Canva is the simplest, easiest design tool for everyone from beginners and experts. These Canva tutorials show you how to get the most out of Canva, so you can make your graphics and documents look good, fast.
Each video is around one minute long, and shows you how to create beautiful designs step-by-step. See how easy it is, then try it yourself!
How to design from scratch
Unleash your creativity! In this video, you’ll learn the basic steps behind creating a design in Canva without a template, like adding photos and text.
How to design from scratch - YouTube
How to create beautiful designs in 60 seconds
Canva makes it easy to create beautiful designs. In this video, you’ll learn how to change a template to create your own unique design—in under a minute.
How to create beautiful designs in 60 seconds - YouTube
How to use a template to create unique designs
Canva has countless templates that you can customize to create your own unique designs. Think of them as your shortcut to good-looking social media posts, documents, posters, cards and more. In this video you’ll learn how to add your personal touch to templates.
How to use a template to create unique designs - YouTube
Publishing your design
Once you’ve created your design in Canva, it’s time to publish it. In this video, you’ll learn how to share your creation on social media, download, print and more.
Publishing your design - YouTube
How to upload your own photos to Canva
Add a personal touch to your designs. In this video, you’ll learn how to upload your own photos to Canva, so you can use them in your designs.
How to upload your own photos to Canva - YouTube
Three quick tips for great design
Make your designs look good with these three quick tips on alignment, fonts and negative space.
Three quick tips for great design - YouTube
How to find the right template for your design
Canva has countless templates to choose from. In this video, you’ll learn how to find the ones that will suit you best.
How to find the right template for your design - YouTube
How to find free images in Canva
Canva’s image library has millions of images that you can use in your designs. In this video, you’ll learn how to find free images.
Remember the good old days? Let me jog your memory.
Nostalgia makes us crave the past. It is a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former time or place, whether it’s for a living memory or experience, for another country, for family and friends, or for era that is perceived as being a simpler time.
Used in design, nostalgia can appeal to the audience on a sentimental and emotive level. No matter how much technology advances and the modern world progresses, nostalgia—the notion of longing—remains an essential human condition. Here’s how to harness the psychological and emotive power of nostalgia in your design.
The Psychological Power of Nostalgia
As Jessica Helfand describes on Design Observer, nostalgia privileges memory and perception over reality, and favors a utopian and imagined past over the real one. Indeed, nostalgia can provoke positive emotions of happiness, connection, confidence, and optimism, and when people feel down nostalgia can raise their spirits.
The psychological phenomenon of nostalgia is triggered physiologically from sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. A particular song might remind you of your wedding; a smell might take you back to your grandmother’s cooking; or a photograph might have you recalling the heady days of summer vacations past—or even reliving as Expedia did for its Thrownback Thursdays campaign, which used nostalgia to engage its social media audience. Participants had to post and tag a picture of a favorite past vacation and the lucky winners received a travel voucher to recreate their trip.
Nostalgia can stimulate a wistful desire for an era before your lifetime that in our collective imagination—from photos, television, and films—is one we perceive as being simpler.
Think Mad Men and the 1950s and 1960s; it wasn’t all happy housewives and simple suburbia, as much as our cultural memory might have us believe.
So how does this apply to design, you ask? Well, in a couple of ways. The first is that nostalgia directly stimulates creativity; the second is that nostalgia can enrich your emotive appeal to your audience. Let me explain.
Nostalgia and Creativity
Research has found that nostalgia can heighten creativity. Nostalgic memories may give people a greater sense of belonging, meaning, and security, and this enables them to be more open to future experiences, which ultimately encourages creativity. According to educational psychologist Jonathan Plucker, nostalgia helps people access more information in their brain, which provides more material for creativity. As we contemplate past experiences in the context of today, this combination of two divergent concepts—‘then’ and ‘now’—stimulates creative ideas.
Britt Davis united ‘then’ and ‘now’ for her MFA Thesis about nostalgia in sports design. She created a commemorative campaign celebrating the 1924 Colored World Series with the tagline “Take Your Seat in History.” For this bus-stop ad, Britt took a historic photograph of the dugout and cleverly positioned it so passengers are sitting right amongst the players.
Nostalgia and Design
Designers can use nostalgia to appeal to their audience on a feel-good level. By tapping into people’s desire to feel a sense of belonging, meaning, and security, designers can endow their creations with emotion and sentimentality that connects with their audience and elicits a pleasurable feeling.
According to Dr. Filippo Cordaro, a researcher of nostalgia and consumer decision-making: “On a basic level, recalling these positive memories simply puts us in a more positive mood. On a more complex level, recalling these experiences makes us feel a stronger sense of social connectedness with others.”
In 2015 nostalgia-fever broke out when #InThe90sIThought started trending on Twitter. People and businesses jumped on the hashtag-bandwagon and shared their memories of popular brands and cultural references.
So what does this mean for you? It means it’s time to start mining your nostalgic memories.
While graphic design is constantly striving for something new, there is often something old at the heart of the change. Thus, reinterpreting nostalgic memories can bring a sense of genuineness, realism, and connectivity to your design or campaign.
Be inspired by these 25 designs that have looked to the past to design for the future.
01. Reinvent childhood memories
We Are Grown Up
People love to be reminded of childhood games or great moments in sporting history. These colorful pieces of design by Grown Up do just that. The print on the left is for LA gallery IAM8BIT’s exhibition on retro-gaming and it conjures up memories of gaming arcades, while the print on the right is for the charity Willow and it celebrates cricketer Ian Botham’s 1981 Ashes win in a style evocative of the early 1980s.
Chelsea Pritchard’s design evokes days—or daze—gone by when summer seemed to last forever. Her sun-kissed color palette and imagery of iconic summer essentials encourages the audience to yearn for the days “when sunburns were your biggest worry,” Chelsea writes.
Who hasn’t gone on a picnic during summer? You may not be writing a book, but the Summer Romance Wattpad Book Cover template surely brings back a lot of great summer memories.
This clever cookie packaging for Thelma’s Treats, designed by Saturday MFG, recalls ovens and stovetops from yesteryear, and appropriately so given they’re named for great-grandmother Thelma who is more than 100 years old.
Don’t we all wish we were teens again? Whatever decade that may be, the Red 70’s Dance Party Flyer template will be really useful. Just tweak it to fit your needs.
These introductory to advanced levels of branding will unlock brand success.
If there’s one thing to be sure about in the design world, it’s that if you have an audience, you’re going to need a brand. It doesn’t matter if your brand is a large-scale company or a part-time passion, the importance ofof having a consistent brand for all of your marketing cannot be underestimated.
A good brand should not only allow people to remember who you are, but communicate your entire essence, history and values all at once. Here is an introduction to branding, plus four levels of branding—from basic to advanced—that will have your brand looking smart and professional.
Branding basics: An introduction to branding
Why do we need branding?
Whether it’s a global corporation that specializes in buying and selling tropical islands, or a small business that makes shoes with funny limericks on them, without good branding anyone can quickly fall into obscurity. People don’t have the patience to sit down and listen to a 10-minute slideshow presentation before they commit. Rather, they need information delivered at first glance. Luckily, a clever logo or exciting color scheme can deliver just as much information as a three-page mission statement if designed properly.
What makes a good brand?
Good branding is trustworthy. It should make people feel at ease and be confident that your brand is the right choice. Know your audience and understand what would make them feel most comfortable in trusting you.
