Let’s get straight to it – design programs like Photoshop or Illustrator can send even the boldest of creatives running for the hills; trust me, I found it hard at the start. Sitting down, staring at your computer, attempting to design something from scratch can be pretty intimidating for non-designers, especially if you feel you don’t have a flare for it. While it’s my job to make it look super easy, I know that when it comes to designing, for instance, an ad for Facebook, this can seem like a giant challenge to others. Design can appear to be an elite club of us creative sort, but there are tips and tricks that I’m here to share with you that will help you feel part of that club! With just a little design know-how, you’ll be creating impressive graphics for your brand or business in no time.

Use an app to help you

Take advantage of the technology that’s at your fingertips. With most of them free to use, there’s no reason why you should be hobbling up the learning curve of an advanced program. Canva is one of my favourite apps, it’s so user-friendly and will make your life as an amateur designer much easier; it pretty much does the work for you.

Be smart with colour

Choose a colour scheme that has 1-3 primary colours and an additional 1-3 secondary colours that contrast and complement each other. Use complementary colours (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/violet) or black-and-white to create interest.

Fonts are your friend

When it comes to fonts – it’s like a good outfit; less is more! Choose a typeface that sings the song of your content. But don’t go overboard, especially if you’re an amateur – too many fonts can distract from your message. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 fonts. This keeps you from having to worry about tons of combinations. If you’re going to use multiple fonts, use one for the header and another for the body.

Who are you directing it at?

This might seem an obvious one, but always think about the target audience for whom you are designing. When and where will they see it? Context will set up a tone, style, and colour scheme. What will work for an audience of children (bright colors, cartoons, rough lines) won’t work for a financial company etc.

White, white and more white

Create a fluid design by surrounding words with white space to let elements breathe. The application of space around text boxes, images and other graphic elements makes a design easier to read. It’s also more likely to attract attention than a cluttered composition

Well, there you have it…5 easy tips. Really, the main thing with design is to try and have fun with it – let your creative juices flow! If you don’t like what you see, you can always go back and start again, the more you do it, the more confident you’ll be in your abilities. Happy designing!