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How to Stay on Top of Design as You Head into 2021

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Today, everything is communicated visually.

From the way we interact with our friends online, to the way that your brand expresses itself–design is a key part of all aspects of life. Whether you are a seasoned designer or just looking to dabble in design (due to lack of resources), these tips can help you optimize your design work this year.

Take Advantage of Free Tools

There are many free tools available to help produce creative work for your business.

Canva is a free design platform that allows you to create high-quality designs for social media, business cards, infographics, custom Zoom backgrounds and everything in between.

We created this video tutorial showing how Canva can be used to create content for social media. Take a look and see just how easy it is! 

When it comes to photo content, we always recommend using your own photo assets whenever possible. Using your own images adds to the authenticity and legitimacy of your brand, and makes you appear more professional. In today's world, obtaining photo assets isn’t difficult or expensive, either. Images for social media can easily be captured on a cell phone by someone with little experience. 

However, if photo assets have become hard to attain recently, there are a number of great free photo sites out there. Sites such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels can provide you with high-quality stock images of practically any subject. These tools can be useful, but make sure that you use them cautiously. 

Just a note: When using copyright-free images, try to avoid images that look corny, and make sure that you are choosing an image with a clear purpose in mind. 

Just Google It!

If you’re just starting out, learning design doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. They say that you can learn anything online today, which holds true for graphic design and other forms of creative work. Websites such as Lynda.com are great ways to learn design online. But if you’re just getting started don’t feel like you need to look past Youtube. With time and practice, you can learn everything you need to know on Youtube.

Online tutorials aren’t just for beginners, either. Today online tutorials cater to all including the most seasoned designers. Look for tutorials that are recent and have the most views, as these will likely be the most useful. 

 

Keep Up With the Trends

Design trends are always changing, and in order for your work to stay engaging and effective, it is important to understand recent trends. Here are three current design trends to be aware of:

  1. In the last few years, minimalistic design has taken over. Lots of companies have shifted away from the designs that built their brand and turned towards very simple designs.
    See how Warner Brothers used minimalistic design to redesign their classic shield logo. 

  2. Simplified illustrations are not only a Drive favorite but are becoming a trend nation-wide. Illustrations can tell a story, sometimes better than photos can, and this makes them a valuable means of conveying emotion in design. They are also fun and versatile and can be used to spice up any creative project. 
    See how Slack uses simplified illustrations to energize their look.

  3. Typography is a simple yet powerful design tool. Playing with text and utilizing different font styles, widths and weights allows you to deliver a strong message and even create images and shapes entirely out of text. Effective typography is simple to understand and gets your point across. Adding animation to typography is also an effective way to create visually stimulating designs. 
    See some examples of bold typography in 2020. 

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