Good branding is memorable. Take Apple, for example. The visual simplicity of Apple’s branding is aligned with the functional simplicity of their products. So to be memorable, think about the most basic essence of your product and run with that concept throughout your branding.
Good branding is flexible. A successful brand needs to evolve with the times in order to stay on top, and a branding design is no different. Whether changes are subtle or obvious, flexibility will help a brand stay relevant.
Branding level one: Image and identity
The use of typefaces, color palette and images together is an imperative part of the brand development process and a style guide will help you to apply them correctly and consistently and ultimately build your brand like a pro.
01. Brand personality
Brand personality is the style or unique voice of your brand respective to the product or service you are selling. For example, is it masculine or feminine? Natural or man-made? Trendy or traditional?
What are the main goals or ideas of the brand?
What makes it different from competitors?
How would you describe your brand?
How would a consumer summarize your brand?
How do you want people to experience your product or service?
What kind of emotions do you want your brand images to evoke?
Answering these questions will help you develop your brand identity. It might help to create lists of words that speak for your brand in order to find the fitting visual response for your graphics.
Take Corona, for example. The brand’s marketing images often depict exotic outdoor scenes, beaches, sunsets and cold bottles of beer. Corona’s color palette is warm and yellow and many of its branded images feature a highly saturated filter. The consistent application of these visual features creates a recognizable ‘sun drenched’ look that leads many people to associate Corona with summer and holidaying. By doing so, Corona sells an experience – not just a bottle of beer.
By having a clear idea about how you want your brand to be perceived, you can start planning how to apply your visual assets consistently. Let’s take a closer look at some good practices to develop a strong visual brand.
02. Brand Colors
Color gives your brand the ability to express different moods as each color. It has the power to express a brand’s attributes and values as well as increasing brand recognition by up to 80%. When used effectively, your brand color palette should evoke an emotion reflecting your brand identity.
Choose your colors in order of importance: from your primary palette (the one you will use the most, which you want to be the primary voice of your brand) to your secondary palette (the ones you will use the least). Use colors that are going to be functional as well as visually effective, ensuring there are good contrasting tones to layer text on flat colored backgrounds.
Apply your brand colors across graphic elements such as text, icons and backgrounds, and make an effort to use images that harmonize with your palette. For example, if your palette is pink, choose images with a similar tone.
Benefit Cosmetics does a good job of expressing its feminine identity using a predominantly pink color palette and these three images from Benefit’s Instagram use the color pink in clever and creative ways.
03. Brand Typefaces
Consider your brand essence and choose a typeface reflects it. For example, is your brand traditional or modern? The typeface/s you choose will affect the way the audience perceives your brand.
You should consider choosing two typefaces for your brand and using them consistently throughout all of your materials. The font for headings should be the largest and expressive of the persona of the brand. If you want to use a script, uppercase or title font then the heading is the place as these typefaces aren’t easy to read in small or dense copy.
Subtitle fonts and body fonts should be easy to read. A great option for subtitles is to use the same font as your heading, but at a smaller size or in a different style, such as bold or italic, or increasing the letter spacing.
Consider Nike’s uppercase, bold, sans serif font that it uses consistently across marketing graphics. This font is designed for its impact, which works well with Nike’s call to action style images.
Limiting your font selection is a good fit for social media graphics that don’t need heavy amounts of text. If you’re just going to use one font, like Nike, choose the most recognizable font associated with your brand.
04. Brand Images
Whether it’s with tints, vibrancy, contrast, saturation or blurring, how you manipulate your images will also set a mood for your brand and can give a unique look and feel.
Some filters will brighten your images, while other will bring out certain colors, so it’s important to have a clear idea about how your want your images to look. Just remember consistency is key: ensure your filters have the same synchrony as the other elements within your style guide.
Lifestyle magazine Kinfolk always uses the same style of images for its publication, website and social media platforms. Its desaturated, muted, almost film-processed photos complement the brands ‘less is more,’ minimalist approach and suits its understated brand essence.
05. Brand Layout
The position and size of your logo, tagline and other visual assets should remain consistent.
Position your logo in the same place every time and with even padding around each side for balance and aesthetic harmony. If you’re using it over images, be sure you can see it. Having alternate versions (black, white, color) will ensure it can be offset against your background.
In terms of size, your logo should never overpower your design, but it’s also important that it isn’t too small. Determine a minimum size for your logo so that it is still clear to read.
BRANDING LEVEL 2: Professionalism
06. Brand Language
Language is how you communicate with your clients and potential customers and it applies across multiple platforms: website, social media pages, packaging, advertising, emails, and so on.
Here are some tips to remember with brand language:
First person plural shows there’s a united team behind your brand and generally if there’s a happy team, customers are more likely to want to get involved: “We love funky graphics” or “Here at Canva, we love funky graphics.”
Be definitive and avoid language that lessens your authority in the field. “The color mint goes well with grey” is much stronger than “We think the color mint goes well with grey.”
Correct spelling and grammar is a professional must – no excuses. People don’t notice when it’s correct, but they certainly do when it’s incorrect and clients, customers and potential partners will think twice about your brand and how seriously they should take it. Proofread, copy edit, and search grammar and spelling online.
Even if your brand identity is playful or cheeky, you can still inject your brand language with these attributes without diminishing professionalism. If you always remain polite, considerate and helpful, you’ll still express a professional brand identity no matter what cool and crazy vernacular.
07. Be User-Friendly
Websites, products, services, apps should all be user-friendly or clients and customers will be turned away. User-friendliness wins over complicated design every time.
When it comes to developing a website, ensure there are enough features such as search bars, drop down menus and categories to help customers find information or buy products as quickly as possible. The process should be as streamlined as possible: Just remember, less clicks is better.
08. Domain Name
If you’re serious about your business venture, bypass the free domain names and commit to a top level domain name (.com or .com.au) from the get-go. This projects a professional and consistent image to clients, reflecting an investment has been made (because if a company won’t invest in itself – why should a customer?).
Email is a primary means of communication and they need to reflect you and your brand.
Your email address should have the same domain as your website, for example email@example.com, rather than firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
10. Social Media Presence
Ensure that your social media pages all showcase the same logo as the profile picture so that your brand is easily recognizable and you are presenting a unified look.
While posting regularly and providing useful resources to your clients is crucial, always remember your brand language – be professional while still expressing your brand essence.
BRANDING LEVEL 3: Personalization
11. Use Data
A successful brand is all about the customer and establishing a positive relationship with them. Personalization by using data such as their name, gender, age, where they live, what their hobbies are and ask about their preferences can win a customer over and encourage them to use your services again. Your clients should feel as though they matter to you as individuals; understanding their habits and what’s behind their need to purchase can take you and your brand a long way.
Take the Coca-Cola Share A Coke campaign that dominated billboards, social media and selfies for the better part of a year. To increase the consumption of the soft drink and kick start an ongoing conversation about the brand, Coca Cola’s marketing experts worked with data they had about their target audience (social media-savvy young adults; the ‘selfie’ generation; the demographic that used colloquial terms like ‘mate’ and ‘bestie’) and used this to change the current attitudes towards the brand.
The results of the campaign were jawdropping. When the stats came in, it was found that young adult consumption had gone up 7%, traffic to the Coca Cola Facebook page had increased by 870%, while the page itself grew a further 39%.
