How to Know When Your Designs Are Overkill

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Written by guest expert Kelly Ashworth of Kelly Ashworth Design

How to know when your designs are overkill:

I am a "less is more" kind of gal. So I am a big believer in simplicity when delivering information to potential clients. With that being said, there are a few things you can do to avoid falling into the "design overkill" category.

• Don't over stylize your fonts. You can underline, italicize, or make your fonts bold. Just don't do it all at once. And for the love of all things holy, don't use comic sans!

• Don't use too many "effects". If I see something with a lot of drop shadows, gradients or other special effects, I feel overwhelmed. Practice restraint in your presentation. You wouldn't wear five necklaces, dangly earrings and loads of bangles to a client appointment, would you? (And if you would I ask you to scale back, please).

• ALL CAPS AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS ARE NOT NECESSARY TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS!!!!!!! You are not promoting a monster truck rally. You don't need to shout.

• Don't purchase stock photography or artwork if you've seen it somewhere else before. Stock sites are great resources for images, patterns and graphic elements, but you need to dig deep to find something that fits your needs and hasn't been done to death.

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