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The designs DOs

We don't ever claim to be the absolute fountain of all knowledge so far as good graphic design practice is concerned - however, we do hope that our ideals and creative philosophies go some way in helping those wishing to seek advice when creating their own artistic masterpieces

The following advice is a collection of basic principles that we believe in, and because design is more of an art that a defined science, it is all very much down to individual opinion and interpretation. The bottom line is that you should always do what you feel is best and works for you

The nature of design & layout aesthetics can be quite complex and there is an awful lot of reading material available which offers more concise information should you wish to take your design learning to a higher level. What we show here is only at a basic level, but nonetheless we hope you may find it useful

So, here's what we believe in...

Define a goal

Do define an achievable goal

Although an 80% response rate for advertising and promotional materials sent out would be great - in reality this is not really an achievable goal. It is generally accepted within the marketing community that the response rate of a typical advertising campaign is usually between 2% and 3%. This may seem a low figure, but if a company is sending out thousands or even hundreds of thousands of promotional items then in fact it may be quite a significant return

A good campaign should not only pay for itself, but also raise awareness, increase credibility within its industry sector and ultimately turnover a good profit. Therefore, there is quite a burden on the designer of a campaign to get it right and trigger the desired response from the target audience

It helps to know what you actually want people to do after they have viewed and considered the design work presented to them. There needs to be a simple course of action you'd like people to take - whether it's to call a number, visit a website, fill in a return form or just to raise awareness of the product or service being advertised

Define this goal and you should be well on the way to creating a workable campaign

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Do rely on sound concepts and creative thinking

Any graphic designer or artist worth their weight in gold should let strong ideas be the foundation to a quality piece of artwork. The idea doesn't have to be that complicated, in fact in most cases the simplest ideas are by far the best, but there must be at least some degree of thought put into a layout rather than randomly plonking bits and pieces all over the place for no apparent reason

Ideas are king !

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Pen & paper first folks !

Do start off with good old fashioned pen & paper when starting any design projects

It is worth remembering that computers are just useful tools. Of course they do save time and are capable of rendering some magnificent pieces of CGI digital artwork that in many cases would be almost impossible to do by hand - but, they are still just tools. Content over style is always the best philosophy to adopt. Style is important, but it should be viewed as an accompaniment to, not a replacement for, quality content

Computers do not produce creative ideas. People produce creative ideas

Resist the temptation to scroll through all the latest photo editing software filters and fancy typefaces. Instead, sit back with a pen & paper to hand ..and let your imagination run wild !

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Think it through

Do think through your ideas carefully

So you've thought of a fantastic idea, great ! What now ?

The temptation for some may be to plough straight ahead and get the job done quickly, but consideration should always be taken in making sure that what you have created or are about to create will actually achieve its goals and reach the desired audience in the manner you have in mind

In other words, your idea may seem fantastic to you, but will everyone else share the same view ?

Will everybody else 'get it' and have the same appreciation as you ?

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