On a smaller scale, this means saying goodbye to templates and bulk emailing — you need to tailor your emails.
“96% of organizations believe that personalized marketing improves response rates and personalized emails improve click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% .” – Hubspot.
12. Create a Team Graphic
Creating a team graphic shows that your brand isn’t just a one-man show, that it is in fact, a legitimate business. Secondly, it allows your clients and potential clients to put faces to names they may have seen across emails or elsewhere. Lastly, it’s great to show there’s a happy team behind your company – if people are happy to work with you, there’s obviously something good going on.
Include individual photos or a group shot with each team member’s name, position and one or two ‘fun facts’ about them. The photo and information should suit the tone of your brand – professional and friendly if you’re a corporate organization, or fun and cheeky if you’re a young start-up.
The at Mashable incorporated headshots of their leaders, separate pages for their departments as well as an editorial team list, which includes the team member’s social media pages.
13. Guest Posting on Social Media
Relax and have a little fun with your marketing on social media, which is one of the best ways to personalize your brand. But, always be sure that your posts and topics are centered on your clients.
As Margin Media says, be human and encourage engagement, so get your team involved with guest posts across your social media platforms. For examples, ask team members to share their advice/expertise from a different department each week. This is a great way to introduce your clients to the people behind the scenes as well as show them that you’ve got a range of experts across all fields.
BRANDING LEVEL 4: Make your brand pop
14. Build social media campaigns around new features and products
Your online presence acts like a spotlight, so you want to be as interesting and engaging as possible. Highlighting new features and products as the core of your social media campaigns will present your brand in the best possible light.
Post with relevance! Remember that one of the top reasons why people lose interest in a brand is because they post online too frequently, without relevance.
15. Advertise directly to your target audience
In all advertising, consider your target market factors, such as age, sex, occupation, etc. Analyzing this data in relation to your brand will help you establish which groups to target, giving it the best chance of being noticed.
16. Use visual devices to engage with your audience
Up to 90 % of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so images, infographics and other visual devices can play a crucial role in making your brand identifiable.
Humans connect with stories. In an experiment conducted by a London research firm, it was discovered that in just 90 minutes a person could be exposed to 250 different advertising messages from more than 100 brands. Of those, it was revealed people are most attracted to brands with authentic or unique narratives. Indeed, research shows that the brain has a natural reception to storytelling, as it helps us process news and events as experiences, rather than information. As such, a great brand experience is one with a plot (news), characters (your staff), context (your unique background) and core values and beliefs.
How to build a brand narrative:
Know why you’re a great brand. By determining why your brand is great, you’ll be confident about what kind of narrative you want to share with the world.
Put names and faces to your team. Introducing the members of your team will add a personal touch to your brand narrative as the characters of your story. This will ensure that your brand becomes ‘real’ and authentic, rather than generic. Check out this blog for useful tips.
Make sure your story is evolving with your. Blogs, social media platforms, and press websites allow content to be updated quickly and regularly, which is a great advantage for showing the evolution of your brand. Social media campaigns can be a great way to incorporate new features, products, or additions into your brand narrative in the online environment; and having a good relationship with the press will also give you a chance to have the greatest scope for storytelling as you grow and evolve.
Match your story to your style. Visual storytelling is just as important as writing or speaking about your brand. This blog explains how visual interpretation is actually our strongest developed sense. Even just choosing colors that reflect your mission statement and target audience can be a great way to develop a more direct brand narrative.
Make it easy for your audience to share. Allowing your users to comment on your social media posts, blog or website can be a great way to add numerous voices to your narrative. Facebook has even created a function to integrate blog and social media commentary. Social sharing can also increase by adding social media ‘buttons’ to interesting posts. Remember that people share content that reflects well on them. Creating content that is visually interesting, insightful and newsworthy will make your brand more sharable.
18. Make bold decisions
Steve Jobs once said: “You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far”. Success, in every field, is owned by the game changers and the rule breakers. By pushing the limits of an idea, your brand will become an innovator.
Whether you’re starting your own business or creating marketing materials at work, branding is a fundamental part of a strong visual strategy. A consistent application of images, colors, fonts and layouts are all elements of graphic design that will play a huge role in making your brand image stand out; while language, narrative, and engagement with your audience will all having you branding like a pro.
The typefaces you choose can have a huge impact on the way your brand communicates.
After all, it’s not just what you say: It’s how you say it. By choosing fonts that reflect your brand’s values – traditional or quirky, fun or formal – you can attract the right kind of customers.
Whether you’re building your brand from scratch, reworking your logo or updating your website, we’re here to set you up with the right font choices – so you can put your best foot forward.
In this article, we’ve created 20 unique font combinations to help give you a little inspiration when getting started on creating your own brand in Canva for Work – the design tool built for the non-designer, to help your brand shine. All of these fonts are included for free in Canva.
01. League Spartan
League Spartan is a modern typeface with strong structure and geometric form. This contrasts well against the elegant and more traditional style of Libre Baskerville. Using a serif for your body copy makes more dense information easy to read.
02. Julius Sans One
Julius Sans One offers a fine stroke, its broader baseline makes it a great display font. With a similar weight, Josefin Sans is a complementary choice for the body copy. As contrast is key for choosing type combinations, League Gothic creates a strong separator for the two sections.
03. Archivo Black
A bold, rounded typeface combined with a lighter, condensed style will make for happy font pairing. All three fonts in this example are strong, masculine and easy to read.
04. Libre Baskerville
Don’t be afraid to use one typeface across your entire brand. Finding fonts like Libre Baskerville that have style variants is a clever way to create nuance without over complicating your designs.
05. Bebas Neue
Bebas Neue is a favorite out there in the design-sphere. It’s condensed and clean form makes it excellent to use for headings. The rounded comparison of Bebas to Montserrat makes for a tidy and contemporary pairing.
Lora has brushed curves that make it a very elegant and sophisticated typeface. The effect of using the italic and regular togther is charming and feminine.
07. Roboto Condensed
Roboto Condensed is a sans serif typeface with a reading rhythm that is more like that of serifs, therefore a great choice for body copy as well as headings.
08. Cooper Hewitt Bold
With strong arches and curves, Cooper Hewitt is a classic typeface with excellent variations to use to separate your headings, subheadings and body copy respectfully.
09. Playfair Display
Playfair Display is an excellent typeface to use for wedding or invitation design. The heavy style of Playfair Display Black offsets beautifully against Playfair Display Italic, creating a harmonious hierarchy.
Norwester is an attention grabbing, geometric font best used for headings. The pairing of Norwester, Kollektif and Montserrat is structured, bold and well composed.
11. Source Sans Pro and Source Serif Pro
Source Sans Pro and Source Serif Pro were created to be used as a pair in design. They are another excellent example of marrying up a serif and a sans serif to create typographic harmony.
A fun pairing: Yellowtail is a fat brush script typeface with with a mix of connecting letterforms. Contrasting nicely against the bold and more basic style of Open Sans Bold and Open Sans light.
Cinzel is considered contemporary, although it was inspired classical Roman style. With the delicate strokes of Quattrocento and Lora’s curves, this is a fine combination to use for headings or for invitations.
Oswald has been redesigned as a web font to work across all digital screens. Teamed with Montserrat Light and Cooper Hewitt, this is a highly functional and easy to read interface font combination.
