Maybe you volunteered to make invitations for the company holiday party, in an attempt to (finally!) gain your boss’ approval. Or you leapt into entrepreneur land and need to create brand assets for your budding biz. Whatever the reason, you need to design something. And if you’re new to the design game, your first attempts might make you believe that you hit your artistic prime at age 5, when your mom hung your crayon-and-macaroni portrait on the refrigerator.
But don’t hurl your computer against the wall in a fit of creative exasperation just yet, newb. Here are some expert graphic design tips and tricks to help you master your task, and start thinking like a designer. And if you wanna employ your newfound knowledge while you read, open a blank canvas in Design or find a template to customize.
When you opened this article, you were able to easily identify the title and subheadings. This is because these elements were given different visual weights—the title is in the largest font, and the subheadings are in a smaller font than the title, but larger font than the rest of the text. Both the title and subheadings are bolded. This creates a hierarchy.
Hierarchy is important because it helps eyeballs flow through your document and brains process it easily. If your graphic design elements aren’t given different visual weights, you won’t have any hierarchy, and your viewer won’t know what’s most important. It’s kinda like being in a room full of people speaking at the same time and same volume—somebody needs to be louder if they’re going to be heard.
There are a few ways to give things different visual weight, including: