An Ultimate Guide of Graphic Design Rules For Non-Designer

graphic design rules

It’s been 17,000 years since the early man created the cave paintings- which are still considered to be the evolution of graphic designing. Look at where we stand today. Video games, magazines, brochures, logos, websites, and whatnot! Everything contains some forms of graphic design. This is how huge the term is right now. Graphic design has become part and parcel of our lives.

What does graphic design mean?

The term graphic in graphic design stands for visual that is intact and precise. The design part of graphic design is to convey a specific message in a professional yet artistic way. The aim is to curate visual information for the target audience.

Graphic design plays a significant role in promoting and selling products through advertising and through websites to communicate complicated information in a readable way with infographics. Also, to develop an identity through branding.

The creative process usually involves the client and the graphic designer. The designers use his typography skills, illustrations, visual arts, and layout techniques to create memorable designs.

Although most graphic designing projects have commercial purposes like advertising, they are often created as a means of artistic expression. Let’s delve deeper into the importance of graphic designing in business.

The importance of graphic designing for a business

  • Graphic design plays an important role in the modern competitive business environment. They are often needed to create impressive marketing materials, like brochures, business cards, websites, leaflets, etc. An impressive, unique, and catchy logo is a basic requirement for any business to build its brand identity.
  • Businesses need designers to create different mobile applications and social media pages for brand promotion. Graphic designing has become a major part of doing business, be it physical or virtual markets.
  • Graphic designers have become the key players in a business for effective communication with the audience. Since there are more and more businesses that are entering the markets, it is generating more competition.
  • Formulating a graphic designing strategy has become vital to grab potential customers’ attention towards businesses to deal with the competition. There is a constant need among entrepreneurs to communicate their messages to their target audience effectively.
  • Graphic design is an essential factor for any business that wants to make a positive and everlasting impression. The first time a prospective client interacts with your brand will create an impact for the rest of your business relationship. In that case, the first encounter maybe your business card, sales page, or even your product’s packaging.
  • Re-check on what your website says about your brand. Look whether it contains the whimsical fonts with cheery, vibrant colors. Because, when a customer hears about your brand for the first time, he is most likely to do preliminary research on your website before making a purchase.
  • Graphic design is the most important for any business that wants to share information with ease. Hubspot reports say that infographics are liked and shared in social media three times more than any other content.

Now that you know its importance, you must know the right tools for coming up with great designs.

The popular tools for graphic designing

How much ever-powerful is a king; he would be easily defeated if he is unarmed in a war. But with his army, he becomes stronger. Similarly, however great a graphic designer is, his skills can multiply exponentially with the right tools.

Here is a list of the best hardware and software tools in the market today, highly recommended by top-notch graphic designers. All these tools are tried and tested and can help you impress your clients.


Adobe Photoshop: This is the standard graphic design software that does basic cropping to intricate raster designing. It is known for its key features like pen tool, layers, and masks. It has added a few trick tools such as the Frame tool for easy masking and Content-Aware Fill workspace for quickly removing unwanted elements from images after its recent update.

Photoshop has many such tools to make the designer’s job smooth and easier and would be a great skill to start with.

Adobe Illustrator: Both Photoshop and Illustrator share the same functions and tools, but Illustrator focuses more on vector design. You can create logos, typography, sketches with Adobe Illustrator’s mesh tool, pen tool, swatches, and colors or its shape and Pathfinder tools.

Although it would take a longer time to learn, it has nearly limitless potential for creating a vector-based design, which is worth the efforts.

Affinity Designer: It features a great function and style and is a low budget alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It is widely known for being easier to use and does the work faster than Illustrator. That too, while working with layers. It is simple and best for beginners to start with—also a budget-friendly tool for freelance graphic designers. After the recent update, it has got new features and performance improvements.

This software is for anyone who doesn’t want to go with the conventional Adobe and needs something modern and simple.