15. Copper Hewitt Thin
Reports require less complicated type combinations, therefore this trio are a great choice. Don’t be afraid to use a thin typeface as a heading. This is one of the best ways to take advantage of a very fine type weight as it shows off the structure and letterform.
Bodoni is known as a classic magazine heading typeface. Massimo Vignelli stated that ‘Bodoni is one of the most elegant typefaces ever designed’. The application of Bodoni paired with the contrasting of Montserrat is sophisticated and contemporary.
Merriweather was created specifically for web design and not favored as a print typeface. The combination of bold and regular style variants makes for easy reading and classic aesthetic.
18. League Gothic
League Gothic has a distinctive condensed style that has similarities to Archivo Narrow yet offsets well against the round form of Kollektif, acting as a nice barrier between heading and body copy.
Contemporary and cool, this is an excellent example of using a fine weight typeface for a heading and heavier versions for subheading and body copy. Montserrat has a clean, structured and easy to read form. The application of Montserrat Light for a heading softens the overall effect.
A sans serif combination – Anton is a reworking of a traditional advertising typeface so designed to capture the attention of an audience with its strong, geometric form. To create more impact, it has been teamed with Open Sans Light for it’s contrasting visual qualities.
By putting together essential visual components you form a personality for your brand. Therefore, the application of typefaces is a fundamental step in starting your brand journey. We hope these combinations have given you some inspiration help guide you through the initial steps to creating your brand kit!
Its mouthwatering culinary options, mesmerizing flamenco dancers, and crazy festivals are just some of the wonderfully exciting things Spanish culture has to offer.
Its eclectic design world is no different. Offering a broad range of styles, techniques, and approaches, it is one of the most exciting design landscapes I’ve had the chance to dive into in quite some time.
Below we’ve compiled five of Spanish design’s most prominent characteristics and six designers and studios that exemplify them to share with you. Hopefully they’ll prompt you to dive in deeper into the region’s exciting design world!
01. Heavy use of red
Javier Ties Identity Design by Lo Siento
London 12 Type Postcards by Astrid Stavro Studio
They say if you can’t make it big, make it red. This rings especially true in the world of Spanish design. A variety of different design pieces from a number of studios and designs of the region all make heavy use of the eye-catching color.
The use of red in Spanish design doesn’t follow a set of rules. It is ever changing and applied in many different ways. It can be an accent or the driving force behind a piece.
Consider the examples above. In both the London 12 Typeface postcard series and the Javier Ties identity system, the color red is used as a prominent design element, serving as both a background and a unifier across the series.
Both cases use the color red boldly and pull it off wonderfully. However, it might not always be the best way to go. To dive a bit deeper into the pros and cons of using red and when you might want to steer clear of it, check this great article out.
It’s not certain whether the heavy use of red in Spanish design is derived entirely from the color’s popularity within Spanish culture. But flamenco dresses, La Tomatina, and even the Country’s very own flag all seem to suggest that red runs in the Spanish designers’ blood!
Want to give red a shot? Dive right in. Just remember, it is an extremely dominant color and will quickly garner a viewer’s attention. Be sure to keep this in mind and use it to your advantage to create a focal point.
These awesome textures, however, weren’t just loaded from the library of pre-packaged textures from the software we use to design. They were created from scratch, adding a bespoke vibe to them.
In many cases, these custom textures were created using meaningful materials and elements. Take this piece, for example. Handsome, textured letterforms were created using rice: an ingredient crucial in the making of the dishes the restaurant being branded offers.
Textures can do a myriad of things for your work. You can use them to create a certain “feel,” create visual interest or to convey specific messages.
To learn more about the many uses of textures in design in detail and how you can apply them, pop over to Veronika Theodor’s article on the role of textures in contemporary design.
Dig into your projects and find meaningful ingredients, items, or imagery that could give way to an exciting custom texture. Struggling to find something like it? Break out a box of crayons or a paint roller and some ink. Going analog might just yield the best results.
Bold type—but not weight wise. Many pieces of Spanish design are type-centric, placing type front and center. It isn’t uncommon to find covers, books, and posters featuring expressive type or branding projects with masterfully set characters.
Type-centric pieces can help you produce work that communicates easily. Focusing on type and setting it in the right hierarchy can help you produce work that lets viewers access information easily.
Messages set in large beautiful type are also a way to quickly transmit information—they also ensure the message doesn’t fly past a viewer’s eye. It’s pretty hard to miss type that is 100 pt+, right?
A number of pieces combine texture with type—as seen in The Washington Post by Lo Siento we showcased above—to bring about interesting alternatives to the traditional clean san-serifs types abundant in today’s design world. And not only are textures decorative, but they are also expressive and great ways to create the right “feel.”
They say typography is one of the toughest fields in design to master. Don’t let this intimidate you if you are keen to make your next design endeavor type-centric. Just be sure to observe the fundamentals: kerning, tracking, and leading.
Spanish design steers clear of shy shades of blue and tan and dives right into vibrant palettes made up of a variety of hues.
A myriad of posters, book covers, and identity systems from design studios and designers in Spain feature vibrant palettes that drive their design. Just like with the usage of red, how lively palettes are used doesn’t follow a pattern.
They may employ a complementary, analogous, or a triad color palette—the unifying thread in them, however, is the vibrancy of the hues that make them up.
Bright colors will sometimes be used as accents, just like Jorge Leon did for Firmamento above. In other cases, you’ll find that colors are used as the leading design element.
If you want to give a complex palette with numerous colors a shot but aren’t sure about how to achieve harmony, equalize the saturation and brightness of each hue you select. This is an easy way to make sure your colors play well with each other.
Creative patterns deck the faces of many design pieces coming out of the Spanish region.
Sometimes they are quirky, as seen on the Bacon or Die Skateboard featured above. At other times they are modern, built with meaningful elements that make up a brand system, as seen in the La Cerdanya branding above.
In both pieces featured above, patterns are an integral part of the work.
The sizzling bacon slices on Querida’s skateboard pattern deck the bottom of the skateboard—prime real estate on these fun four-wheelers—granting dynamism and movement to the otherwise static black and white design.
In La Cerdanya’s example, the back of the paper stationery set for the stockbreeders features a pattern. Whenever official mail goes out, the receiving end will likely be greeted by the pattern as soon as he/she pops the envelope open, giving the pattern a primary role in the experience design around the brand.
Patterns don’t always have to reign supreme. You can opt to use them as secondary design elements. Try lining the interior of a packaging set with them or as the interior of a table book.
And if you’ve decided to create a pattern, keep in mind that patterns don’t always have to be perfectly symmetrical or have to repeat in exactly the same ways.
Adding a bit of chaos to them can actually make them more interesting. Build your patterns using random placement or allow for subtle inconsistencies.
Since you’re likely eager to see more examples of how these design principles are applied in by designers and studios from all over the region, I’ve also gathered six of my favorite Spanish studios and designers.
I’ve pulled a few great shots and projects from each of the studio’s or designer’s portfolio. Each example showcases the characteristics we covered above and provides a bit of inspiration.
As much as I would have loved to, I couldn’t pull out all the awesome work each has to offer—so be sure to click over to check out everything else they have to offer. I promise it won’t disappoint!
