Our Top 6 Design Tips for Beginners

Our Top 6 Design Tips for Beginners

Read Time: 6 Minutes


03 Sep 2018

Whether it’s Booklets or Business Cards, every print product you order will need a stunning design for you to see the full effect you want for your business. If you’re not a professional graphic designer but are interested in learning a few basic design skills for your print marketing, we understand that it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’ve got some fantastic beginner tips to get you started on creating winning print designs.


  1. How to Start Your Design (Research)

As tempting as it is, do not dive straight in to designing! Take a look around to see what other designers are doing. This way you’ll get an idea of the kind of styles you like and would want for your own marketing materials. Either create a mood board with print marketing you’ve received, or take a look online. You can ‘pin’ pictures you like on Pinterest (like we do here), which then acts as an online mood board for inspiration.

As well as websites such as Pinterest, Dribble and Designspiration, why not check out our tips for how to create the perfect logo design for your company? Or you could even follow @instantprintuk on social media to see what some of our awesome customers have created!

A word of warning: although it’s fine to take inspiration from fellow designers online, make sure you don’t copy them. Plagiarism is illegal, and anyway the point of researching what others are doing is to find the right style for you – something that’s individual to you and your preferences.



  1. How to Pick Fonts for Your Design

We can’t stress how important having a clear and easy-to-read font is for your design, especially if its purpose is to help sell your business’ products and services. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to understand what it is you can offer them. This is especially important for materials that might just receive a passing glance like Posters. Click here for tips on designing an amazing Poster!

But that’s not all… your choice of fonts for branding can also say a lot about the kind of company you are. As soon as customers see your marketing materials (or any visual branding) they make an instant assessment on you – which could be the difference between whether they choose to spend money with your or with a competitor.

There are 4 main types of font: Sans, Slab, Script and Serif. Depending on whether you’re designing a logo for your business, creating a winning Menu, designing an ‘About Us’ page on your website or an informative Flyer, you’ll want to use a different type of font. For more info on everything you need to know about the psychology of typography, check out this blog.



  1. How to Choose the Right Colours for Your Design

You’ve probably noticed that some colours go nicely together, whereas others REALLY don’t! But how do you pick colours for your design that definitely go together? For this you’ll need to pick one colour on a colour wheel.


(Source: Pinterest)

From here, there are multiple ways of picking out your colour palette, from choosing the colour directly across from the one you’ve picked (complimentary) to picking the colours surrounding your first pick (analogous). We particularly like Gigzey’s examples of how to do this.

To create your final colour palette, have a play around with different hues and shades of these colours, think about whether your design calls for a warm or a cold colour scheme, or if you’re designing a Menu, think about ‘hungry’ colours. For more tips on designing a mouth-watering Menu, check out our handy guide here.



  1. How to Choose Images for Your Design

A study by Vogel et al found that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than any other type of content. If you’re designing something like a Roller Banner or Exhibition Stand, this is a really important fact to keep in mind as images will play a huge part in your design. The key to choosing images that work for your business’ style is to choose images that are:

  • High quality
  • Relevant to your brand message/business
  • Contrast between the copy and the image/background
  • Consistent with your branding


If your design is going to be featured on a Banner or Exhibition Pop-up at an event, make sure to put your logo near the top so that you know everyone will see who you are even over the sea of people! For a more in-depth guide to designing print for an exhibition, we’ve got the blog for you right here.

Images don’t just work well on event print – you’ll also need to make sure you follow the list above for any images you use (including web design). Whether it’s for Leaflets or Brochures, it’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer to make sure your pictures are both original and of the highest possible quality. 



  1. How Simplicity Says a Lot

You’re passionate about your business – and that’s great, amazing even – but it’s important to know when to pause for effect. The use of whitespace (sometimes known as negative space) in design is when you leave part of your design blank to create a desired effect. As well as being visually appealing, it can make information easier for customers to digest and understand and even increase the level of attention your design receives. A busy design filled with lots and lots of information can be a little off-putting, and your customers might not know where to look!

We think the whitespace used in this Poster to highlight environmental degradation is particularly impactful. The design mimics popular classic video games such as Space Invaders to allude to the fact that we are responsible for the disappearance of large fish in our oceans. The whitespace used makes this even more thought-provoking because it’s very obvious that something is missing – and even though there’s nothing there, this speaks volumes.

(Source: canva.com)



  1. How to Make Your Design Look Neat

To take your artwork from ‘beginner’ to ‘pro’, you can use alignment to really improve your design. If you’re using any images, text boxes or even patterns, it’s a good idea to make sure everything aligns for a sleek and professional finish. One way of doing this that’s really simple is by using a grid layout, like we do for our blogs:


(Source: instantprint)


If you’re still struggling to get a neat and tidy finish to your design check out our Text Alignment Design Tips blog for extra guidance.



Now you’ve got some of the knowledge you need for creating an eye-catching design, why not have a go at creating your own? After all, practise makes perfect! If you don’t have any design software downloaded on your computer, our Design Online tool makes designing dream artwork for your print products easy. We’d love to see what you create, so make sure you tag us in a pic of your print @instantprintuk or #instantprinkuk.


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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.