1) Practice typography to win a glance – 3 letters at a time.
Space headlines and large type 3 letters at a time. Start on the left of your word or phrase, look at the first 3 letters and adjust the space between them (called “kerning”) for a balanced look. Then advance to the next letter and adjust it to match the previous kerning. Continue through to the last letter. Your typography will have balance, style and a cutting edge.
2) Choose good photography.
Lighting is the palette for photographers. Thoughtful lighting shapes and enhances the impact of its object. Look for it when choosing your sources. Drama, composition and form are very beneficial. Flat is not. I’d also recommend finding a source with a reputation for crisp, well focused images as well – for even more impact.
Compare these photographs … Appealing vs. flat?
3) Tension trumps symmetry.
Good design has a bit of tension. Arrange elements in bunches, off center, or on a slight angle. Avoid calculated distances, centering and straight lines, which tend to ‘tire’ quickly. Good tension creates an enduring quality that upholds a vibrancy and freshness which continues to delight the viewer.
4) Pick the best. Leave the rest.
When your design is nearly complete, stand back, evaluate and review each element and ask yourself, “is that helping or hurting the design?”. Remove or reposition elements that aren’t contributing to the “whole” composition. Then fine-tune your design and repeat this step once again. -By Tony at Madison Creative.