How Not To Suck At Design–A Non Designers Cheat Sheet

You may have heard that design is best left to the professionals, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a go yourself. If you have a good eye for design and the skills to create something truly unique, taking on a project as a non designer can be beneficial. However, it’s important to have a good idea of what you are doing and what you want to achieve.


Top Design Tips for Non Designers

  • Use a Lot of Contrast - It doesn't matter what you are designing, it is important that you use plenty of contrast between the background and font. You should choose a background color and font color that are very different so as not to cause eye strain when someone is reading the text. You will find that black text and a white background work extremely well, whereas light grays and yellows do not. You don’t want people to have to squint to read anything on the design.
  • Choose Almost Black Over Black - Don’t make the mistake of assuming that there is only one type of black color, as this is not the case. Rather than using pure black for text, choose almost black as this is a lot easier to read when it is on a white background.


  • Place Important Content First - One of the most important things to think about is placement and layout. When you are designing anything, you should place important information first. You only have a few seconds to engage and interest the audience,which is why the key facts need to be the first thing they see. All important information should be placed at the top of the design and visible from a distance.
  • Align Everything - If something doesn't feel right about your design, take a look at the alignment. When the alignment is off, aspects of the design can feel out of place and messy. It’s a lot more aesthetically pleasing to have everything aligned, neat and organized.
  • Design in Black and White First - Though you will surely be creating colourful artwork, start off by designing in black and white. Once you have added individual elements and are happy with the layout, add color. This will help you to focus on the design itself, rather than focusing too much on whether or not you are choosing the right colors.  Color evolves emotions, which can make it difficult to see design problems.


Taking on a new design project as a non designer can be daunting, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t create a fantastic logo or banner. Regardless of what you are designing, think carefully about the colors you are using and the layout of text, images and graphics. You should want your design to be unique and intriguing, but you don’t want it to be complicated and confusing. Remember advertisers (the clients your designing for) want a return on investment.  So you’ll soon know if your designs are working or not. If you’d like to find out about measuring ROI – read this Ultimate Banners article.


Nichelle Antoque
Content Outreach Manager
Ultimate Banners