

1. Alignment | Create a unified design

Ever look at a flyer or poster and not sure where the heck to look? There may not be precise alignment. Make sure all of the elements you are using are in alignment. This connects all of the elements you are using and allows a viewer to flow through your visual communication. Use a grid to make sure your elements are in order and connected. 

2. Contrast | Make an impact

Contrast helps important messages stand out and guide your audience. Play with opposites - big/small, light/dark, cool/warm colors. Humans are trained to look for differences, so make sure things are obvious - a slight contrast may look like a mistake instead of a purposeful design decision. 

3. Hierarchy | Get Organized

Where should someone start reading? Where does the story end? Guide your audience through the design by creating a clear visual hierarchy. Elements of hierarchy include a header, subheader, body copy, call to action, and image. Don’t forget to be consistent with how you treat the different types of copy.


4. Repetition | Consistency is powerful

Repetition helps bring things together that otherwise would feel separate. If you’re working on a multi-page workbook or a carousel for Instagram, what elements can you repeat to tie everything together? Is your logo in the same spot? Are you using the same fonts? 

5. Balance | White space is your friend

Repeat that for me. “White space is your friend.” Resist the urge to fill up the entire page - instead, focus on keeping things balanced. You can accomplish this by keeping things symmetrical or by creating tension between elements.

Next time you set out to create your own graphics, use these tips as a guide. I'd love to see how you implement these principles so make sure to tag @solobossdesignco on instagram in your next design!

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