How to Design When You are Not a Designer

Draw designing

Not everyone is a designer and that is ok. If you are a business owner, you should not have to spend hours designing every aspect of your branding and every single marketing material. Unless of course you want to, but you likely have a million other tasks you need to handle and do not necessarily have the time. Here is how to design when you are not a designer, and may not have the biggest budget to hire someone.

Take advantage of online platforms

There are many online platforms meant for design, from the entire Adobe Suite to platforms like Canva. While Adobe is a very popular design platform, it is not the most user friendly for the inexperienced designer. A platform such as Canva comes with templates presized for any need you can think of. Need to design an Instagram story? Canva has that. A YouTube banner? Canva has that too. Not only do they have pre-sized templates, they also have pre-designed templates you can use as a starting base. If you are not a designer and have no idea where to start with designing that Facebook post, a platform like Canva is great. Something that allows you to easily drag and drop assets into pre-designed templates is the perfect starting point for someone with little to no design experience.

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Similar to Canva, there are numerous options out there that offer both free and paid versions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different platforms and even on different devices. Picsart is a free app you can download on any device and even access from a laptop. Similar to Canva, you can design from scratch or pick one of the many pre-designed templates and choose from an endless amount of assets to make it your own.

Where to find assets

You do not have to break the bank finding assets for your designs. In fact, you may not have to spend money at all. There are many free asset libraries out there that offer free images, icons, fonts, etc. and all you are asked to do is provide credit to the artists. That’s not so hard. Sometimes you do not even have to do that though. Here are some of the top free image, icon and font websites.

Images

Popular free image libraries include:

Icons

Popular free icon websites:

Fonts

Popular free font websites:

Designing on a laptop

Practice with personal projects

Whatever the reason is that you are making your way into the world of design, whether it be a newfound passion or that you have been tasked with it at work, it doesn’t hurt to practice. If you are looking to better your design skills, why not create some personal projects for yourself? You can challenge yourself to start from scratch, or consider one of your favorite companies and take a stab at redesigning their logo. It may not come easy and you may get frustrated or find yourself facing a creative block at times. When this happens, try to take a step back and clear your mind. Going back to the project the next day with a fresh mind can make a world of difference. Now, you may not always have time to step away from a project, and if you happen to be designing for someone else on a timeline and are finding you have hit a roadblock, reach out to friends and coworkers for their thoughts. Sometimes a second set of eyes is all you need. 

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Network with other designers

Whenever you are picking up a new hobby or find a new interest, it’s nice to have people to discuss it with. If you don’t personally know anyone interested in design, you can always turn to the online world. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, are full of groups dedicated to different things, such as design. Consider joining a Facebook group, such as Graphic Designers, to connect with others, share your work and get feedback. In groups like this, you can participate as little or as much as you like. If you are comfortable with it, you can share your own work for constructive feedback and learn from others with all kinds of experience. They will also be sharing their own work, so it’s a great community to see and learn from others. 

When in doubt, keep it simple

If you are just starting out in the design world and you’re not sure how to design, it can be overwhelming and easy to go a little overboard. Keep your first few designs on the simpler side as you get to know the platforms you are working with and figure out what you like in terms of looks. You may be tempted to pick a base color and then throw a bunch of pictures, text and graphics all over the place, but you do not always need to include everything under the sun. Stick to one or two images with a headline and subheader or maybe a few bullets if you have to include more information. Follow these design tips for beginners to make sure your first design is a success.

Now what?

Ok, so you have started to learn how to design and have successfully completed your first project. Now you may be asking yourself what to do next. Well, you can start by contacting Printivity to get your design off to the printing press! Contact Printivity at 1-877-649-5463 with any questions or to get your order started.

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