Design Hacks for Small Businesses

Design Hacks for Small Businesses

Read Time: 2 Minutes


23 Feb 2016

When you’re starting out on your own, money can be tight, so getting your hands dirty in all areas of your new business is a must if you want to get off the ground. An area where some fall short is in the design department, but we’ve popped together a few tips and tricks from the design pros (aka our top-notch creative team) to help your designs really sell your small business.


Whitespace is Good

Don’t be afraid of negative space in your design. If there’s space it doesn’t mean that you have to fill it. The reader can become overwhelmed when a design is too busy and that really great promotional flyer you think you have will be discarded. Sometimes less really is more for a high impact design.





Choose and Pair Your Fonts Well

Generally speaking, just stick to a couple of fonts. A quick web search or browse on Pinterest will take you to plenty of online tools to help you decide which fonts go well together, but a general rule of thumb is to pick 2 that are completely different; one serif font and one san serif font. This isn’t set in stone, but for guidance, don’t use fonts that are too similar such as two script style fonts. Pick a font for the titles then a different one for the rest of the body text.





Remember the Hierarchy

If you’re creating a brochure or document with a lot of text remember your hierarchy of content and keep this consistent throughout the document. For example, you may have a bold title which is slightly larger in size, then a sub heading in italics and then the main text in a smaller font. This will distinguish the different sections and make everything easy to read.



The Grid is Your Friend

Grids are the basic form of any good design. Think about structuring your text and images into columns and clear sections to create structure and balance.




For imagery, the rule of thirds is a simple and easy way to figure out the focus of an image. If you split the image into 9 equal sections, the focus of the image should be placed where the lines intersect.





Try a Ready Made Template

If you’re not too sure where to begin or just want to dip your toe into design then try one of our bespoke ready-made templates. If it’s a new business card design you need, you can choose a template, edit the contact details and away you go! If it’s promotional materials, such as flyers or posters, you can customise them too. It’s quick and easy and skips all the hassle, giving you tip-top designs in no time!



Think About Colour Theory

As all different colours evoke emotion, here’s a quick rundown of some basic colours and their theory.




By sticking to a limited colour palette, you’ll create a look and feel for your company and make your branding seamless.



Photo editing

There are some great photo editing tools out there which make editing your photos a breeze. Get Instagram-worthy snaps by using apps or online photo editors to enhance your images. This will make you look like a pro photographer in no time. If you don’t have the time or resource to take your own photographs you can get your hands on some stock photography. Sites such as, istock or Shutterstock offer a library of free or low cost images perfect for commercial use – just remember to check the licensing agreements first!





Find inspiration

 You can find inspiration anywhere; in a magazine, out and about, on blogs, on Pinterest… the list is endless. If you’re struggling to get creative then take a break, run around the block, make yourself a cup of tea and come back to it later. You can’t force creativity, but when you do think of ideas just make sure you have a way of making a note of them. Keep a note book on hand or a list on your phone and when inspiration strikes write it down!



Consistency is Key

Whatever you do, make sure there’s consistency across everything your customers come into contact with. Establishing the look and feel of your brand early on will ensure your audience recognises your brand instantly.



Feeling ready to become a design maestro? Let us know how you get on!



About the Author

Hi! I’m Jennie, and I’m the eCommerce Manager at instantprint. I'm passionate about creating the best website experience for our customers.