Starting out in graphic design is a matter of getting into the right habits, and some of them, like how you organize and do your work, just comes naturally over time. Others may require some practice or forethought. Here are a few tips that you can use in your everyday design that could give you some much needed help.
- Get familiar with a small group of fonts. When you’re working on a fairly consistent basis, you’re likely to spend some time browsing font selections to find just the right one for the job. What you may not realize is that you will end up with certain “go to” font selections depending on your mood, or pairs of fonts that just work well with the work that you’re doing. You may want to take the time to create a group of fonts that you can consistently rely on for that reason.
- You can do something as simple as make a notepad file of fonts that you commonly use, or you can use online font matching tools to find fonts that pair well with your favorite choices. Whatever you do, try to sheer your numbers down to an easy-to-browse selection of quick picks.
- Keep your image quality high. When using tools like Adobe Photoshop, you’ll get options for file format to use– and PNG is usually the best course of action if you want to have high quality images at a reasonable file size. You can always check to see what that file size will be before you save the file, or save alternate versions of that file if you’re making a resource of smaller images to use in mobile formats.
You may also want to consider converting images to “Smart Objects” with Photoshop before you change or alter an image’s dimensions with warping or stretching, so that you don’t lose the image’s quality when you do so. Of course, streamlined image sizes are also very important, so keeping an eye on that should be key in graphic design for websites– at most, a page’s image assets should be around 60-65% of its total file size. If you go over that amount, your images are likely slowing down a browser’s experience.
- Grid images are fast and social. Finally, putting images together in a grid is actually a fairly easy and effective way to use your graphic assets without having them sit limply on the page. You can always change which images are larger, and which are the smaller and complimentary images from project to project, but if you aren’t already utilizing a “grid” style image layout on your work, you may want to consider it.
One of the advantages of the grid, among many, is that it’s also often compatible with social media, due to your ability to present three or more images within the usual space that one would occupy. That gives you more opportunities for presentation, and it looks smart in the process.