Adobe InDesign: This is a must-have for the publishing companies. InDesign is an excellent software for designing magazines, brochures, postcards, flyers, and newspapers. The print industry has been using it since 1999 for laying out newspapers and magazines. You can create your stunning magazines and brochures and easily export them to PDF or HTML.

Although it is a bit tricky, InDesign is easy to learn and is best suited for beginners who want to combine text and graphics.


Macbook Pro

This is Apple’s most powerful laptop to date and is the perfect tool for designers, whether you’re working on the move or at home. It features a large screen that is ideal for design work. It has an improved keyboard that has replaced the butterfly switches that were plagued in the earlier models. Now it has got responsive scissor switches, as found on the Magic Keyboard.

The Macbook Pro has also got an amazing battery life. It can be configured up to 64GB RAM, the first of its kind for a Macbook. It has an 8TB storage, so you do not need to rely on an external hard drive.

All of these features won’t come for an easy price. The ones with the great specification are the ones you pay higher for. But if you are looking for a laptop to perform flawlessly for years, then go for it.

Apple iMac pro

This remains as one of the gold standard desktops for graphic designers. It features a 5K retina display and can be configured with 256GB RAM, 18-core Intel Xeon W processor, and Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics with 16GB of HBM2 memory.

IPad Pro and Apple pencil

They are particularly designed for designers who struggle to justify a tool tied to their desks. This is a suitable device for digital drawing and many more. Whether you opt for 11-inch or 12.9-inch, the latest model has a bezel-free design that offers a smooth glass to work on. Its smart keyboard transforms into a powerful laptop, and the new Apple pencil makes it even more versatile.

So, you have got an idea of the tools you need to flourish in your field. Next, to make yourself an expert, follow these rules which will help you move forward:

5 Graphic Design Rules for Non-Designers

For a non-designer, design may sound intimidating. It would seem like an elite club, where only those who possess the delicate mix of artistic talent and technical ability can enter. The volume of buttons and tools in the professional design programs like Photoshop or Illustrator can even send a boldest creator running for hills.

But there is good news for you. As a beginner, if you follow these rules, you can also create impressive graphics for your business in no time.

Choose a great color palette

If you notice, the best designs tend to have a mix of beautiful colors. This is not an accident. Choosing a good color palette is key to great designs. Now before you start, you don’t need to cringe at the thought of choosing your colors. Many online platforms offer you access to millions of color palettes.

Sites like Adobe colors, ColourLovers, coolors, and pigmentbyshapefactory offers wide varieties of color palettes.

Limit your font styles

Ideally, limit the number of fonts you use to 1 or 2 fonts maximum. This will keep you away from worrying about tons and tons of font combinations. If you’re planning to use multiple fonts, use one for the header and another for the body.

Embrace negative spacing

While you are creating a design, the graphics and text tend to get all the attention. But even the areas without the graphics and text are also equally important. These areas are allowing your design to breathe. Also, this is one of the factors that separates amateurish designs from professional ones.

Make it look presentable

Align your design elements in a presentable order, however different they are when it comes to sizes. A proper alignment will give a professional and sophisticated look for your design. Many applications have grid lines to help you in aligning.

Make sure your design matches your brand style

Before starting to design, it is important to establish a brand style guide. This ensures that all the designers are on the same page and creating aesthetically consistent designs. The style guide should include:

  • Set of fonts
  • Color palette complete with hex, CMYK, and RGB code for each color
  • Variety of brand logos to choose from
  • Brand assets and images that are regularly used in designs
  • Instructions on how/when to use specific colors, fonts, and sizes


Remember, when you are playing PUBG or shopping through an app, you are harnessing a graphic designer’s hard work. The gift of eyes has made us want for more variety when it comes to visuals.

So, as a graphic designer, the scope for creativity will be endless. Even though you are a beginner, the first and essential tip is to think beyond and more without limiting your creativity. Following these basic rules will make you a pro designer in no time. Check some guides for design your skills and ideas at All Time Design

November 9, 2020
10 min read
8 reads

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