Graphic design is a huge part of working on the web, and if you want to push your business further then being able to make crisp and professional looking digital images is an incredible edge to have. Many people will choose which products they buy and which websites they spend time on almost entirely by the way they look, and if your imagery is low definition and poorly designed then you’ll damage your reputation and make yourself appear amateurish.
It’s a great skill to have then, but not one that everyone is naturally gifted with. So if you need to improve your graphic design abilities, here’s how you can get better:
Get the Right Software
When I was younger I used to play the piano, and when my Mum got me my first Yamaha keyboard I remember suddenly feeling like Rick Wakeman (if that went over your head then look up Yes on Spotify…). The point is that with the right sound effects and beats anyone could sound amazing and PhotoShop is kind of the same thing – adjust the colours, use a couple of filters, and even the ugliest picture will end up looking passable.
Learn the Features
Of course to really make the most of this though you’ll also need to know how to use the filters and the colour adjustment tools – and to do that you’ll need to spend some time watching tutorials online or getting a friend to show you. A lot of it is just tinkering and messing around, so set aside some time to just experiment and see where it takes you.
Take Your Time
One thing you cannot be when you do graphic design is impatient. If you find yourself ever saying ‘that will do’ then your site or logo isn’t going to look great. You really need to spend your time if you want to end up with something that looks professional (you think Microsoft ever say ‘that will do’ when they design Windows icons?).
Use Other Elements
If you simply don’t have time to make your image as intricate and smooth as you’d like it to, then one solution is to use another image as a resource. For instance a great way to make an abstract design is to take a photo out of a moving car and then enhance the colours/warp the image. Alternatively you can use a stock logo that’s in the public domain and then edit it to make it unique. It’s cheating, but it works.
Pay Attention to Details
It’s very important if you want your site to look its best that you pay attention to the minor details which means for instance things like the font. Often when someone designs an image they will forget that they’re using the default font and this can make an otherwise good-looking image appear very lazy. Create a check list and make sure you’ve done everything you can to make your images their best.
Design still looking like a child drew it? Then it’s time to outsource your images and design and get it done by professionals. It might be a bit more money and a bit more time, but ultimately it’s one of the most important investments you can make for your business.
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