Space is a vital part of any good graphic design, yet in our opinion, it is commonly underutilized. Space is the area around the elements in a design. It can be used to separate or group information. Use it effectively to give the eye a rest, define importance and lead the eye to where you want it to travel. If you let your designs and images “breath” more, it is more likely that it will stand out and attract more interest. Instead of trying to squeeze all your information into your landing page, why not remove the clutter and give the page more space and an airy feel. I guarantee you it will make the page look more modern and clean, and it will be easier to focus on your message. Less is truly more.
Typography is a powerful tool, yet similar to space, the use of fonts is another underestimated element of creating a successful graphic design. When used effectively, the right fonts command attention, elicit emotions, and create a voice for your brand. What type of message are you trying to communicate and is your style of font aligned with that message? To give you an idea of how big of a difference the use of font (and color) can be, look at these two ads from Apple. One uses Times New Roman and the other uses the font family Myriad Set Pro. Quite a big difference, right? Words are important, but the style of the words is equally essential.
As Scandinavians, we love using lots of white, and believe there is elegance in simplicity. Color is a personal taste, but a general rule of thumb is to not combine too many colors and variety in your design. Stick with a maximum of 3 to 4 colors and try to be consistent with the use of these colors. For example, if at the top of the web page your title is a shade of blue, avoid switching the color of the titles to green further down on the same web page. In the same way, don’t overdue it on multiple background colors, commit to a simple palette.
When we are choosing colors for projects, we like to take inspiration from the surroundings or the industry itself. For example, when we worked on creating the website for Old Mission Santa Barbara, we wanted the site to have a welcoming, calming, and slightly feminine feel, since it is nicknamed, the “Queen of Missions.” We chose a soft coral to be our main color on the site; it highlights the similar color used in the historical architecture yet also evokes a fresh and contemporary aesthetic. You may notice we have used white effectively on the site, but it is not especially dominant. Design should be influenced by the culture and color palette of where we live, and in this case, too much white on a website for a historic Santa Barbara building would not have made sense.