2-Minute Guide To Basic Design Principles

When it comes to design, people get a little weary. But, just because you didn't go to art school or study design in college doesn't mean you can't kick butt with basic design principles. Below are three categories of design: typography, color and layout. Follow these guidelines and you'll quickly realize that design ain't got nothin' on you, boo.

The Busy Bee Basic Design Principles
Basic Design Principles Typography

There are 3 common types of fonts that are used today: Serif, a typeface with strokes at the ends of the letters (think Times New Roman), Sans-Serif, a typeface without strokes at the end of the letters (think Helvetica) and Script, a cursive typeface (think calligraphy). Determine which one of these fonts is used in your brand, and stick with it.

Basic Design Principles Color

When using color, always start with your basic brand colors. Don’t have established colors and need some guidance? There is a psychology behind color choice—different colors bring out different emotions in people. Check out what standard colors represent below:

  • Green: Fresh, Organic, Positive

  • Blue: Calming, Loyalty, Trust

  • Purple: Wealthy, Luxury, Spiritual

  • Yellow: Bright, Energetic, Positivity

  • Orange: Confident, Friendly, Playful

  • Red: Love, Passionate, Strength

  • Pink: Gentle, Sweet, Beauty

  • Gray: Modern, Futuristic, Open

  • Black: Bold, Sophisticated, Formal

Basic Design Principles Layout

The most important thing to remember when it comes to layout is to include “white space.” White space isn’t necessarily white, but empty space of any color where there is no design element involved. This gives the viewer’s eye breathing room and draws attention to the main pieces of the design. The second most important design principle when it comes to layout is hierarchy, or giving importance to one item on a design rather than multiple pieces. For instance, If you’re having a sale and want to create an Instagram ad for it, focus on the discount or the fact that you’re having a sale, not both. This way, you’re not overwhelming potential customers with information and ultimately driving them away.