5 Secrets of Great Design

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

Ever come across a design element that is uh-mazing? So amazing that you want to work with the designer that created it right then and there for your own business?

Having a great design strategy laid out will help you book and retain more customers in the future. Think about it, if you saw apple or nike products with terrible design would you be put off from buying them? I would.  

Knowing what makes a design great is one of the first steps in understanding why a logo, website, flyer, or social media post was attractive to you in the first place.

So let’s break it down. Here are 5 secrets of great design.

5 Secrets of Great Graphic Design

1. It’s easy to understand

In the world of graphic design, creators are specialist in visual communication. We know how to give you information that is visually pleasing but won’t bore you.  

With this knowledge, we find creative ways to deliver information that doesn’t stress you out when you look at it.

So, if you’re looking at a design that doesn't make you feel uneasy at first glance, the designer 9 times out of 10 did a great job.

2. Whitespace is King

Most people say content is king (which is true) but whitespace is its distant cousin.

Having a good balance between content and whitespace, which is the space around the main focus of a design, is so important.

Whitespace does two things:

  • Helps focus your viewers attention.

  • Keeps your viewer from getting overwhelmed with tons of content.

If you can give your audience a focal point, they’ll tune into what you have to say.  

3. Fonts Fonts Fonts

Here are some rules guidelines for picking your fonts:

You only need 2 (Max 3)

  • This goes back to being easy to understand. If you have 4-5 fonts within one design piece it will slow down your viewers reading speed. Which in turn makes your content harder to understand.

  • People now-a-days lose interest in things very fast. If it takes someone longer than it should to read your content, best believe they’re going to bounce, and won't be back to hear anything else.

You need contrast

Contrast can come in a lot of different forms: font choice, font size, font weight.

  • Contrast in font choice can be between a san serif font and a script font.

  • Contrast in font size can be a 50pt font (Header)  and a 12 pt font (body).

  • Contrast in font weight is the difference between regular, italic, bold, extra bold etc.

Having well placed contrast in your design will let your audience know what is most important and what they need to focus on the most.

Speciality fonts don't go everywhere.

Hear me out.

Imagine you find a really nice script/calligraphy font that you want to use to make your design stand out. This is a good idea and would make people stop to read/look at  your unique design. However, don’t add that script font to all of your copy.

You heard me. Don’t do it.

Specialty fonts are good as headers (1 to 5 words) but they don’t work well in copy (15 + words), where you need people to comprehend what you're saying.

Don’t know if your font is a specialty one or not? No problem, pass off your design to someone else and have them read it. If they cant get through the first line, then you’ll know.

4. Color Palette

Along with having a color palette for your branding needs, it's important to implement these colors into your design elements as well for a cohesive look.  However, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t add light colors on light backgrounds, unless you’re doing it for an artistic purpose and not for legibility.

  • Same goes for dark color on dark backgrounds.

  • Use colors that complement each, not fight with each other.

5. Simplicity

Ever heard of the KISS method? Keep it simple stupid is a great motto to live by. If you think your designs are a little too overwhelming, they probably are and you should take it back a notch or two.


Here’s the 5 secrets of great design spat back out at you. Just in case you don't want to scroll back up.

1. It’s easy to understand

2. Whitespace is King

Whitespace does two things:

  • Helps focus your viewers attention.

  • Keeps your viewer from getting overwhelmed with tons of content.

3. Fonts Fonts Fonts

  • You only need 2 (Max 3)

  • You need contrast     

  • Speciality fonts don't go everywhere.

4. Color Palette

  • Use a color palette for your overall branding but also for each design you use to make things look cohesive.

5. Simplicity

  • Use the KISS Method (Keep It Simple Stupid)

If you have any questions drop me a comment down below or shoot me an email! Remember to subscribe for blog post updates.

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