01. Lo Siento
L’Arroseria by Lo Siento
Remember the handsome rice letterforms we covered above? They are part of the branding Lo Siento created for L’Arroseria. But it’s not the only project they knocked out of the park—they have produced dozens of excellent pieces across a variety of design disciplines that showcase why Spanish design is so darn good.
Among my favorite projects by Lo Siento is the identity system and packaging they created for Comaxurros. The identity features a set of characters that turn into a driving design element for the brand. Their long limbs and expressive faces help add a playful vibe to the brand. And did I mention they’ve created an irresistible pattern with them?
02. Astrid Stavro Studio
Vegetables From an Italian Garden by Astrid Stavro Studio
Astrid Stavro Studio joined forces with Grafica to become Design by Atlas. They have, of course, continued to produce outstanding work. While the Design by Atlas site isn’t entirely up and running, you can still click over for a full-screen slideshow that will let you check out what they’ve been up to.
From Astrid Stavro Studio I love Habitatge/Cat, a catalog for an exhibition on housing in Catalunya. It features a combination of spreads designed with bold type, icons, and bright colors. Its got a contemporary vibe to it and is definitely worth checking out.
I am also fond of the work she has created for Backlist and their classic literature system. Using a unifying grid system, Stavro designed a set of book covers using shapes and a lovely serif face. Be sure to check them out here.
Granell Identity by Firma
The Garnell Identity featured above by Firma is another excellent example of how vibrant colors are commonly used in Spanish design.
In this case, color is used to create a system that allows customers to differentiate between different products. The palette, however, is so beautifully balanced that it creates an overarching sense of unity among all of them, allowing them to feel like a family.
Firma worked with Miin Cosmetics to develop an identity for them among other things. While it does not feature a plethora of vibrant colors or textures, is it beautiful and a refreshingly different solution to cosmetic branding.
Built with vectors, clean type, and a pretty pink, it definitely doesn’t feel like anything I’ve seen on the shelves of a beauty shop before.
04. Ana Mirats
Massimo Dutti Coffee Table Book by Ana Mirats
Ana Mirats features a portfolio stacked with gorgeous editorial design and print. She has produced a variety of pieces for fashion houses like Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, and Zara. They range from posters to books to advertising material. If you are looking for print inspiration, be sure to check out some of her work.
While all of the work she has produced for said fashion houses is amazing, I am quite fond of the corporate identity she developed for Minis made up of letterforms that are also quirky characters. They add character and cute visuals to the brand—check it out here.
05. Jorge Leon
Andbank Poster by Jorge Leon
Jorge Leon is another designer from the region who has worked for some of the studios we’ve featured here, like Folch and Firma. He has worked on and produced a variety of projects that include branding, books, posters, and ads among others. These all come together to create a diverse but masterful portfolio worth spending some time poking around in.
Be sure to click over to Jorge Leon’s personal website to check out what he’s been up to lately. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing the identity he designed for Amigos Skate Shop. The entire identity is built using solely simple shapes and a bright palette featuring just two colors. Click over and make googly eyes at it with me.
Berlinist–The Winter Hexagon by Querida
Finally, I want to introduce you to Querida. On this studio’s modern looking site you’ll find a number of projects with textures, bright colors, and lovely bold type. Above you’ll find the LP cover for Berlinist – The Winter Hexagon, an excellent example of how texture can be used in your work.
Querida is responsible for the design of The Box Social’s visual identity. It is extremely simple in the most beautiful way and features fresh illustrations. I love the grid system they’ve developed for the identity that helps tie all the elements together. Be sure to click over to check out how it plays out throughout it!
Over to you
And there you have it! A breakdown of some of the most common characteristics prominent in Spanish design and a few great designers and studios to keep an eye on. Check out their sites and add them to your social radar. They are likely to produce amazing work you can learn from and be inspired by!
Spanish design’s broad range of styles, techniques, and approaches are sure to flavor your designs with its unique vibrancy and dynamism if you give it a shot.
Banking is serious business. When you’re dealing with other people’s money, you need to show professionalism, trustworthiness, and commitment. So a bank’s logo should show, at a glance, that this is a trustworthy company. For these reasons, it’s extremely important for banks to have a well-designed identity.
Many bank logos have similar visual elements, such as patriotic icons and colors. Yes, it’s a challenge to create original logos for companies offering similar services in a world where designers are finding inspiration in the same places. But these common themes are also proven performers.
Banks build trust through familiarity. We see banking identities on retail branch signs on every street corner, TV commercials, bumper stickers, even on our pens. By using a logo as their main marketing tool, banks possess the power to make you want to bank with them.
You’re probably familiar with the logos listed in this post. But what you might not know is the hidden meaning that they convey.
Siegel+gale explain that “the new logo is a beacon that reflects the warmth, energy, and diverse range of the SunTrust organization”. The use of warm colors express the feeling of internal warmth for the SunTrust brand and its local, tight-knit community.
Chase Manhattan Bank has merged with J.P. Morgan, yet its original abstract symbol still remains the same. By using the same shape over and over again, this logo reinforces trust. The repetitive symbol establishes a sense of familiarity which makes us feel comfortable trusting them with our money.
Through the use of the color blue, this logo represents confidence, trust, and loyalty. The typeface Serrano, which was designed specifically for Bank of New Zealand, has a very friendly italicized font which is used in their logo. Modern, friendly, and trustworthy—everything you look for in a bank.
Behold the power of 3! The best things in life come in 3s, so they say. The repetition of the double-lined pattern shows reinforcement and familiarity. The bright red and blue also draw us in by showing strength, power, trust & excitement. The icon used in this logo is meant to represent the USA flag, which shows patriotism.
These are just a few of the bank logos used today that incorporate a similar approach to design. The beautiful thing about these logos is the way they communicate with an audience and convey different feelings and meanings.
A logo with no meaning behind it is simply nothing more than good design.
Content marketing and social media marketing are not only equally important, they also go hand in hand.
Every great branding campaign needs quality content backed by kickass social media pages to boost traction. A creative, informative and well-crafted blog is time wasted if your audience never has the opportunity to read it.
Most people on social media aren’t looking to buy products, in fact, they’re often not even looking for an informative read. Instead, they’re looking for entertainment. So how do businesses use these platforms to grab attention, pique curiosity and invite followers to find out more? It’s a mix of exciting visuals, compelling design, and relevant topics.
We’ve picked out some of the best brands getting their social media visuals and content marketing right.
01. Expedia—Linking one campaign to another
Expedia primarily sells flights, accommodation and holidays. But it’s a competitive market out there so they need to come up with ways to keep their audience excited about the product. Luckily, they have mastered content marketing with their blog Out There Starts Here. The blog is particularly effective at offering its audience tips, guides, and inspiration for their next big trip (which of course they’ll be booking on Expedia).
Expedia’s social media campaign complements their blog perfectly by using effective travel images paired with curiosity-inducing copy. Interested in what Zoe Foster-Blake is eating in Italy? Then head to the blog to find out! Maybe book a flight to Italy while you’re at it. Notice that in each of their posts, they include the campaign title or slogan. It’s a simple step but it’s another way to create recall for their campaign and can help direct audiences back to their website.
Use this same technique when you roll out your next promotional, marketing or sales campaign. It can be as simple as finding a relevant image and branding it with your campaign title or slogan.
02. Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation—Establishing yourself as the industry expert
Michelle Bridges is best known for her appearance as a trainer on the reality TV show Australia’s Biggest Loser. She went on to create her 12 Week Body Transformation—a fitness program aimed at helping people lose weight and keep fit. But a well-known name doesn’t always guarantee the success of a brand. So what has the team behind the program done to launch the business into a success? Instead of trying to hard-sell the product, the 12WBT blog offers recipes, workout plans and inspiration for the right mindset. By offering free content that’s relevant and promotes their image, Michelle Bridges’ team has established themselves as trustworthy experts in their field.
At the same time, their social media is used to reel readers in by supporting their blog content with motivational posts. Motivational quotes paired with motivational images are not only relevant, they’re extremely “shareable” on social media.
Another thing worth noting about these posts is how the graphic quotes are designed. Each quote or tip is given context with the right image and fonts are carefully matched to create emphasis where needed—words like “sweat”, “strong” and “limits”. Through this technique, even text posts can become a visually exciting experience, encouraging followers to click through and learn more.
03. Grammarly—Using humor and wit to grab attention
Grammarly is a writing app that finds and corrects grammatical errors in written text. But how did they make their professional editing services interesting for an audience that does not know “they’re” from “their”? By making it fun! Grammarly blog posts feature thought-provoking and funny content that isn’t limited to the knowledge of a professional editor. Examples of their posts include How Do You Spell Donut – donut or doughnut? There’s even a post on How to Talk like a Pirate.
In the same vein, Grammarly knows that people look for funny and entertaining posts on social media. So, they echo their blog’s fun, humorous vibe in ways optimized for Facebook—short text posts accompanied by interesting imagery. Rather than long articles, they feature singular words with amusing or witty meanings.
Grammarly’s Facebook posts demonstrate that there’s no need to use impressive photography every single time—high-quality stock photos overlaid with text are simple but effective ways to catch attention and even create engagement. Like Grammarly, try pairing interesting one-liners with carefully matched stock images to create an eye-catching text and graphic post.
Shelter Pet Project are a pet rescue centre looking for new families to adopt their cats and dogs. The very aim of their model is to get you to fall in love with their animals and they’ve grasped the opportunity of reaching their market online. Their blog offers adoption success stories from other adopters in the form of a pet profile. Details include the names of adopters, location, which shelter their pet came from, why their pet is so special and even what their new pet would say about them if they could talk. The profiles offer a very quirky voice to a somewhat serious topic.
Take Hamilton the Pug for example. What would he say about his new owners? “I bet you didn’t know my mom loves these parties more than I do. 1 party, 2 parties, 3 parties, more; where are we headed next?”
Shelter Pet project has mastered the art of personification and storytelling. It’s no longer the marketers who are selling you their pets, it’s the adopters (and even the pets themselves). They’ve used social media to it’s the pet’s adorable faces and their even cuter social commentary that creates a voice and face for the brand, even if this isn’t a human one. It’s humorous and it tells a story. Everyone loves a good story.
Create characters within your brand and tell a story. You may not be selling a pet, but you can still tell your own product story. Whether that’s cars or floor cleaner, there’s an opportunity for you to create a character or your product’s own unique voice. Keep your potential customers and past customers entertained with a unique perspective that makes your content interesting. This way your brand will stick in the mind of your readers.
05. Frank Body—Encouraging followers to create content
Frank Body offers a range of coffee-based skin care products. This business launched only a few years ago but has managed to catapult into a multi-million dollar venture and it’s all thanks to a multi-faceted content campaign, including their “ The Daily Grind” blog. Through this blog, Frank Body offers a little more than just a scrub—there are interviews with inspirational women, tips on keeping your skin in shape and the most recent development is a battle of the scrubs. Frank Body created something of a social media attention war with this “battle” and most importantly, kept their fans interested.
Pitting four teams (corresponding to each of their scrubs), #teamcacao, #teamcoconut, #teamcoconut, #teampeppermint, and #teamoriginal, Frank Body encouraged users to create their own content to show support for their team. Throw in a year’s worth supply of the product and you’ve got customers all over the world competing in this viral campaign. Because the posts are user-generated, the campaign and the hype remained organic and relatable.
Frank Body’s #team campaign is also a noteworthy example of design consistency. The recurring pastel color scheme makes this campaign easy to recognize and remember. When planning your own viral marketing campaign, take note of how Frank Body did it—through consistent design to create recall and a compelling incentive for customers to get involved.
Your wedding colors should capture and evoke the mood you want for your nuptials.
But that’s not all you have to consider: What tone you want in your wedding photo album. What color would look good on your bridesmaids? Most importantly, the colors you choose must tie in with your wedding narrative. Although weddings are a predominantly white affair, it’s the accompanying colors that give shape to your theme and sets the mood for your event.
The most challenging thing about picking colors, though, is the harmonizing part. Just like you and your partner-to-be, your colors must be a match made in heaven.
To help you out, we’ve gathered 25 color palettes taken from some of the most inspiring wedding invitations online. We’ve also included the HEX color codes below each image. To apply the colors, simply copy and paste the codes into the color menu of your Canva editor.
01. Pastel Peach
Julie Song Ink
Julie Song Ink is a master of creating watercolored wonders for brands, magazines, and of course, weddings. This soft peach and pear creation evokes the dream-like quality of garden nuptials and intimate gatherings. Check out more of Julie Song Ink’s beautiful watercolors (and their palettes!) in her Instagram account.
02. Rustic Steel
The Elli Team
This rustic themed invite rendered in a combination of contemporary and vintage tones captures the Old South charm without looking dated. By intersecting a modern, steely tone with earthy browns, and offsetting the two with warm and creamy hues, you get a wedding invite perfect for Gone With the Wind-inspired celebrations.
03. Bounty Fresh
Classic complementary combinations like tones of orange and green are guaranteed to work. For this pair to work on a traditional wedding invite though, it needs to Paired with creamy tones of rose and ivory, this design by Ana Andreeva is a refreshing palette of delicate springtime hues.
04. Baby Blooms
Perky tones of pink and blue can brighten up any design. Apply it to traditional wedding design elements like florals, but be careful not to swamp the design with too much bright colors. Offset the vibrancy of your blues and pinks with lighter tones or just white, like in the above design by Kateryna Savchenko.
05. Red Wine
This sleek, contemporary wedding invitation by Spanish designer María Hdez makes good use of deep red as the main color by pairing it with analogous tones and using accents in deep green.
The otherwise stark contrasts are balanced by using the main color sparingly when used with light pastel hues.
06. Farm Fresh
If you’re holding your wedding on a beautiful spring day, match the design perfectly with the season by using the right greens and pinks. Although this palette — based on the featured design by illustrator Morgan Ramberg — seems to have a wide range of colors used, it’s actually just variations of complementary colors green and red. This makes the whole design seem detailed without looking cluttered.
07. Summer Solstice
Breanna Rose of Rowan Made
Yellow, deep green, and light taupe come together in this summer harmony of Breanna Rose in this Rowan Made design.
08. Playful Blossoms
This quirky design works in part because of the equally quirky but compatible color combination. Youthful designs work best with cottoncandy colors, as exemplified in this wedding invitation.
09. Green Feline
Green cats might not have been a fantastic idea until this wedding invitation of green-toned felines. Unconventional color applications, when done the right way, can modernize what could’ve been a trivial design.
