DesignEasy tricks that improves all your designs

Easy tricks that improves all your designs

As a senior designer I sometimes realize I apply the same tricks over an over on a daily basis to make all my designs look a lot better.

I haven’t come across these tips anywhere else so I’m quite sure they’ll be new for you and very helpful.

The best way to demontrate stuff is always by example.

I’ll start with a basic design for a Keynote/Powerpoint main slide I see quite often, and from that point on we’ll improve it step by step.

An ugly front page for an boring powerpoint presentation.

This is a design I see quite often. A boring title in the middle, with a subtitle this is a too large for what it’s worth. 

Graphic design tip

Ugly might not have been the best word to describe this image. Most of all it’s boring. Let’s briefly go over what we’re seeing:

  • A subtitle that is, considering it’s content, not important enough to be this big.
  • A title that’s quite large but has gotten no love for kerning or lineheight.
  • A logo in the top left. It could be in the center, but quite people like having the logo in the same place on all slides and therefor put it in the top left or some other corner.

A small improvement: a little contrast and a more interesting placement of elements.

A different option is placing the title on the left. But do considering putting it in the very far corner and making it a little bigger than you’re used to. 

Graphic design tip

Why? Because design’s don’t need symmetry per sé, a little contrast creates tension, and tensions make a design more interesting to look at.

Let’s go over the changes: 

  • We’ve aligned the title on the left, aligning it with the logo. 
  • We’ve placed all the details in a smaller font in the corners of your page, creating more focus on the title.
  • We’ve outbalanced the designs: making it less dull and more interesting to look at.

We can make it look even better though.


A few final tweaks for slides that make your audience pay attention

Even though the previous design was more interesting than what we started with: mostly because we got rid of the almost perfect symmetry, it’s still a little dull. 

Below the final result I ended up with. 

Graphic design tip

What did we do?

  • We’ve considered the importance of the details. They contained dates and authors, which is not important to be that big, so we’ve reduced the font size even more. It’s big enough to read it after you receive a presentation, but not too big that people start reading it while you’re talking or presenting
  • We’ve increased the title even more. This creates even more tension by increasing the contrast between large and small font sized: creating an even more interesting design. 
  • And perhaps the most important thing: we’ve reducing the kerning/letter spacing. Most typefaces need manual adjustments when enlarged. There are a few typefaces that have a “headline” variant which accounts for increased font size, but most typefaces don’t. With such as large font-size I drastically reduced the letter-spacing. 

Final words

I hope these tips and tricks are going to be very useful for you. If you think about it, you’re going to need this all day. Wether it’s in webdesign, social posts or a presentation you’re designing, you’re playing with contrast, size, composition and typography all the time. 

So next time you’re creating a seemingly boring slide or social post, remain from adding ugly stock images, but play around with contrast, tension, (un)balance & A-symmetry to create for a more interesting compositing and design.

Graphic design tip

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