I recently walked through a Southern Living Model Home. Everything just “felt” perfect. It’s the same feeling you get when you see a masterpiece painting. When there’s a creator, who’s a designer, there is often a feeling of peace. It’s the joy that I celebrate (and encourage) as a Creative Director.
So, whatever you’re working on, creating, arranging, spending time on, there are certain principles to having it look “designed”. Here are 3 things:
- Lots of space: A good designer never overwhelms the space with too many objects/items. Instead, they allow things to float in a space. And since tangents attract attention (where things touch the sides or each other), they are used very infrequently and only for impact. Most layouts look best with a larger open border (or margin).
- Similarities: It’s rare that anything looks good if every segment seems different. That’s why colors, fonts, woods, textures, finishes, etc. should be similar within a project. I’d recommend 2 fonts (serif and sans serif usually), a primary and a secondary color (perhaps with a rarely used tertiary color) and the list goes on and on. If you have photos with rounded corners, they should be used throughout. The more people see similar articles used in the space, the more cohesive the piece.
- Spatial Relationships: This is where it gets fun. Consider the overall project and squint your eyes. You know, until you only see blobs. Then make sure that the areas are properly aligned and balanced.
This works for Advertising, Web Design, Painting and House Layouts. Everything that needs to be designed. Most of all, have fun, be unique, and allow the artist to shine in/through your work. If you don’t think you have the ability; use professionals! It’s not as expensive as you’d think.