10. Royal Treatment
Satin Sheen Gold
Even if you’re not printing with gold foil, you can capture effect with the right tone of gold. Pair it with a contrasting color to emphasize the tone.
11. Precious Metals
This silver and gold palette is a classic combination for anyone planning a traditional wedding.
12. Modern Crystal
The Shift Creative
The contemporary design abstracts agate and pulls it off with stark contrasts created by cavern pink and cinder.
13. Wine and Rose
Weddings would hardly be complete without flowers and a good bottle of wine. This design takes its cue from two of the most indispensable wedding staples by borrowing their color.
14. Peach Vanilla
FØLSOM Creative Studio
Peach tones are one of the most popular color choices for weddings — this wedding invitation kit gives it an upscale twist by pairing it with a black pearl tone.
15. Summer Bouquet
Summer tones of orange, yellow, and green make for an upbeat wedding color combo. This design pairs it with a lot of white to soften the otherwise too-bright palette.
16. Bubblegum Ice Cream
Xato and Nidia Donado
Sweet bubblegum colors make this wedding invite distinctly feminine. All taken together, the calligraphy, watercolor roses, and pastel tones play off each other very nicely.
17. Morning Spring
Daniel Olivier-Argyle and Ellie Savige
The shady pink, teal, and orange tones in this invite are used mainly to accentuate this wedding invite. Overusing it would have overwhelmed everything else in the design because of their heavy look.
If not for the playful use of a handwritten font, this gold and olive combination might have come out a bit old fashioned.
19. Pastel Dream
Coral and pastel blue are masterfully blended in this beautiful design. The metallic bronze used for the text stand out beautifully due to the light rendering of the main colors.
20. Charcoal Rose
These pink and red roses look great against the charcoal-colored background because of the highlights were not too overpowering. If too bright, the flowers would have cluttered the design; if too dark they would’ve drowned.
21. Laurel of Greens
The handmade look of this wedding invitation is perfectly complemented by the particular tones of green applied.
22. Vintage Garden
Rachel Marvin Creative
The washed out tones gives this floral design a vintage twist. And because of the lightness, it doesn’t overpower the text even if it’s featured in large doses.
23. Old Rose
Rachel Marvin Creative
Here’s another vintage look that works well. The grayscale tone of this wedding invite is accentuated with just the right amount of pink.
24. Midnight Indigo
The beautiful illustration is made only more beautiful by the excellent application of color. If you’re looking for something different, this color manages to make dark colors playful.
25. Madison Blue
Little Bridge Design
Gold tones and dark blue somehow give a feeling of royalty to anything they’re applied on. This color combination is perfect for traditional weddings.
Over to you
There you have it, 25 color palettes based on some of the most beautiful wedding invites from around the web.
Have you ever had a TON of information you needed to get out but don’t know how to do it effectively?
Fret no longer. Today you will learn how to relay mass amounts of information in an effective, beautiful way. That’s right, we’re talking infographics.
You may be asking yourself, ‘what is an infographic?’, and the answer is pretty simple. Essentially, an infographic is a visual representation of information. Rather than having blocks and blocks of text that people will never read, you give them the same information in a different way — and in one they will easily understand.
People are visual. In fact, we only remember 20% of what we read. Just imagine all of the important things you read on a daily basis and shrink that down to less than a fourth of what you started with. Kind of scary, huh? We’re visual because our brains are, 90% of what the brain processes is visual in one way or another, and we process it much faster than we do text.
This holds true online as well. The most shared and liked things on social media are images. Traffic has even been shown to increase by as much as 12% when you publish something like an infographic online, so why aren’t all brands doing it?
Infographic designer Anne Sanders shed some light on infographics for brands who want to market with them. ‘‘Make sure you know exactly what you want and are able to provide a designer with content. Your infographic should be educational or entertaining, not a push to buy something. Establish yourself as a leading resource of information in your field, and customers will remember you and seek you out.’
This holds true for a lot of brands that use infographics, like USA Today, NY Times, and Google. Utilize the following 15 steps, and you’ll be on well your way to designing some awesome infographics.
01. Process your data
Whether you’re responsible for finding all of it or it’s handed over to you, odds are, you’ll be sifting through a ton of information. It’s important to not just skim over it, little nuggets of awesome stuff can be hiding inside all of that text – it’s your job to find it. The information is the most important part, making this the most important step. It is what builds your infographic, after all.
A compilation of selfies taken in NYC broken down into gender and age: Image by Selfiecity
Here you can see there is a lot of information that needed to be gone through. The ages and genders of people’s Instagram selfies in New York were organized and designed into something meaningful. You can read about the team behind this here.
Make sure all of the information that will be going into your infographic is credible. Just like all of those papers you had to write in school, your infographic is only as credible as its least credible source. Don’t get yourself into trouble by displaying inaccurate information.
An example of an infographic containing important info that would need fact-checking: Infographic by Jeremey Fleischer
Here you can see an infographic designed by Jeremey Fleischer containing a lot of information that would have been fact-checked. Company records could have been pulled to make sure the numbers align, as well as track the logo evolvement.
A wireframe is just a skeleton of what you’re working with. You should always make it before you begin designing. Laying out where everything will go in advance (including text and images) will save you time and frustration. Using a wireframe will allow you to see if everything flows nicely and makes sense.
An infographic with a clear story that needed to be mapped out beforehand: Infographic by Dogan Can Gundogdu
This infographic by Dogan Can Gundogdu is about a movie, so it has a clear story. A wireframe of the storyline would have been created beforehand, to make sure all the important parts were included in the correct order.
Some information will need to be depicted in a certain way. Don’t use a format just for the sake of using that format, try to get creative. You can show information in all kinds of ways, like diagrams, pie charts, flow charts, and maps (really the list goes on and on).
A city guide that chose to display landmarks with iconography: Infographic by Jing Zhang
This city guide created by Jing Zhang is a great example of getting creative with information. Rather than just showing a photo of the subject matter, she illustrated icons to represent each one. This gives the guide a friendlier feel, and as a whole reads easily.
Having a clear message will result in a successful infographic. Make sure your story is ready to go when you begin your wireframes, you should never start designing until you know what you’re trying to say. The story should dictate the design, not the other way around.
An infographic that tells a clear story and presents the information in a logical way: Infographic by Mayra Magalhaes
This infographic about an oil spill by Mayra Magalhaes illustrates a clear story. It is told in a logical way, and you understand exactly what you’re getting into from the illustration. The bullets are numbered clearly, so you don’t have to guess where you should begin and end.
Be sure the voice of your infographic matches the subject matter. If it’s serious, be serious. If it’s lighthearted, be lighthearted (you get the picture). If the voice doesn’t match that can be confusing for the reader, and infographics are all about being easy to understand.
An infographic using the appropriate tone for the subject: Infographic by adhdcanada in Pinterest
This infographic from ADHD Canada uses tone to their advantage. ADHD is a serious subject, but the goal here is to educate about handling it. The tone is clear and instructive. The information is delivered in a way that feels authoritative and makes what’s being said believable.
When you have the opportunity to show something visually, take it (remember, we pay more attention when it’s visual). Don’t rely on fancy typography as a crutch. Utilize illustrations, charts, icons, and graphics as much as you can, it creates more visual interest.
