What is desktop publishing?
When you hear the words “desktop publishing,” what do you think of? For me, the first images that popped into my mind were old desktop computers and boring online pamphlets but as it turns out, desktop publishing is far more interesting than that.
According to this very informative article, desktop publishing can be defined as the use of computer software to create visual displays of ideas and information. An example of desktop publishing may be designing print communications such as brochures, fliers, ads, and posters.
A big part of desktop publishing is working with the four big design principles. What are the four big design principles you ask? Contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity, duh!
Contrast is perhaps the most powerful design concept out of the four. Our brains are constantly scanning situations to see what is similar and what is different. We pick up on what is different, or contrasted, in a design much faster than we notice what fades into the background.
Repetition is using elements in you piece that are similar or the same, and is used to tie your design together. You have to be careful though, don’t just arbitrarily place your repeating elements around your design- this is where alignment comes in. Nothing in your design should appear out of place or random, align your images and text appropriately within your design.
Last but not least we have proximity. Use proximity to achieve a clean, organized look for your design. Space your images and text accordingly so that the viewer doesn’t have to work too hard to decipher your design.
For more details on these four principles of design, I’d highly recommend reading chapter six of Presentation Zen.
So you’ve got the four design principles down, now comes the fun part- color! Choosing a color scheme for your blog, personal brand, business cards, anything, is about more than just choosing your favorite colors. The colors and shades that you choose should have meaning behind them, as they will subconsciously convey a message to the viewer- so choose wisely!
When considering color schemes for my personal brand, the first thing I did was brush up on my knowledge of color theory. Sounds boring, I know, but when choosing what colors will represent your brand you want to know what you’re doing, or else your design will end up a disaster. Some articles I found to be extra helpful were Color Theory for Designers and Why Color Matters.
After a lot of thought I decided on a pretty simple color scheme for my personal brand. Green, black, white, and cream. Although I love the color blue, it can carry some glum connotations. Green on the other hand is “like blue but with the energy of yellow,” and can be used to represent growth and new beginnings- perfect for my budding personal brand.
For my text color I chose a soft warm cream color. At first I had chosen white for the text, but I didn’t love how stark and sterile it looked against the energetic yet cool green tone I had chosen. Notice below how well the lower portion of my business card contrasts against the photo of Manhattan in the top half. The bottom portion is bold and opaque and easy to read, while the top portion lets the eye wander.
Say yes to the…font?
Another element in your design that is crucial is what fonts you choose. Are you a serif or a sans serif type of person? What do your font pairings say about you?
While searching for the perfect “me” fonts, I took inspiration from Cha Cha Matcha, a popular cafe in Manhattan. I love how fun the font “cha cha” is written in, and how clean the “matcha” font is.
Paired together I think it perfectly exemplifies my keywords, versatile, minimalist, and creative. On Canva I found the perfect imitation fonts, Yellowtail and Montserrat. The two vastly different fonts contrast each other tastefully and showcase my versatility and my creativity. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different combinations of fonts, as long as the font that you choose in your final design is truly “you.”
The finished product
So, you’ve found the perfect font, a color scheme that practically speaks for itself, and you’ve mastered the four big principles of design. The outcome- you embodied in a business card. It may take a bit of self-reflection and more technical thinking than you may have thought at first glance, but trust me, it’s worth it. I love my personal brand business card, pictured below.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to see your final design. Post a picture in the comments section!