Seems to me like everyone thinks they can be a designer! With technology giving us easy to use layout programs (and of course wonderful programs like Photoshop) this is the attitude a lot of people have. To some extent it is true. But…nothing can replace a professional touch!
I decided to spend about 30 minutes redesigning a document I saw on a campus bulletin board to prove my point. I purposely only spent a small amount of time on this to emphasize that using my experience and a few tips/tricks, this flyer really went through a transformation!
Here is the before:
Now I don’t think the “before” flyer is bad. But, I do think that they made a few common mistakes. They designed the flyer making everything pretty much the same font size. In doing this, they didn’t put enough focus on one thing, making it hard to easily see what the flyer is for.
They also used 4 different fonts. This makes your eyes jump around quite a bit. Again, making it hard to focus on what the flyer is for.
And this is my personal pet peeve…there is no white space! I’m not sure why people are so afraid of leaving space around design elements, but you wouldn’t believe how often people tell me they want everything bigger and moved around so all the space is allocated. When you don’t leave any blank space on the page, the flyer doesn’t stand out from a distance.
And here is the after:
On my flyer, I picked out the title of “tutor center” and made that the largest most colorful element on the flyer. In doing this I made it so you could tell right away what the flyer is advertising.
I also limited myself to 2 fonts and only 3 font sizes. This makes it more organized and gives it a visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is the fancy way of saying there is a title (the most important element), subtitles (less important text which headlines the different sections), and body text (the bulk of the text).
I also left quite a few spots on the flyer with empty space. This helps to make what elements are on the flyer stand out more. The flyer ultimately “pops” in the sea of postings that inevitable take up a bulletin board. When I’m designing a poster for someone, I suggest that they take the poster and hang it, then step back and look at it from a distance. Can you read the text from a distance? Is something catching your eye and drawing you in to read more? Its a great design test!
Last but not least, I felt that since the audience are those 18-25, it needed a fun font and bright colors. So instead of doing this in just black and white, I added orange and blue.
This blog post was inspired by a wonderful post “Your Camera Takes Really Nice Pictures” by Erin Farrell Photography.