4 Basic Design Principles Every Business Owner Should Know

When you own a business, you need to wear many hats. In addition to your management and leadership skills,
you’ll also need to handle finances and become an official spokesperson for your business.

But in today’s marketplace, you’ll also need to advertise your business in order to reach a wider target
audience. Whenever you want to grab your audience’s attention, you’ll want to create a message that appeals
to their senses.

Specifically, basic design skills can help you brand your business and present your message in a
professional, creative way. If you haven’t studied graphic design before, don’t worry. Read the rest of our
blog post for a simple explanation of the four basic principles that will guide your business’s design.

1.  Contrast

The first basic design principle is contrast, or the idea that different colors, shapes, and sizes
will draw your readers’ attention best.

To use contrast in your designs, make sure that you choose a color scheme that combines light and dark
shades. You should also use a variety of fonts for your title and captions to create visual contrast in your
text.

However, too much contrast can become a distraction for your readers. Instead of using 15 different
fronts, colors, and images that crowd out your central message, stick to two or three different design
elements to keep your layout unified.

2.  Repetition

In contrast with the first basic principle of design, the second principle helps you create unity. The
rule of repetition indicates that you should reuse some key themes in your design so that readers can easily
recognize and identify your brand.

For example, if you use red, white, and blue as the signature colors for your logo, you should repeat
these same colors in every print publication you order.

You can also utilize repetition with the shapes and fonts you select. If your logo uses an elongated
cursive script, you can mimic the curves of this font with curved shapes and a similar font for all your
headings.

You’ll know that your designs effectively use repetition when the casual observer can identify
advertisements that belong to your company at a glance.

3.  Alignment

Alignment refers to the placement of all the design elements on a page. If you put the text at the top
left corner of the page and then place your logo in the center of the page with images scattered around the
edges, your readers won’t know where to look for specific information about your company.

But if you carefully arrange the elements on the page so that all the images and text align with the same
invisible line, you’ll create a logical flow that pleases the eye.

As a general rule, the edges of your images should line up with the margins of your text. This principle
generates clean lines and plenty of white space that appeal to your readers visually.

4.  Proximity

Like alignment, proximity teaches you to keep related images, paragraphs, and titles visually grouped
together. This arrangement won’t just allow for more white space-it will also communicate the information of
your ads in the most concise way possible.

When you place the most relevant images and words close to each other on the page, you send a visual
signal to the reader that these elements have something in common. That way, your readers can quickly
interpret the most important details of your advertisement and internalize your persuasive message.

Notice that these four design elements don’t require you to have any experience with software or art. The
four basic principles of design simply allow you to showcase your brand’s message in the most effective way.

For more information about marketing your business, contact us for your printing and marketing needs.