Web Design – 11 rules every designer must know

As we established in our previous article, a website is one of the most important resources for any brand because it’s one of the initial points of contact between the brand and its potential customers. Because of global internet penetration, customers no longer have to wait until they visit a brick and motor outlet to interact with their favorite brand. Instead, they can do this online through the brand’s website.

As a graphics designer, this is something you must be aware of so that as you are contracted to develop a website for a brand, you know exactly what the purpose of the site will be and how to ensure it achieves its purpose.

Below are 11 web design rules that every web designer must know.

  1. The first step will be to determine what the website’s objectives will be that is it an e-commerce platform, an information resource, a feedback resource, and so on. Ensure the objectives are SMART.
  2. It’s important to clearly know the demographic the website will be targeting before you embark on the design phase. These include knowing their age groups, gender, occupation, and so on, to ensure that your content is relevant.
  3. When it comes to the actual design, ensure to use the right colors for both your fonts and backgrounds and ensure that are in line with the branding elements. The colors on the site should resonate with the brand both online and offline.
  4. The website should be well formatted with text well aligned, consistent font size, well readable typefaces, correct spacing and so on. Avoid using too many unnecessary words.
  5. Ensure to incorporate info graphics, as well as interesting yet simple shapes and other graphics that enhance the vibrancy of the website.
  6. Be sure to use the right resolution for different images to ensure they are very clear and don’t appear blurred or pixelated.
  7. If the website you’re designing has external links which it definitely should have, ensure these links are easy to locate.
  8. As part of your design, you must ensure different pages have a different feel and look, with clear titles even though they maintain the same overall template and structure. This is meant to help the reader clearly know which page they are on when browsing the website.
  9. You must ensure that the pages are very responsive in terms of loading speed for the content, any other graphics as well as videos. Customers may never come back to the website if the pages are unresponsive or slow to load.
  10. You must strategically arrange the content according to prominence and relevance to the customer that is important information should be readily accessible to the customer.
  11. Ensure the website provides opportunities for customer feedback in order to encourage customers to engage the organization through expressing their views on the various emerging issues.Now you know. Be sure to apply them in your work.

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3 reasons you should use grids during logo design

One of the most important brand elements for an organization is its logo. This is what customers learn to associate with the brand in addition to other brand elements like corporate colors. The logo becomes an important part of the company’s trademark. This is important information for a graphics designer to be aware of when they are designing a corporate logo so that they can treat it with the importance it requires.

A designer therefore needs to pay closer attention when designing a logo to ensure that it’s symmetrical, and well represents the brand. One of the ways of achieving this is by making use of grids when designing. This is applicable for both experienced and amateur designers.

Below are 3 reasons why you should use grids during logo design.

#1 Grids help in keeping your work more organized

When using grids during logo design, they give you a clear picture of the actual space the logo will occupy. When you’re conscious about this, you are better placed to keep your work more organized as you will be able to use the correct spacing between the logo and the tagline, ensure things are well aligned, among other things. This will even help you do your design work much faster.

#2 Grids help you experiment more with your creativity

As mentioned above, grids help you have a clear picture of the space the logo will occupy. When you are able to visualize this you find it easier to experiment with creativity as ideas flow in your head about how to make good use of the space around the logo.

#3 Grids help in ensuring consistency, proportion, and harmony

When you use grids while doing the logo design, it will become much easier to ensure consistency, proportion and harmony in your work. This is because grids provide you a guide on how and where to place the different components of your logo and because grids in their nature are perfectly calculated and balanced, they ensure your logo has perfect structural harmony.

If you’re new to design, grids are good and they have tremendous value to the design process. It’s however important to also know that you can still do your design perfectly without having to use grids but, they still are pretty useful design tools that you should make a point of using as frequently as you can. They will make the design process pretty easy and rewarding.

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3 DIY tips for web design

A website is one of the most important resources for any brand because it’s one of the initial points of contact between the brand and its potential customers. Because of global internet penetration, customers no longer have to wait until they visit a brick and motor outlet to interact with their favorite brand. Instead, they can do this online through the brand’s website.

Depending on the type of website you are looking for, it may become a bit expensive to hire a web designer to design a website for you especially if you are running a small business. It’s therefore important for you learn how to do it yourself as this well help cut down on some of your marketing costs. Your ability to create your own website to market your products online and reach more customers affordably will enable you better compete in the market.

Here are 3 DIY tips for you as you work towards designing your own website.

#1 Work with an already existing open source website template

The beauty about the internet is that you can literally find everything. This includes already designed and open source website templates which just require you to add your own content. All you’ll be required to do is choose your brand colors, font, images and a few other things and you’re good to go. You don’t need to know much about coding or programming to work with this.

#2 Purchase an editable website template

You also have the option of purchasing and already designed template which is customizable. Just as in the option above, you don’t need to know much about coding or programming to work with this. All you’ll need to do is go to the back end and customize it to suit your brand colors, font, images and a few other things and you’re good to go.

#3 Learn basic coding

As a person looking to build their DIY abilities, it will be of tremendous benefit if you learnt a bit about coding. It becomes an added advantage to you when you know how to manipulate both the codes in the back end as well as the design template. Your abilities to have a basic understanding of the structuring languages, such as HTML or CSS, which are the basic programming languages ​​that web designers use will enable you learn how to enhance your website especially if you are working with open source templates which don’t often have much in terms of graphics options.

It takes time, patience and commitment therefore you must be prepared to put in the work. The reason web designers may be expensive is because they put in both a monetary and time investment in learning this skill, therefore if you are not ready to pay for their services, you must be willing to put in the time and monetary investment to learn how to do it yourself.

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These are the 3 characteristics of a successful graphics designer

Many newbies in graphics design often find themselves prioritizing their design skills assuming that’s all they will need in order to be successful in their design career. This however is a misconception. You may be the best designer out there but this is not sufficient to guarantee you success in your design career. There are additional personal attributes that you need to focus on developing much in the same way you have focused on developing your design skills.

Here are 3 characteristics of a successful graphics designer.

#1 You must be open to criticism

For you to succeed in the design industry you must learn to be open to criticism and this will require you to develop thick skin. You are guaranteed to come across people who will criticize your work and this is perfectly normal. People may not see things the same way you do and this is perfectly fine. Don’t let criticism weigh you down, take it positively and let it help you grow. This is a quality you will strengthen over time as it doesn’t come overnight.

#2 You must have self-honesty

For a designer to have a successful career, they must learn to be honest with themselves. In the course of producing work for your clients, you need to always assess yourself and find out whether you are doing your best work. Many designers tend to get comfortable when they are not being challenged enough and may resort to producing design work that is just ok for the task but not the best. It’s important to be honest with yourself as to whether you have done or are doing everything possible to ensure you are the best version of yourself both professionally and personally.

#3 You must be a logical thinker

For a designer to be successful in their careers they must be logical thinkers. In fact this is one of the main differences between an average designer and a great designer. The way you approach your clients’ jobs has to be logical and well thought out. Each project needs to be approached keeping the end user in mind. This will make you know the best software design program to work with, as well as other design considerations. Logical thinking will also apply in other areas such as your career progression and the skills you focus on strengthening.

There are of course other skills like good communication which are rather too obvious so we won’t get into that. All in all take your time and hone the above skills and you can be assured of a successful design career.

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Here are 6 basic tips for beginners in graphic design

Every budding graphics designer desires to be the best. They look at other professionals who have made it in the design industry and wish they could enjoy such success. This is very possible if they are willing to learn. No designer is born knowing everything. It took time to hone their skills. Beginners in design therefore have the advantage of learning from those who have been around before them so that they can able to avoid some of the mistakes made by amateurs.

Here are 6 basic tips from a professional designer.

1 The minimum line height to use is 1.6 inches

When adding text to your design, many beginners in design have always wondered what the best line height is. Well, you must ensure that whatever line height you choose to use, the minimum must be at least 1.6 inches. This will ensure your text doesn’t appear too crowded.

2 Restrict yourself to two font types

 

You may have an arsenal of fonts in your design studio but it’s unnecessary to use them all in your design work. As a rule of thumb, try to restrict yourself to two font types and ensure they combine well. Ideally, one type should be for your headings and the other for the body.

3 Short paragraphs are better than long ones

When incorporating text in graphics design, the idea is to use them as a way of enhancing your communication. Therefore, you must learn to use short and concise paragraphs that the audience will quickly read and understand. As a rule, your lines should have 58 characters max.

4 Limit yourself to two font colors

You may be tempted to use colors to make your design appear more vibrant but it’s advisable to restrict yourself to two colors for your fonts which blend well and are part of what you’re trying to communicate. For instance, you can use one color for user-action phrases and another color for branding items.

5 It’s OK to borrow ideas from others

Copying in design is a huge NO! But borrowing ideas is perfectly fine. You can therefore lift an idea you have seen a designer use in another website but don’t copy the entire website. Part of developing ideas is improving on other people’s already existing ideas.

6 Spacing between text is important

When using text in design, don’t forget to space in between lines of text. A space after a line for instance between the heading and body enables the reader to see the distinction. Failure to include space will create the impression that it’s a continuous paragraph.

These are things that a designer will learn to perfect over time therefore you shouldn’t pressure yourself into figuring things out quick. As long as you have the willingness to learn, you should be ok.

 

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