10 Design Hacks for non-designers by Iain Behr

Today’s guest video creator is Iain Behr. He is a multi-talented graphic designer living in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa. He has worked in 3D animation, film, music and graphics. He has a deep understanding of how design impacts branding and business. With his brand new YouTube channel called “Bizign” he is bringing some sanity to the world of digital pictures, shapes and colours! Check out his video below and his crib notes…

  1. Placing Text on an image:
    Golden Rule = always use white text
    If the background is white, dim it down and keep using white text.
  2. Space Is Good
    Kind of like furniture in a living room.
    Avoid clutter.
    Create breathing room.
  3. Keep Fonts In The Family
    Fonts to design is like wearing clothes to an occasion.
    Chosen fonts should match with the message of the design.
    Mixing fonts becomes messy.
    Emphasis gets lost easily.
    Difference between font and typeface.
  4. Throw a Line
    Play with lines. A line can separate thoughts, direct the eye or just neaten up a design.
  5. Limit Your Colours
    Limited colour frees you up to put more emphasis on one or two elements.
    Similar to combining fonts, you just don’t want too much going on.
    Develop a colour palette and stick to it.
  6. Use pictures not words
    Text is good for certain things.
    Introduce visual elements, for example: use a phone icon, instead of saying “call us on”.
    Information relayed visually is retainted 65% better by the human brain.
  7. Apply Alignment
    Things must be aligned!
    Set up guidelines – if the image has the focal point on the left, align your design to the left.
    Keep things clean and neat.
    Rule of thumb: if 50% or more is centre aligned; centre align everything.
  8. Contrast Everything
    Light with dark. Busy with plain. Contrast texts. Colours. Space. Wherever you can, contrast. Our brains like it!
  9. Play with scale
    Size, scale, proportion can be used to convey many things.
    Larger elements come forward, smaller elements move back = depth
    Scale determines where the eyes go.
    Create heirarchy.
  10. Be consistent
    Maintain brand / image consistency.
    Colours, shapes, fonts, etc. should be consistent in your branding.
    Compare old design with a recent design – if they correlate, you’ve achieved brand

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