Design Basics for Businesses

  • February 18, 2013
  • INK Team

This post comes from INK graphic design intern Hadley Million.

As the graphic design intern here at INK, I would like to make a list of the most important basic design principles for businesses. Even if you’re not intending on graphically designing anything, these key principles can help you considerably, like making a PowerPoint “pop” more, or making a complicated document about business credentials easier to understand.  Well-designed business materials don’t just look better, they actually help to clarify information and make things easier to read.

Always establish lines within the page you’re creating. In other words, make sure you have a set boundary or border within your design, and lines connecting separate ideas, otherwise things can get sticky when your design elements are arbitrarily placed within the page. These lines don’t have to be physical lines either, they can be lines that are created with whitespace or alignment of your other design elements. Lines don’t have to be straight, they can be curved or angled – the lines are useful as long as they lead a viewer’s eye or ground the design.

Color is another important factor when designing anything. It can convey the emotional response to your design and can really make or break whether someone loves or utterly despises what you’ve created. One popular way of using color is the complimentary color approach. For instance, red and green are colors that compliment one another. Different hues and shades of these colors typically turn out quite nice with different shades and hues of their complimentary colors.

Good Design

The most important element I find is white space. I personally have a tendency to go overboard and will at times attempt to cluster bomb a design if I’m not totally sure what I want to do. When I remember this important factor I take a step back from the crazy, overly designed page, and tell myself “less is always more.” White space doesn’t have to be specifically “white,” it can just be blank areas of the page that give all the elements within your design more breathing room and will make a design more soothing. If someone is overwhelmed by the amount of information in a design, it’s usually a sign that white space wasn’t used to its greatest potential.

Although there are plenty of elements to discuss, for businesses these principles are key. Always remember that lines guide; color should never be taken lightly (not literally, light colors can be nice); and white space saves lives every time.