It’s always the best design that gets the greatest attention, and it’s design that makes people feel most welcome in our environments. But what makes great design? How do we make our design better? Well here are 6 tips for better design that you can implement today, with resources and websites that help you grow in your skillset.
Find great inspiration.
Inspiration breeds inspiration, and there’s no better way to increase the quality of your work by surrounding yourself with great inspiration websites. These are blogs and databases of pre-aggregated concepts that can help you develop a new concept. Here are a few to explore:
- NoteAndPoint.com – Slide Design Inspiration
- Josip Kelava – Font Inspiration
- Designspiration – Graphic Design Inspiration
Use Better Fonts.
Most design gets elevated or devalued with the use of the right or wrong fonts respectively. So make it a point to become a student of great fonts. There are a plethora of free font websites out there, along with premium and subscription sites. Here are a few to check out to get a better design on your next project:
Find a Great Design Tool.
Any great craftsman is only good because of the tools at their disposal. Like most craftsman, you can’t start with the most artist, complicated tools though. You have to start with easy and simple. They help you learn principles and techniques. If you want to become a better designer, then you need to use simple tools that will teach you along the way. There are a few we recommend:
- Word Swag – iOS app
- Keynote – simple way to design slides, export to images.
- Easelly – infographic design
- Photoshop / Creative Cloud – What the Pro’s Use
We put together a FREE printable cheatsheet for the most popular design programs including Photoshop, After Effects, Pixelmator and Adobe Illustrator. Click here to download!
Curate Better Design Elements & Media
This is where great design thrives or dies, when you don’t have a great image or base to build off from. From stock media websites to building blocks to add to your designs, there are a wealth of options available:
- TripleWideMedia.com – Backgrounds, Base Layers
- Lost And Taken – Textures & Patterns.
- Flickr Creative Commons – Textures, colors & Layers.
- Photoshop Brushes
Use Cohesive Color Schemes.
Color speaks volumes in design and it has the ability to communicate on a psychological level. Finding the right balance to color pairings is like baking a really delicious cake. It’s part art but mostly scientific. Check out a few great resources for color theory to help improve your look and get a better design:
- Color Theory for Lighting & Video – TripleWide Media
- Paletton – Color Scheme Designer
- Coolors App – Color Palettes for Web/Design
Maximize Design Hierarchy.
Most bad designs I see don’t understand the importance of hierarchy in design. It’s the thing that makes sure the most important thing is the thing that is most seen. What is the most important thing – your logo? your headline? the date? Make sure everything points to that and gives space/direction toward that object or element. Here are some great articles on Design Hierarchy: