Last updated on October 9th, 2017
Legendary graphic designer Paul Rand once remarked that ‘design can be art, Design can be aesthetics, Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.’ He meant to say that simplicity in a design is desirable but it is harder to achieve. Taking clue from these words of the great designer, we can say that a designer should check and recheck a design work. The aim should be to make the design look simple but ensure that it makes a memorable impact on viewers.
Graphic designers are trained professionals. They know the significance of designs when it comes to making a desired impact on viewers. But sometimes even trained eyes fail to judge a design with impartiality due to closeness with the work. However, if a designer checks out a key list of design features, timely improvement can be made in the design for simplicity, quality, and impact.
If you are a designer and have non-designer friends around when working, do queries like ‘why are you using this font,’ ‘why are you choosing red over blue’ and other similar novice queries keep bumping your desk? This mystifying experience of what a designer does is indeed impossible to explain unless they have a knack for it. Even the beginners find it tough to figure out the points and choices to be considered when it comes to the best designing output. Well for them, there is no definite formula to make best.
Graphic designers usually trust their visual instincts to check if a design is good enough to impress audience. However, remember that every individual has different choices. So, what you think is aesthetically pleasing at its best might just not be so for your client.
Here Are 12 Easy Ways Designers Must Know If A Design Looks Great
01. Where Is The Focal Point?
Planning, designing, and reviewing are the three block steps in creating a design. To find out main focus of a design, ask the pivotal question – what is the purpose of this design? Find out if it is the graphic, the image or the content.
If you use simple black-and-white typography with an elaborate illustration, the viewer will find the focus on the image first then the text. It is not possible to emphasize every part of a design and neither is it required.
Color, texture, shape, direction, position, size, etc. are the elements, which can make the visual weight vary and thus create the focal point. The boldest or the largest text or image can sometimes be used to highlight the spotlight of the graphic design and make sure that’s vividly there in the final output.
02. Balanced Design
Symmetry is one of the biggest contributors to a design. If you have chosen to make a symmetrical design, make sure that the central axis is maintained. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, this type of designing also helps to form the hierarchy of the design layout.
Vertically, horizontally, or radially – whatever is the alignment, maintain the balance. Poor alignment with improper margins throws a design off balance.
The grid feature helps to create the alignment perfectly. Human brain finds symmetry more attractive than any other style. Maintaining one type of alignment throughout for text-rich design makes it easier for the eyes and hence a good design.
03. Maintained Visual Flow
The focal point is not everything of design. The audience’s eye should also be able to navigate the rest of the layout comfortably, and that qualifies it as a good design. The hierarchy of a design helps to let the viewers understand, with the blink of an eyelid, what is important in the graphic design and what is not.
The design elements including the white space, text, etc. should be placed such that it automatically focuses on the crux of the design. Without any clear organization, the design will not have a visual smooth flow.
Repetition in the design elements creates unity in design. Organizing with headings, sections, bullet points, etc. divide the design into clear sections. Lastly, the appropriate use of white space helps to avoid a cluttered design.
04. Are The Typefaces In Accord?
A key part of almost any design is typography. Well-chosen fonts create major influence on the overall attractiveness of the design. With two or more typefaces, which are not complementary to each other, serves a huge distraction to the viewers.
For beginners, it is wise to stick to one sans-serif font and one serif font. One thing to remember is the mood and personality of the tone of the text and then chooses the font. Again, it is not such a clever idea to use fake italics for fonts which do not have them originally.
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05. Is It In Balance Form With Function?
What is that one thing that makes the design ‘still’ and not serve the intended purpose? What keeps it less communicative than the rest of the designs? It is the balance.
Losing sight of the message of the design is disastrous and consequently, makes it purposeless. Apart from being visually appealing to its audience, graphic designers should also communicate its message successfully.
06. Check The Readability Of The Text
What defeats the purpose of design is when nobody can read what is written on it. Size is thus one thing that looks much larger on screen but looks different when printed. Print out a proof of the design before the final output. Do not use impractical fonts.
Typefaces in all caps increase the scope of readability and are often used as the technique for writing the important information such as address, price, etc. The sharp contrast in colors between dark and light colors also serve the purpose.
Lastly, choose the perfect font style. While some fonts are easier to read others may be too cursive, not enough to read from a distance. Display fonts are best when used sparingly.
07. Care For The Contrast
Contrast is an important element for making a graphic design appealing as well as functional. To mark more emphasis on certain elements of the design, simple choice of color won’t serve the purpose.
Shape, scale, and typography are the support elements of contrast which brings out the drama in the text. Contrasting design elements, however, should be placed in a complementary way.
08. Is The Mood Of The Design In Balance With The Text?
What do graphic designers do to help set the mood of the design? Typography styles, color choices, and some other elements should be aligned to make it of the mood that the text demands. Kid’s coloring contest can have autumnal color shades but in no way should be black and white! A serious font with dab colors can be ideal for a serious impactful meeting’s banner.
09. Is It Justifying The Space Available?
For different design projects, there is a different amount of space available. It is a challenge to make the most of the space keeping in mind to leave adequate white space and yet convey the entire information.
A couple of basic principles should be maintained to get it done. For instance, the proximity that is placing the related pieces in organized layout can create a logical section.
White space is all about giving your design elements some breathing room. Cluttered, crowded design loses the focal point of the design.
10. Bothered For The Harmonious Color Scheme?
It is necessary to understand the deep, subconscious significant color shades often used. Apart from considering the moods colors can portray in the graphic design, one should also think of the combination of colors used.
11. Are The Images High-Res?
After creating a graphic design which you are really proud of, wouldn’t it be sad to see the images as pixilated on the final print? A solid understanding of the correct resolutions along with the format requirements is a fundamental thing to know to get a comprehensive look of the design.
12. Did You Check If The Design Matched The Brief?
While designing for a creative brief, it is wise to stick to the basic creative brief template as mentioned for a good graphic design. Do not go completely off the brief just to make it visually pleasing according to your aesthetic sense.
Graphic designers should review their work extensively to find out if it creates a desirable impact on viewers. Make sure that focus of the design is where it should be. Check also the balance of varied design elements. See if visual flow is right and contrast, if required, is just perfect. Readability of text, color scheme, and correct resolution of images are other things a designer must check before finalizing the work.