If you’ve read my bio you know I love design. Though I’ve been trained in design, I do believe everyone can learn the basic principles of design and apply them to their brand. Even if you decide to hire a graphic and/or web designer to create your brand, you still should have a fundamental understanding what makes a design effective.
The three things I’d like you to take away from this guide is typography, color and following a grid are the basics of good design. Throw in some amazing content that tells an effective story and voila!
Ok, it might not be that simple, but by browsing some of my favorite inspirational websites you’ll start to pickup the elements that help create an effective design. Remember less is more when you’re first starting out.
Other tips to keep in mind are don’t use low resolution images, make sure your fonts are readable (size and font style), and watch your spacing and alignment. Want someone to critique your design? Send me an email.
Affiliate Links: This page does contain affiliate links. Know that I only recommend the best and when you use my links it helps the website at no cost to you (usually they come with perks). Thanks for your support!
There are a TON of color palette generators. These are just a few of my favorite. Some will also give you palette composition options like analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound and shades.
Colordot // Website (Free) + App (Fee)
It’s similar to Colorcode where you move the mouse around to choose a color, but the interface differs after that. It doesn’t have the different composition options.
Colourcode // Website
The interface for Colourcode is unique. You move your mouse around to discover a color and then click. From there you can do all kind of stuff. It also let’s you download your palettes.
Palettr // Website
This site allows you to type in a theme or place and it will give you palettes that capture it.
Book Cover Archive // Website
I know I’m not the only one that goes to the books store just to look at the covers! If you don’t have time to go check out this site instead.
Dribble // Website
Similar to Behance, it’s another great site to get inspired and see good design. It has an additional feature, color palettes of the projects. You can click on one of the colors to see other projects that also use that tone. When you hover over the colors it also gives you the hex code.
Infosthetics // Website
Love big data? They feature some of the most interesting designs using large data sets.
Adobe Creative Cloud // Desktop + Apps // Fee
The Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of desktop apps designers, photographers, illustrators, animators and videographers use to create. For example, to build the graphics on this site I used a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
They also have several mobile apps available.
Canva // Website + App // Free
If Adobe is to expensive or complicated or you need to do something quick and on the go consider Canva. You can make graphic design pieces easily. They have several templates and fonts for you to choose from. They also have stock photos and illustration you can purchase.
Another popular software option is Pic Monkey.
Creative Market // Website
This site is amazing. It has everything for purchase! Fonts, stock photography, illustrations, web themes, design templates, and more.
Check out the resource section (above) to find other places to find fonts. I mainly use premium fonts because they tend to be built better; however, depending on your project and budget free fonts might work just fine.
Free Typography // Website
Did someone say FREE. This site searches the internet for the best free fonts.
MyFonts // Website
You can find premium fonts on this site. Most of my graphics use premium fonts.