15 Important Rules a Graphic Designer Must Keep for Career Success

By | October 31, 2020
15 Important Rules a Graphic Designer Must Keep for Career Success
Proper use of color palette is an important
factor in designs.

15 Important Rules a Graphic Designer Must Keep for Career Success

Most beginners in graphic designing are unaware of the various design rules, especially the ones they should always uphold to succeed in their career.

Not keeping these rules might lead to creating of visually jarring graphic designs that might make your targeted audience to lose interest and trust in your ability to deliver a professional job.

To assist you in creating a stunning and successful design, we have created a list of the rules graphic designers must keep to succeed in their career.

15 Important Rules a Graphic Designer Must Keep for Career Success

  1. Design with consistency
  2. Design with Legibility
  3. Ensure color concord
  4. Scale graphics and text proportional
  5. Consider the format of the image you use in your design
  6. Maintain a proper alignment
  7. Manage your fonts
  8. Adopt the theory of Visual Hierarchy
  9. Watch your grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  10. Embrace Whitespace
  11. Consider the medium you are designing for
  12. Always kern your work
  13. Always use a grid
  14. Always design for your audience and don’t be biased
  15. Don’t apply too many effects.
  1. Design with consistency

Consistency in designing is an important factor in your digital brand. Being consistent and having a particular pattern or signature design makes your audience or viewers to be familiar with your designs and won’t mistake you for another designer.

When choosing a pattern, the most important thing to consider is your font and color palette. Sticking with the same set of fonts gives your text uniformity and consistency.

Color combination and theory is essential, using not more than two colors is optimum for your designs.

Make the right choice of colors.

  1. Design with Legibility

Legibility has to do with being clear enough to be read, particularly for handwriting. When selecting fonts, legibility comes in play; legible fonts are meant to attract attention of the audience and convey the intended message.

When designing, you have to consider the demography that you intend to reach out to and still make sure your designs maintain your brand feel.

When designing for older people, you have to use large fonts like the sans-serif font which increases the visibility and user experience.

  1. Ensure color concord

Color is a powerful tool for graphic designers; carefully arranged and well used color palette would be an important factor in all designs.

Words might look unclear and fuzzy when colors don’t complement each other. When there are mismatching color combination and color clash, the words becomes hard for the audience to read.

Use colors that are in tonal agreement and a complementary color pattern like the use of a light or warm color in a dark contrast to avoid color collision and discord.

Ensure your colors are placed opposite each other on the hue cycle or spectrum.

  1. Scale graphics and text proportional

Inappropriate scaling and resizing of images and text makes the design look unsuitable. Terrible designs negatively draw the attention of the audience because of its unprofessional touch.

A basic rule in graphic design is to avoid stretching of your images or other design elements too wide or too long because it tends to make the design look out of shape.

  1. Consider the format of the image you use in your design

Raster-based images create pixelation when being resized. Images created with Adobe Photoshop are raster based pictures.

Vector based images are images created mostly by 2D vector software packages like Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape. Vector images retain their crispy and colorful look even when resized or zoomed.

  1. Maintain a proper alignment

Alignment is the process of adjusting a mechanism and the arrangement of items and texts in a line. An unarranged and messy design reflects negativity on your brand.

Adding columns helps to organize and give a page or design a systematic feel or look; adding a left alignment to your page while designing the page layout will help give order to your page instead of shuffling everything up.

You can also pick lines on your page and align your graphic designs with it

  1. Manage your fonts

The use of multiple different fonts makes your design to lose its meaning and to look ugly. Make sure your choice of font depicts your brand and the genre of design your client stated, or make sure that font combination is appropriate for your audience.

Pair your fonts wisely; there are too many fonts available, but remember you must not use all of them in a single design, more doesn’t always mean better.

  1. Adopt the theory of Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy entails the use of size and color margin to differentiate between the main subject and the less important ones.

Visual hierarchy is used to draw attention of the audience, particularly on highlighted items or text.

Arranging your content in a visual hierarchy means to organize different elements based on scale of importance using color or size of fonts so the viewer can determine the order in which the content should be read.

Use the bold and high impact display fonts to define the main idea in the design; it directs the attention of the reader to the main subject so the content won’t lose its meaning.

  1. Watch your grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes can ruin your design and alienate the interest of your viewers.

As a designer, you should take time to go over your work and proofread them to clear up any error made in your work.

Syntax errors in your contents show unprofessionalism.

There are websites like Grammarly and Hermingway that you can apply to go through your writing to point out errors and help you clear up mistakes, and also provide you with options to give your work more credibility.

  1. Embrace Whitespace

Whitespace is the negative space and a part of your page without any graphic element like pictures or text.

It makes your page look clean and professional. Filling the whole available space with graphic design makes the content look rough and undesirable to the eye.

The simplicity in leaving a whitespace is appropriate and can be applied in formal or casual designs.

Whitespace is normal, desirable, and part of your design.

The moment you start seeing it as an essential element in your design, you will be able to create magnificent designs, which can help to boost your career success.

  1. Consider the medium you are designing for

The medium you are designing for matters a lot. You have to consider where your design is going, whether print media or online media.

You have to account for details from the client and know the medium you are designing for, otherwise you might compromise the project.

The format used in designing for print media is not the same as the processes used in designing for webpages or social media.

  1. Always kern your work

Kerning means the adjustment of space between characters. Good kerning can make your work look legible and clear to the eye.

The main goal of kerning is to ensure that the space between each letter is visually appealing and clear to have a neat and orderly piece of text.

  1. Always use a grid

Grids can transform your design to something clear and effective. Grids come in different shapes and sizes used to align various elements on the page in other to produce a logical sequential design.

Grids can be in any shape or size, which will help you to arrange various images in different ways and arrange them in a flexible way.

  1. Always design for your audience and don’t be biased

Designs have a brief given by the client for the designer to follow the details. A good designer is not meant to inject their opinion on the design.

Even if it is a personal project owned by the designer, there is always a brief with the basic information about the design.

Every design is targeted to a particular audience; it is advised to keep in mind the people that will view and receive the information and design according to their taste.

  1. Don’t apply too many effects

Mostly in communicative designs, simplicity is best. Adding effects like gradients, bevelling, drop shadows, and textures has its unique look and place but it shouldn’t be applied always, so know when to and not to apply it.


This post has provided valuable graphic design rules you need to follow to avoid creating visually repelling designs that will make your viewers or audience to lose their interest in your designs, which can bring down your value in the industry.

Follow the above mentioned rules and watch yourself succeed in your career as a graphic designer. You will be able to create beautiful designs and become successful in your career as a graphic designer.