Dos and Donts Design - The Do’s & Don’ts of Design

The Do’s & Don’ts of Design

Target Audience – To understand your target audience you first must decide what your message is and how you want to deliver it. Design is a form of language and sometimes it can be misinterpreted, possibly offending people if you are unaware of the message you may be sending to them. Best advice is to always brainstorm before starting a new project and do lots of research!!! Something as simple as colours can mean a multitude of different things in various cultures, so it’s good to keep in mind how best you want to communicate with your target audience. Also try to remember that when working with a client, you must always design to their needs. If you have a better judgement on the matter then go ahead and voice it, but if the client disagrees then stick to what they want. 

Experiences – As a designer you must always be open to new experiences and opportunities because this is how you evolve in the industry. Exposing yourself to new situations and techniques improves the ability to be more advanced in your discipline and possibly other areas too. Taking the time to look at other areas of the arts shows you ways of how you might be able to incorporate it into your own work.

Adjustments – In Graphic Design it is important to make sure that your text, images and hierarchy are perfected. Not only does it make a project look more professional, but it also shows a clear understanding for how the target audience will observe it. It is all about making the right message and adding simple components such as text, imagery, hierarchy and more. Just always make sure you triple check, if not more.

Stay Calm – Being a designer you have to be aware that only 50% of it is designing. The other 50% is communicating with clients, meetings, presentations and interviews. In order to be a Graphic Designer, you need to be able to work towards being the full 100%. There may be times where you are feeling worried, anxious or completely out of your depth and that’s okay. It means that you’re overcoming obstacles that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. Strive to always step out of your comfort zone, you might expose yourself to some interesting things.

Fonts – Fonts, there are so many fonts!!! Curly ones, fancy ones, bold ones and your average handwriting that gets you by in everyday life. As a Designer you must be more equipped with the terminology of each typeface because when it comes to graphic design, the last thing you want is to visually confuse your client. When a project comes a long it is important to choose type that fits efficiently effectively to the project and client’s needs. This links back to the target Audience section where you have to go with what the clients prefers even if it’s something you don’t agree with. Also try stay away from using big, fancy fonts for the body of your text. It loses its legibility in large bodies of text. This is when the whole hierarchy factor comes in. Hierarchy is basically order, in which a user processes information on a page. 

Styles – In the Cambridge dictionary it is said that a stereotype is someone who has a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like, especially an idea that is wrong. As a Designer try not to be a stereotype, don’t just be set on one idea, one style or one thing. Be open to new things and have a go at trying to be original. The more open you are to new ideas the better you will be for the design industry; you’ll be able to adapt easily into any project you take on. All because of the diverse situations or in this case styles you have submerged yourself into.

Copyright – Don’t do unto others, what you don’t want done unto you, this is very important to know in the Design world. Don’t steal other ideas or even copy, but that’s not to say that you can take inspiration. If you are a Designer that wants to protect their work, then the copyright rules should do that and stop others from using it without your permission. When you have made something, you’re automatically covered by the copyright protection with no additional cost applied. Most people like to put the copyright sign on their work with their name and date, but you don’t have too. 

Consistency – Make sure when you are designing you are following the brand’s style guidelines. If you don’t and start to stray away from the established look, it can be confusing for your audience or client.