An infographic relying heavily on visuals versus text: Infographic by Piotr Adam Kwiatkowski
This infographic by Piotr Kwiatkowski relies on simple charts and graphs rather than the text. The text is still there, but is used to supplement the charts. A good rule of thumb is to keep your text on a separate layer in whatever program you’re working in. Toggle it off every now and then to see if everything still makes sense. You may find you can eliminate the type altogether.
Don’t save studying for the night before. By establishing good habits you’ll be able to stay focused and get the grades you deserve. In the article below, we provide you with 17 study tips that will help you stay focused and leave the stresses of study time behind.
Are you looking for ways to improve your grades? Or maybe you have a test coming up and don’t know where to begin. It doesn’t matter if you’re in high school, college, grad school or anywhere in between, it’s never too late to develop good study habits that will help you knuckle down and concentrate on smashing your goals.
Everyone learns in their own way and focusing can look a little different for everyone. So we’ve narrowed down a variety of study tips that will help you kickstart your journey to becoming your most studious self.
01. Plan ahead
Image by Bich Tran
It’s never fun when you show up to an exam and realize you spent all your time studying one aspect of a subject, only to find that the exam seems entirely centered around another.
Use a calendar to manage your time and keep your study plan on track. This will not only let you to count down the days until your exam but also allow you to evenly break up your study time.
If you’re studying for exams, start by dividing your time into classes or subjects. Then divide each of these into smaller chunks—maybe topics or modules.
Start using a calendar at the beginning of the year or at the start of a course so you can avoid missing assignments, deadlines, and any important occasions which mean you’ll need time off from study.
Brain food is a real thing. Some foods improve our ability to stay focused, while other food can leave us feeling tired and sluggish. Knowing that your diet has an impact on your brain’s capacity to perform at its best makes having a healthy diet an essential part of your study plan.
Stay away from high-sugar snacks like cereal bars, and canned food—these foods can leave you feeling lethargic. Instead, try snacks that help your brain function at its best: Nuts and seeds, blueberries, dark chocolate, carrots, and bananas will all leave you feeling awake and energized.
If you need some extra motivation, create a desktop wallpaper that helps keep you motivated. This way, whenever you’re at your desk and ready to step away for a study snack, you’ll be reminded to go for the blueberries instead of the chocolate buttons.
Identify your learning style to help you to tailor your study technique for maximum productivity. Learning styles are often classified into three major categories: Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic or tactile.
In order to figure out what style works best for you, think about how you best like to absorb information.
Visual learners often enjoy having eye-catching study notes—drawing, mapping, or writing out notes visually to understand them.
Auditory learners prefer listening to other people explaining ideas or concepts in order to understand them.
Kinesthetic or tactile learners absorb information best by trying their hand at something and giving it their best shot.
Most of us fit into more than one category, and our learning styles vary depending on the subject or environment we are in. Finding a learning style that you think will work for you is a step to take early on when preparing to study.
Nothing will make your mind feel fuzzier than having a messy desk. Having a tidy desk space will help your brain feel less clogged and confused, so you can focus on your study.
Personalize your space to give it a few touches of inspiration. Having a plant on your desk can help your study space feel clean and fresh—research also shows that workspaces with plants are 15% more productive.
If you’re in need of some added inspiration, hang a vision board or mood board on the wall that depicts your dreams and goals for the future. Whenever you start to feel a little stressed or overwhelmed, take a deep breath and gain some motivation and inspiration from the board.
Tip: Keep your study environment far away from any loud noises, hallways, or places where your focus will be disrupted by people and sounds.
Deep focus is the key to effective study. But today, we have distractions all around us. We can watch TV, shop online, or check our social media notifications every ten seconds. And we’re trying to multitask and do it all at once.
This can be extremely difficult if you’re trying to focus on studying. Lucy Bodenham from the University of London says “studies show that when we check something our mind requires about 23 minutes of refocus time to get back on task.”
So take a moment every now and again to consider whether what you’re doing is an appropriate use of your study time and whether it’s really helping you concentrate on your studies.
But before you go offline, design a social media post for your dedicated followers. Let them know you’re going off the grid for a little while so that you can focus on your studies.
If your preferred learning style is a bit more visual, mind mapping is a study method you can get behind. It’s also a great way for your brain to link and create associations with important information visually.
Start by outlining your main subject, then branch out with every keyword, sub-topic, character, formula, important date, or piece of information you can think of.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about creating a mind-map. It doesn’t need to be a great work of art. Mind-maps are simply a non-linear method of note-taking.
Tip: Mind-maps are also a great ice-breaker activity for study groups. Dumping everyone’s ideas and knowledge down on one big piece of paper will give you a good starting point for the rest of your study session.
Sometimes studying can feel like an endless endeavor. Your brain can start to feel full, and there seems to be no foreseeable end to all the hard work. The best way to combat this and to stay positive is by setting goals and celebrations for when you achieve these goals.
One important aspect to goal setting is rewarding yourself when you achieve your goals. Often when setting goals without a reward, it can be difficult to find the incentive to push through.
Coupons are a great way to set yourself up for little treats or rewards. When you achieve a goal, take a coupon and claim its reward. Having your celebrations lined up so that you have something to look forward to will encourage you to smash your goals.
Make sure that your goals aren’t too easy, but also don’t set unachievable goals that will leave you feeling additionally stressed.
Tip: Set both general goals like “complete four hours of study each day” or “grasp a new concept”, and specific goals such as “write all my notes around subject X by Friday” to make the most of your study time.
Flashcards are an easy and affordable way to test your knowledge. Like mind maps, they help our brains make connections and associations between ideas. And the best part about flashcards is that they work for almost any subject. You can use them for mathematical problems, scientific formulae, or even associations with art and design.
You will find that the process of creating flashcards also serves as revision. When creating your own, aim to make them small enough that you can easily transport them, and clear enough so that you can revise at a fast pace.
Worksheets are a fun, digestible way to stay focused when you feel like you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours on end. You’ll also find that once you’ve graded your own work, it can be rewarding to see how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come. Don’t worry if you get things wrong, as this will help you start to assess the gaps in your knowledge.
Make sure that your worksheets cover only a small aspect of each subject at a time. If you try and include a semester’s worth of topics into one worksheet it could get easy to miss important details you’ll need to remember later.
Design tip: Make sure your worksheet is easy to navigate. Use text boxes and make sure you leave plenty of room for long answers.
A cheat sheet is a concise set of notes that you can use as a quick reference. When it comes to exam or test preparation, formatting all your notes into one cheat sheet is an excellent way to remember the little tidbits your brain can never seem to hold on to.
To make scanning easier, use bold headings, concise wording, and color code your topic or subject material. The idea is that while you are doing your worksheets or extensive reading, you can quickly look over at the cheat sheet as a reference to help you overcome any hurdles of confusion.
The process of taking on information and writing it in your own words will embed ideas in your memory and help you stay focused. Take notes as you do your wide reading. Or rework your notes by organizing or reordering them (this can help you make new connections between ideas).
If you’ve purchased a study guide, writing notes in your own words from the guide will help you with the general comprehension of the subject. Being able to paraphrase accurately requires some understanding of the original material. So if you can paraphrase your study guide or the information you’ve been reading, it will help you consolidate your knowledge.
Motivation is critical when trying to focus on your study. But unfortunately, it’s not something that can be bottled and mass produced. It requires effort. So, what can you do to tap into your motivation and stay focused? According to