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Let’s look at the important elements to focus on when you’re designing a graphic. The key things to get right are:
First is color theory. Color is a critical element to get right in your designs. It’s used to attract attention, convey meaning, and of course for aesthetics.
We don’t usually even think about the colors we look at; we judge things quickly and often measure instantly whether something is desirable, professional, nice, ugly, or even weird based upon its color.
The most important thing to think about when using colors is the contrast between them. Contrast refers to how well one color stands out from another. You can use contrasting colors within an image to make text stand out from its background, for example. Complementary colors, like yellow and purple, or blue and orange, for instance, provide maximum contrast with one another.
Contrast can also be used to guide people’s actions; to let people know what you want them to do. If you want to increase ‘click-through,’ make sure that there’s a strong contrast between the call-to-action button and the rest of the design.
You can check how colors contrast using a color wheel. A color wheel shows how colors are related visually. For example, complementary colors are those opposite one another on the color wheel.
So what happens if we don’t have good contrast? Users will have a poor experience and can misunderstand meaning. Colors also give visual cues to meaning – for example, a green button usually indicates an affirmative action, like ‘OK’ or ‘Accept.’ But if you were to design a large ‘Accept’ button and make it red, it could really confuse the user, and in some cases, the results could be disastrous.
Let’s talk about the most common colors used by brands, and what meaning or feeling they can invoke in their audience.
Philippe is a digital engagement specialist with extensive experience helping clients to create and manage deeper, more personal relationships with their target audiences. In previous roles, Philippe has designed and executed international communications programs focused on internal communications, UX, brand management, media engagement (traditional and digital), investor relations, and corporate positioning. More recently, he has founded his own aviation consultancy business, which combines both his passion and experience for the aerospace industry.
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
In this short course, created by Digital Marketing Institute in partnership with HubSpot Academy, you'll learn about the fundamentals of graphic design: color theory, imagery, typography, and composition. You'll walk through each of these fundamental elements and their best practices, including tips on incorporating them into developing simple visuals for your business. You'll be able to apply the knowledge you learn in this lesson to graphic design projects, big and small. We include links and references to free resources to help you design graphics without a massive budget or a degree in graphic design.