Effective Design Tips for Start-Ups

When you start a new business, what you need is solid advice from experienced people to take all the hassle away and provide you with a clear path towards success. If you are starting an online business, then you need advice related to design. After all, you will be getting your website, logo, etc. designed and you have got to know how you can get everything done effectively and professionally. So, what I will do here is that I will provide you with some solid tips that will allow you to understand the importance of design and why it’s important to get it right. Plus, how you can get it designed professionally. So, let’s get started.

Web Design:

The first thing you need to learn about is web design. As your website serves as your store front, it has to look professional and elegant to bring your visitors inside and make them check out different pages or categories. A low quality design will convey the message that your products are of low quality. Hence, you can’t expect your potential buyers to buy from you. This is why it is crucial that your online store looks professional even if you are selling a single product. Make sure the navigation is simple as well and your visitors can easily access the pages or information they need.

Logo Design:

Another important element of your business is logo design. See, your business doesn’t have any physical shape or appearance. So, how can people imagine your business and recognize it? Well, this is where your logo design comes in. It becomes the face of your business. It becomes a symbol that represents your business. So, when people see your logo, they can instantly relate it with your products and services. So, now you can very well realize the importance of logo design. Ensure that you get it right. It must look relevant to your business and represent your business professionally.

Banner Design:

Now, once you have your web design and logo design ready, your business can go Live. But, how can you bring visitors to your website? Well, there are several marketing methods you can use and one of them is Banner Advertisement. For this you will have to get a banner designed. How does banner advertisement work? Well, you have to display it on different websites and bring traffic to your site from there. This is a very powerful method, provided you manage to show your ad on a relevant and busy portal.

Brochure Design:

When we talk about brochures, people instantly think about offline marketing. Well, it’s a fact that brochures are mainly use for offline marketing, but they are also used on websites now. This way your potential buyers can download your brochure, print it out and read it later instead of sitting in front of the monitor for a long period of time.

Now, you know some of the important designs that you may need as a business owner. The most important thing to remember is to hire a professional designer always. If you compromise on quality just to save a few bucks, then you will have to bear loss later due to your unprofessional designs.

Effective Design

Developing new products and services rapidly and effectively is a very important skill in many businesses and the ‘decision to design’ can commit the business to hundreds of thousands of pounds and many months of work, as well as significant risk. The focus needs to be on minimising cost whilst reducing the time taken to develop the product or service and reducing the business’s risk exposure.

The problems with traditional design processes are that they occur sequentially and often involve ‘over the wall engineering’ in that one department ‘throws’ the design to the next department who then have to unpick the problems that have been designed in, often at great cost. In manufacturing companies, often the design engineers will not understand the production process and will design a product which cannot easily be made, or is too expensive, and in service companies often the marketing team will not understand in detail the operations function and will promote a product which is difficult to manage effectively – both examples of dysfunctional and sequential design.

During WWII, the need for rapid product development was recognised and the concept of Concurrent Design (CD) was born. The backbone of CD is the formation of a multi-function team consisting of designers, production, quality and test engineering personnel and key suppliers to develop a new product. This changes the cash flow profile (ie more money is spent earlier on), but can easily reduce the ‘time to market’ and post-design changes by 75% as well as reducing the actual development spend by up to 40%.

CD is a concept which is viable for both manufacturers or service sector businesses, but for manufacturers is complemented by Rapid Prototyping tools and techniques which have evolved to a new level of sophistication over the last 20 years, again reducing the time taken to receive solid models from weeks to hours and contributing to shorter development times.

Reducing time to market for new products and service can be shown to have many benefits including increased market share, longer product lifecycles and higher margins, but requires collaboration between departments and companies and the adoption of new practices and processes in the design value stream.

What I Learned In Design School: 9 Key Principles of Effective Design

1. Organization. There are seven essential elements to any design-line, direction, shape, size, texture, value, and color. The process of graphic design is the awareness of all of these elements, and organizing them in a way that allows each to interact in a meaningful way. It’s the placement of text, graphics, white space, and backgrounds that lead the eye through the hierarchy of information on the page.

2. Balance. Once all of the elements are placed on the page, it’s important to balance the weight of the text, graphics, color, and positive and negative space. Without balance, the eye gets confused, doesn’t know where to go weight of any of these elements are related to it’s size, density, and color. Essentially, an element that is large and contains darker, more saturated color is “heavier”, and will need other elements on the page to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. My trick is to squint while viewing the page to make sure the heavier elements are balanced.

3. Contrast. Big, small. Short, tall. Contrast occurs when two elements are different. The greater the difference, the greater the contrast. In design, big and small elements, black and white text, squares and circles, can all create contrast. Contrasting elements immediately attract attention.

4. Rhythm. Repetitive elements similar in nature, such as sidebars and figures, can create a visual rhythm that will unify the design. These elements are picked up as “pulsations” and causes the eye to briefly pause as it moves around the page. These pauses and shifts in rhythm can bring attention to important information.

5. Readability. Even if all of the key principles of design are followed, attention is lost without content that is readable. Factors such as size, background, and letter spacing determine the readability of text. And, studies indicate that some text is more readable than others. For instance, serif typefaces, such as Times New Roman, are slightly more legible than sans-serifs, such as Helvetica, for long body copy. And, three quarters of all readers prefer black text on a white background.

6. Proximity. The distance between elements on a page creates a bond, or lack thereof in a design. If elements are related to each other, for instance, they should be placed on the page together. Unrelated elements should not be in close proximity. The process of grouping related information and graphics creates visual cues, which help the reader scan and absorb the information easily.

7. Consistency. While working to achieve a successful design, keeping the overall aesthetic integrity of the elements of the page must be considered. This means keeping all of the visual and typographic elements simple and clear, and applying these styles uniformly. For example, using the Garamond Bold typeface in orange for all subheads, or framing all customer testimonials in a 3 point green border. There should be an overall visual system to all of the elements that unify the design into a coherent whole. Consistency brings recognition, which makes the reader more comfortable, and more likely to respond.

8. Demographics. Gender, age, social, physical, and cultural demographics play a key role in who will pay attention to the design. Before starting any design, research is required to understand the audience, and tailor specifically to their needs. For instance, a brochure targeted to seniors over 60 should incorporate a larger (minimum 12 point) and more readable (Serif) typeface throughout. Also, use a color palette that is more appealing to the 60 and over audience.

9. Color. Last, but certainly not least, is the use of color in design. Color is a key principle that affects everything we’ve talked about so far: organization, balance, contrast, rhythm, readability, proximity, consistency, and demographics. Similar colors will bond elements together (light blue and dark blue), just as colors located on opposite sides of the color wheel (purple and yellow) will create visual contrast, rhythm, and balance on the page. Studies have shown that women are more sensitive to color than men, women prefer reds, and men prefer blues. Therefore, audience demographics must be considered before choosing a color palette.

Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer’s job is to work with a variety of communication tools, images and typography to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. Using these basic principles from Design school, can help anyone design a piece that is both beautiful and functional.