5 design tips for non-designers: writing, copy & fonts

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“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master”, says Milton Glaser, whom you might know through his iconic “I <3 NY” logo. Design has become part of our daily life, and its study is no longer limited to art students. In a highly competitive market, good design does make a difference, and it’s rarely limited to product design or packaging design. Another famous designer, Dieter Rams, believed that “good design is making something intelligible and memorable”. Because most of us are working with materials with heavy text, the list below should provide some insights on what to do and what not to do when trying to create efficient communication.

1. Golden rule: never write an entire body of text in capital letters

Writing an entire body of text in capital letters will not emphasise the content, but it will rather make the reader tired and unable to follow clearly. Plus, avoiding capital letters will give you a lot more space!

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2. Size matters! Emphasise important parts of the text through colour or size

Always create a hierarchy in what you are communicating. Think about what is important for the reader to remember after reading your content.

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3. When combining different fonts, make sure they are different

Use a non serif along with a serif, combine something thin with something bold.

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4. Create a grid, even in your mind

Using a grid, drawn or from your mind, will make the communication material clear and easy to follow through. Align your texts to any other objects, don’t overuse diagonal lines, and don’t write your text in all directions.

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5. Less is definitely more! Keep it simple

Remember this: clean design is always better! Minimalism is a trend! Don’t use too many colours, don’t use more than 3 different fonts per communication material and don’t add too many decorative objects. In design terms, focus on the negative space (also called white space), which is all the empty space in your layout. The reader follows the content better when the use of white space is appropriate.

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That’s it for today, but don’t forget to follow this series of articles that will provide you with insights into how to create better communication materials!


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