Being a great designer is no easy task. In fact, people spend years at University and/or design schools learning the art of great design but unfortunately, most of us haven’t got years to spend doing this. A lot of us just want to be able to create great, eye-catching designs on behalf of our businesses, without the need to spend hard earned money on a professional designer.
If this sounds like you, then this post will certainly help you. If you don’t run your own business but instead are just looking to learn a bit more about the art of creating bold designs, then this post is also for you. I’m going to be talking about some of the key things that you need to take on board if you want to create something that really catches the attention of your target audience, no matter who they might be.
Obviously, the rules of design aren’t set in stone so unfortunately, this post will serve only as a guide but nonetheless, it should still give you a great starting point when it comes to creating bold and eye-catching designs.
As I briefly mentioned above, colour is a hugely important part of design in general and if you want your design to be bold and eye-catching, colour is especially important.
The trick to using colour to create a bold design is to actually use contrasting colours. By doing this, you can help your design to stand out and also, help to ensure that the content stands out from the background with ease, thus making a more visually attractive design.
You can see a good example of this in the printed sticker design above. This design was created for a small UK based computing company and as you can see, it’s extremely bold and would likely catch your eye from a distance. A big part of this is the choice of colours. Black and white are hugely contrasting and therefore, by placing the white text on the black background, the design literally pops out. What’s more, the use of orange adds some much needed brightness to the design and helps to attract attention.
A lot of designs make use of contrasting colours to produce this effect. Take a look at the image above of the website for The Penthouse Project. You can see that this uses a bright yellow colour along with contrasting black text to ensure that it really catches your eye and makes an impact.
Although this might seem like a bit of a strange point to make, I truly believe that this is one of the key things to consider when it comes to design. A lot of people think of design as being the colours and fonts that you use (I’ll talk more about these later) and while this is correct to some extent, content is also a big part of the design process.
In most cases, you’ll be creating a design around a certain piece of content. If you’re designing a website, you’ll need to keep in mind the content that is actually going on the website. Similarly, if you’re designing a sticker or a banner, you’ll need to keep in mind the content here as well, and more importantly, the message that you actually want to portray to the recipient.
The thing to remember about content is that your design should compliment it. A great design will always portray a clear message to the viewer and therefore, marrying design and content is an important part of the design process. But what exactly do I mean by this?
Well if you take a look at the image featured above, you’ll hopefully start to see what I mean. This is a typical example of a bad design that doesn’t catch your eye and the reason for this is simple; the content is unclear and cluttered.
This design features too much content and too many messages, with no clear hierarchical structure and no complimentary design features. Too much content is crammed into one design and because of this, it prevents the design from being bold and eye-catching.
A good way to improve this design would be to take out some of the unnecessary content. For example, is the “References available” line really necessary? I don’t think so. It would also help to use design to draw more attention to the important pieces of content by using colour and typography (read on).
Lastly, I want to mention typography. Typography is essentially the use of various fonts, font sizes and styles in your design. A lot of designers often overlook the powerful impact that typography can have on a design but the truth is, it can really make or break it.
For example, take a look at the Apple wallpaper pictured above. You can see the way that typography is used in the design to draw attention to the most important words. The word “Apple” is large and not italicised whereas some of the other less important words are italicised and are also smaller.
This is a good demonstration of how typography can be used to draw attention to key parts of the design. For example, if you were designing a poster for an event, you might want to use typography to make the key pieces of information more prominent. This might mean that the title and location of the event were in a bold, large and bright font whereas the names of the organisers might be in a less prominent, smaller and duller font style.
When you combine the use of contrasting colours, bold typography and a simplistic content driven design, you have all the ingredients for a fantastically bold and eye-catching concept. It’s the process of marrying these elements together that results in a bold and eye-catching design that not only draws the attention of your audience, but also draws their attention to the right pieces of information.
Remember, keep your design as uncluttered as possible!
Author Bio: Josh is a freelance designer, writer and marketer currently working for aura designs in the UK. He specialises in providing creative design ideas for banner and sticker designs.