Tips for the beginner Pt 2

In Design We Trust

In part 2 of Tips for the beginner, we continue to look at the do’s and don’ts of design.

This time we look at alignment, white space use, research and keeping a notebook.

5. Zen of Alignment

When using text in your designs, try to use one style of alignment. There are a few options to use within your paragraph palette. Choose one that works with your other elements, but try not to mix different alignments. This can make your design look a little chaotic.

Zen of alignment

6. Less is More Man

I have always lived by the above. If I see an advert that has everything except the kitchen sink will make me just flick past it. I don’t have time to read it all.

Give the elements in your design room to breathe. Guide your viewer through the design and don’t give them a headache. If a client comes to you with a 2000 word essay for a single-sided flyer, sit down with them and talk them through getting to the key points of the copy. They may put up a struggle, but most will see the light (it’s handy to have some samples you can show them). White space is King/Queen, use it wisely and you will create designs that shout without the need for paracetamol.

The example below shows just how easy it can be. The lines draw you into the message. You have all the info you need in a few short words. Noice.

Less is more man

7. Research it Thoroughly

With every project I do, I make sure I research the project. I make a point of checking competitors brands, the advertising they use and even their social media platforms. If the project is for something you don’t really know about (this happens a lot) then hit your search engine of choice and get researching. I cannot stress enough how important this is. It will help you massively.


8. Always Keep a Notebook

One thing college taught me way back in the 90s was the power of keeping a notebook(s). If you are like me and have great design ideas at 4am, then a notebook by the bed can be an invaluable resource!

They are also good for just doodling, storing, notes and design ideas. I have a box load of notebooks from the past 20 years and even now, still have a couple of books on the go around the house.

You will soon find yourself using them while travelling or just doodling in front of the TV.

My favourite place to purchase notebooks has to be Paperchase. They have an amazing selection.


That’s all folks!

I hope you found this two-part guide to beginning in design helpful. My training was back in the 90s and I wished I had the digital resources that I have now. There is a wealth of resources out there, some good and some bad. If you have any questions, please get in touch, I am always happy to help.