The 17 Graphic Design Tips All Non-Designers Need to Know

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I have a confession to make…

I am not a trained graphic designer. But if you’re reading this post, you’re probably not either. And I’m guessing you’re not heading to art school anytime soon.

Now here’s the good news…

If you’re designing images for blog posts, social media or online ads, you don’t need a degree in graphic design. You just need to wrap your head around some best practices. And that’s where I come in.

In this post, we’ve put together 17 graphic design tips that all non-designers need to know. If you follow them, you’ll be well on your way to producing awesome graphics for all of your online needs.

1. Start with a great color palette

Ever notice that the best designs tend to have beautiful colors? That’s no accident. Choosing a great color palette is one of the keys to a great design.

Now before you cringe at the thought of choosing your own colors, you don’t have to. Using a site like ColourLovers will give you access to millions of beautiful color palettes. Just find a hex code you like, and use it in your design.

Color lovers

Here are some great resources for finding color palettes:

  • ColourLovers
  • Coolors
  • Adobe Color

2. Don’t get carried away with fonts

Ideally, you want to limit yourself to 1 or 2 fonts. This keeps you from having to worry about tons of combinations. If you’re going to use multiple fonts, use one for the header and another for the body.

Limit fonts

3. Have a “Swipe File”

This term comes from the copywriting world, but it’s equally applicable here. A “Swipe File” refers to instances of good copy that copywriters see. In our case, it’ll mean instances of good design that you see.

Take those examples, store them somewhere (your computer, dropbox, etc.) and then bring them back when the time’s right. Provided you don’t rip off someone else in their entirety, there’s no shame in borrowing a little design brilliance.

If you’re designing images for Facebook ads, you might want to check out the AdEspresso Facebook Ad Gallery. You can also checkout design sites like Dribbble and Behance.

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