Do's And Don'ts Of Design


By: Rebecca Teaff

Design is at the core of you organization’s brand. Having effective design for your brand not only looks good, it also helps to communicate to your audience. From the fanciest website to the most simple black and white booklet, design can enhance your message and help deliver it to your audience. Having effective designs also helps your organization appear professional and trustworthy. Here are some important do’s and don’ts to consider when putting together the framework of your organization’s design:


  1. Hire a professional. Design is one part of your marketing and branding budget that you may not be able to keep in-house. If you don’t have a graphic designer or developer on staff already, it is probably best to outsource.
  2. Be transparent with your budget. Don’t wait until later to share your budget with your designer. If the proposal comes back 3x’s the amount that you can afford, you and the agency have lost out on time that could have otherwise been better spent. During the initial phone call, clearly set expectations about your budget and how they can use your budget to reach your goals.
  3. Clearly articulate your goals to your designer. Before the project begins, you will want to make sure your designer clearly understands your design vision. They should aptly understand:
    1. The general message to be communicated
    2. Target audience
    3. Existing marketing
    4. Imagery
    5. Colors
    6. Fonts
  4. Know what you want to say, and who you want to say it to. If you do decide that your best option is to go at it alone, you want to assure that you know who your audience is and what you want to say to them. Your message and design must make sense to your audience, not just to you. Pro tip: Find a trusted client or similar who does not know what you are trying to communicate. See if it makes sense to them.


Tips 5 & 6 are some great guidelines to keep design focused on communicating and easy to absorb. So keep this in mind when your designs come back from your professional or if you design it yourself.


  1. Keep it simple and clear. Design is best read and understood in simple, clear formats. Stick to a grid, and decide 2-5 columns. When placing text and copy, insert it within these grids. All of your elements should fit within this grid. Put the most important information on the top left of the design, as people read left to right, top to bottom.
  2. Keep your fonts simple. Fonts are another part of your design that you’ll want to make sure you’re simplifying. Make sure you are using 1-2 different fonts, max. A nice font combination is usually a sans and serif font. Script fonts can be used, albeit sparingly.


If you need help with your organization’s design or have question, contact us today.