Knowing the essentials of good design can turn any business card into a great one. And we all want our business cards to tell a great story, whether we work at a global company or run our own business. Understanding how design works doesn't have to be difficult. Even the most sophisticated designs can be broken down into four basic elements: colour scheme, graphics, font, and layout.
Here are some key principles to keep in mind for each of these elements:
Limit your colour scheme to one or two colours. This will keep the design simple and attractive to the eye.
A single, clean, bold graphic element (such as a logo, border, illustration, or scanned photo) can really call attention to your message.
When choosing a font, think of it as a visual expression of your tone of voice. And don't be shy about increasing the size of your text.
This refers to the way the elements are placed on a page. You might want to break up large blocks of text with colour or graphics to keep things interesting. Always remember to leave a reasonable margin of space around the text for readability.
Once you get these basic guidelines under your belt, you can apply your design knowledge to any format!
Title pages: capture attention with large, bold headings, complemented by the design you intend to continue throughout your document.
Business cards: even when designing something that has very limited space, you can introduce colour and graphics to make your message capture attention.
Conference materials: find a match! Complement as many materials as you can using your company logo, or the event logo. Think about: title pages, delegate cards, presentation dividers, name tags and the CD of the presentation materials. It reinforces the significance of your event, or actively promotes your company over and over again.
One final tip: Whether or not you're a natural-born artist, clip art can be a real timesaver when it comes to designing almost any project. And with a little time and practice, you'll soon find new ways to create good design of your own!