Secrets to Great Design

KevinBlog

Bring amazing design to all your projects!

Great design is about more than colors, type, and images. The difference between great and poor designs come down to planning. The key to a successful website, marketing campaign, or outreach program is getting your group together and coming up with a plan that will work for you!

Logo

Your logo is your organizations visual handshake, your digital smile, it is your chance to make a great first impression. 
A rookie mistake is to plaster your logo as large as possible right in the middle of your design. Please don’t do this! If you have a good logo and good design hierarchy it will draw the eye where you want it.

Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is the order in which a user processes the information on a page. By assigning different visual characteristics to sections of information (larger fonts for headings), you can influence what users will perceive as being further up in the hierarchy.

Ways to create a hierarchy

  • Size: the larger the element, the more attention it will attract
  • Color: bright colors are more likely to draw attention over muted ones
  • Contrast: dramatically contrasting colors will catch the eye easily
  • Alignment: an element that breaks away from the alignment of others will attract more attention
  • Repetition: repeating styles can give the impression that content is related
  • Proximity: closely placed elements will also appear related
  • Whitespace: more space around elements will attract the eye toward them
  • Texture and style: richer textures will attract more attention than flat ones

Color palette

The colors you choose to represent your organization have connotations far deeper than most would expect. Far wiser minds than my own can go on for days on color theory, so here is my shortcut to give you a brief understanding of the primary colors and their meanings.
Red
Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, and determinationas well as passion, desire, and love.
Orange
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics.
Yellow
Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. 
Blue
Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. 
Purple
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition.
Guiding Outreach’s Pro Tip
Guiding Outreach recommendusing colors that compliment your sanctuary or building. This subtle trick can help your online ministry feel like your in-person ministry.

Typography

It’s not always what you say, but how you say it. That is what typography is to design, each font (designated set of alphabet, numbers, and symbols) has characteristics that make it just as powerful in visual identity as a logo.

Write it once. Use it everywhere.

Too many times we have seen organizations rewrite their introductory message for no good reason. They write an intro for the website, another for the newsletter, and yet another for a flyer, Why? The best way to stay on message is to write it once use the same message in all your materials.

Organization

There are currently some great online project management tools.  Guiding Outreach’s preferred application is Trello, but use whatever tool that works best for you. The goal of any project management application is to get your team organized and create a project pipeline to get you from start to finish.

Outro

Design is equal parts art and science, which means some of the best designs break all the rules. But, as my old professor used to say “You have to know the rules if you’re going to know how to break‘em.” 
So please take this as a starting point to your knowledge of design and not its endpoint. Check out GuidingOutreach.com often for more resources, tips, and tricks.