By Published On: November 1, 2018

Creatives in a variety of professions all know that when it comes to making an impact with their work, there are specific techniques that need to be employed. For designers and other marketing professionals the sometimes-tricky aspect of using these techniques is only made more difficult by the limited time you have pique interest. This time crunch has inspired some creatives to make some pretty impressive work… and some work that is less so.

The best brand work being done today often doesn’t bother trying to convince anyone to buy their product or service in a few seconds and instead prefers to tell an impactful story. But what do you do when the project calls for ideas that will likely only have seconds to make an impact? Marketing mainstays like web ads, postcards, social media advertising, business cards, etc., employ one or more of the fundamentals of design to strike vital visual interest, of course! Here are a couple techniques that do just that:



Symmetry is beautiful, but it is also very common in nature. So, when things don’t line up perfectly we tend to take notice. This is also why the rule of thirds creates such a strong visual impact. By aligning things along the first or second third of a frame (horizontal and/or vertically) you move them off-center enough to create interest.


Visual Tension.

The majority of the design of something should be very carefully considered when intentionally creating visual tension. When typography gets crowded or graphics get dense it tends make anything difficult to look at and interrupts flow. Used appropriately in moderation though, this interruption can really help the most important information in your design stand out.



The arrow might be one of the most easily translated symbols out there. Of course, their use is considered lazy and old-fashioned. Most people don’t like being told where to look in an advertisement. However, their purpose of leading a viewer through a design is still a useful one. Instead of an arrow consider using the graphic elements of your design to help lead the viewer. Remember, white space is an element!


Visual Hierarchy.

You don’t always want to have to point at where you’d like viewers to look. The right visual hierarchy to the elements in your design help make it quick to absorb and retain. This can be achieved using contrast, size, color, texture, and position.

These are only a few techniques based-off the fundamentals of design, but there are more to learn about. If you’d like to learn more this video helps break it down. Understanding some of the fundamentals of design can make evaluating the design of a marketing component easier and more effective.


About the Author: Sam Glubka

Sam Glubka
For as long as he can remember, Sam has had a passion for creativity. We find it remarkable the number of different skills and disciplines in art and technology he’s managed to cram into his young skull. Over the course of his career, he’s tackled hundreds of unique design and development challenges, which is exactly how he likes it. At [c&t] he feels fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients in a wide variety of industries. His Graphic Design education, along with his passion for helping clients find their voice, develop their lore, and resonate with their audiences makes him an invaluable member of the cat&tonic team.
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