How C.R.A.P. is your logo – website – flyer – business card – branding??
Read on. Even (or especially) if you think you are all that and a bag of chips.
Touted as the 4 Principles of Design, if you stick with these rules, it’s unlikely you will ever make a design faux pas and find yourself looking like an amateur.
You see the thing is we don’t go looking for poor design, in most cases it has to be pretty bad to flag a conscious thought, the trouble is, we are measuring, calculating and judging what we see around us all the time. We do it with people, with food, with TV in fact, if we can see, hear, taste, smell or touch it we can and will make some sort of observation which is often followed by a judgement.
As human beings we inherently crave to see beauty and balance. We live in a world where we are bombarded daily by advertising. We are being constantly exposed to the very best of design, by the smartest people in the business. Advertising is nothing short of a complete seduction of the senses designed to strip us of our cash.
If the greatest minds in the world seduce us daily with design that is so well constructed we are drawn like moths to a flame, then it stands to reason we are going to notice when we get Danny DeVito instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Don’t look at your own branding, because your ego is probably highly involved, and you may find that you see Arnie every time you look at it. Get a friend to look over it or better still, contact ME, and apply the rules below. It’s not ever rocket science; as I’ve mentioned in other articles, the over arching rule is ‘nothing sells like space’, (think Apple, Nike) however the tips below will help you put that into more practical terms:
C. is for Contrast.
Contrast is all about making things stand out. A call to action that is green on a black and white website will stand out in a big way. Users need to know what order to look at things. This helps with scanning, especially with making ‘important’ things stand out.
R. is for Repetition.
Repetition of colour, shapes and other design aspects creates a cohesive look. Repetition ties things together, it’s pleasant to look at, for example, if green is in your logo, then repeating that colour in boxes and panels on your website or flyer is going to give it a uniform look and feel.
A. is for Alignment. (haha little joke) (looks awful huh?)
Ugh, have you ever seen a poorly laid out article, where the spacing is bad and bits are poking out of the paragraph, or worse, it’s a hard to read wall of text? Columns within a page makes it easier to scan horizontally. Newspapers are a great example of this. It’s all about assisting the reader to scan effortlessly. Make someone work too hard for it and you will lose them in the first 3 seconds. Aligning objects is equally important, it’s all about balance.
P. is for Proximity.
Proximity helps us make data more digestible, if information, whether it be, bodies of text, headers, pictures or maps, is placed together, this infers association, which in turn makes the job of reading more streamline instead of an arduous task.
So that’s it. Go and take a look at your branding and don’t suppose that just because you paid a graphic designer that it’s all going to look just fine. All artists are not created equal, just like owning a paint brush won’t make you Michael Angelo.
So don’t settle for Danny DeVito, when the world can see you as Arnie.