7 Top Graphic Design Tips to Use When You Aren’t a Designer
Kristina Leroux, COO and Community Engagement Manager
Does it ever seem like as a nonprofit communicator you have to do it all? Even if it’s not exactly your area of expertise?
Graphic design is a perfect example of something that should be done by a professional, but most likely falls on your shoulders. Luckily there are a lot of programs, software, and websites that cater to us non-designers.
I have compiled a few of the tops tips I have found and use:
1. Keep It Simple
Make sure every element in the design has a reason to be there. Use the minimum amount of text and easy-to-read fonts.
2. Create a Color Palette
Choose a color scheme that has 1-3 primary colors and an additional 1-3 secondary colors. But that doesn’t mean you have to use 6 colors in a single design. Remember, tip #1: Keep It Simple. Many design services like Canva make choosing the right color schemes easy. Adobe’s color wheel is also helpful.
Don’t overcrowd your elements. Ample white space makes a design easier to read and focuses attention where it’s needed.
5. Use the Grid Lines for Accurate Alignment
Don’t just eyeball it when you’re aligning your elements. Your design program most likely has lines that will help keep your images and text boxes in alignment. Use them.
6. Learn About Visual Hierarchy
Some elements of your design will be more important than others. The most dominate feature of your design should be the most important. That’s what visual hierarchy is all about. You can do this with size or color. I saw the image below scrolling through Facebook on my phone and it was pretty scary how accurate it was.
While we recommend using templates from programs like Canva, stick to your brand’s style. Sure that template with the cursive fonts and black and white photo is trendy now, but will people know it’s from your organization? If you aren’t quite sure what your style guide should look like, Kim Ellsworth of the Idaho Nonprofit Center shows you in this tour of her brand and style guide.
By subscribing to our blog, you'll get the latest tips, insights, and updates from around the world of nonprofit communications sent to your inbox 3-4 times a week.
Thanks for joining us!
Suggested Layouts for a 4-Page Annual Report
Create a shorter annual report people will actually read using the layouts in this free download. By downloading this resource, you also consent to receive our weekly newsletter filled with marketing tips, insights, and more for nonprofit communicators.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!