If writing is the arrow that pierces thought, then design is the bullseye at the center of emotion. Think about it. Without a thoughtful design approach, how else could we connect with our community or stand apart from our competitors and create a memorable identity?
According to Forbes, a consistent brand presence can increase revenue by up to 23 percent. This same article also states color consistency throughout design can improve brand recognition by up to 80 percent. So, what’s the takeaway? Good design is the differentiator.
We get it, designing can be hard when you’re not a pro. Luckily, at Typeform we’ve spent a lot of time creating beautiful forms and no-code solutions so that you can put your brand’s best foot forward.
A (brush)stroke of genius
What do you get when you combine a powerhouse design studio whose focus is unique, bold design, with a startup that’s obsessed with creating beautiful forms? An incredible source of tips for designers and non-designers alike. Ready for some design tips that anyone can apply? Check out the videos below to learn from Hey Studio’s Verònica Fuerte and our very own designers at Typeform. You’ll get great tips on how to bring design principles to life.
1. Design matters
Design is the face of your brand. Let that sink in and watch Verònica Fuerte’s video. She explains the impact of design on your brand’s perception, and shows us how major design elements can be used to convey a brand’s personality with an example of the Arrels project.
Belén Barreiro is our Design Manager. As a true spider in the web, there are few things she's not involved in. She can be found working closely with UX designers, developers, and marketers to lead the way to a delightful web experience for Typeform. Here she explains why design matters to her:
Design is a very powerful tool for creating an emotional response particularly when we talk about brand communications.
“Every decision we make when highlighting or reinforcing ideas influences the reception of the message, and whether we’re making it memorable—or forgettable. ”
It starts with empathy. We need to understand our audience and why they should care about you, your message, or your brand. That’s why design is also key for building trust with your audience. In the end, design shows that we care and that every interaction counts.
2. Keep it simple
Having a clear message is synonymous with keeping your design simple. In fact, simplicity is a key principle of good design. Verònica demonstrates the power of simplicity with the Rebuild Japan project, which created awareness after the Earthquake in 2011.
David Leon Fiene is Typeform's Motion Designer. Whenever you see our designs move, you can bet he's worked on it. His special skills help our brand to be dynamic and 'feel just right' for anyone who encounters it. Let’s see what he has to say about simplicity in design:
"Keep it simple" focuses on what's essential and therefore leaves nothing to chance. When working with this principle, ask yourself what the key goal or objective of the project is, and then evaluate all of the design elements with that in mind. On a visual level, don’t be afraid of white space.
“White space is similar to silence in music. Without silence, music feels very unstructured.”
Another great tool is scale. It helps to create a hierarchy or importance between elements, even if you’re working with few design elements, such as images or typeface. The contrast you create will make an impact.
3. Create levels of information
Differentiating the importance of content in a design can often be accomplished by changing size, shape, or color. Verònica shares some of her techniques with an example of Live Out festival posters. Using contrast is a great tip for directing someone's eye to particular information, but it's important not to overdo it.
Tiago is a Designer at Typeform, and our in-house photographer. You’ll find his artistic take in many of our brand’s expressions. Next to that, he knows all there is to know about making the most engaging typeforms. As he explains in this video, too many colors or typefaces can have the opposite effect of harmonious levels of information. With poor execution, they can actually distract, not attract. The key is all about striking the right balance.
The tip that resonates most with Tiago is to create levels of information.
“Creating levels of information helps the user scan the content of your design quickly and know which part is the most important. ”
Don't try to differentiate the blocks of information too much, or in such different ways like, for example, using many typefaces or a lots colors. You will create noise instead of making your design clear. It's better to stick to one or two, maximum.
4. Find harmony
Verònica tells us that "if a design is not harmonious, it feels incoherent" and gives an example of the Joan Miro project.
Pieter de Groot is a Sr. Graphic Designer at Typeform who’s most recently been working to implement a design system across the company—from our product to marketing campaigns. Here he explains why finding harmony resonates so much with him:
Harmony is essentially balance, and that's such an important element to any piece of communication, not just on an aesthetic level. Pieter's tip to creating harmony starts with color. It's one of his favorite resources as a designer, but it can get overwhelming to apply it well when you have so many options. A color wheel is a good place to start when combining colors and finding complementary hues. Another tip is about hierarchy.
“With hierarchy, you look at all the elements on the page and you choose the most important one and then everything else on the page supports it. This allows the viewer to absorb the content of your design in a simple way.”
His last tip is about photography. With photography, you are creating a narrative, and it should be smooth and engaging. This can be accomplished by using images that share similar art direction and lighting. A good question to ask yourself: Do all of these images feel like they were taken by the same photographer or the same camera?
5. Use color wisely
According to Verònica, color is the most important design principle. It has its own universal language, evoking feelings and clarifying intent. Watch how color made Daydream Drinks’ campaign come to life.
Claudia Aran is a Senior Designer. She is currently all about creating the perfect first impression for Typeform with the tricky task of giving our website a brand new homepage. Bringing brand and product together in close collaboration with a host of teams. Here are Claudia’s tips on using color wisely:
When designing, use color to attract attention, group different elements, reinforce meanings of different content, and enhance visual compositions. For example, light colors produce pleasing responses while dark colors are calming. Red relates to fire, blood, and passion, from love to hate. Blue is associated with the ice, sea, and sky. It's the color of sympathy, harmony, and fidelity, despite being a cold hue.
“Color is one of the most powerful and communicative elements of the visual language. ”
Her tip for using color wisely is to take into account what meaning each color conveys to you and what emotion you want your audience to experience. With the right use of color you can convey an attitude or emotion immediately, trigger a reaction, create emphasis and variety, or reinforce an established hierarchy. Its subjective meaning will reinforce the communication of your design, regardless of any word or image.
6. Be consistent
If you want your brand to be memorable, you must create a consistent design throughout all of your brand collateral. Verònica talks about the importance of consistency and shows design consistency in action with her example from the Barcelona Gallery Weekend project.
Jordi Bayona is a Designer at Typeform. He has a special knack for all things printed and tangible. He works for our Marketing department, and also helps our People team create magical merchandise and experiences for all Typeformers across the globe. Here's his take on being consistent in design:
His main tip to a non-designer would be to first set up brand guidelines. Create a system that explains how your brand will present itself to the world through a logo, color, typography, or tone of voice.
“Brand consistency is the glue that holds everything together to create a one brand experience.”
Another tip is to make every touchpoint meaningful and memorable throughout not only content, but design. This consistency of brand will help people easily recognize and position your brand over time.
Making it count
Every design decision you make—from the colors, to the font, or the typeface and its coordinating sizes—all combine to shape your final work of art, and how others view your brand. We hope Hey Studio’s and our designer’s tips will boost your confidence when designing badass typeforms and other future projects.
Use the tips, but also remember to trust your instincts. As one of the most memorable artists of the last few decades once said: “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” – B. Ross