Design Sprint 3 of 4: 10 Tips for Great Digital Design | MP 80

On this marketing podcast, Sam Carvalho talks about 10 tips for great digital design.

Why should you stick to a small color scheme in your digital designs? How do you use hierarchy to order your digital content? What benefits are there to using white space in your design?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho gives 10 Tips for Great Digital Design.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on The Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

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For the entire month of September, they’ll be teaming up with the top brands, consultants, and coaches in the mental health industry to provide you with the best advice, tools, content, podcasts, and giveaways; all centered around one main theme – helping you grow your practice and make more money.

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In This Podcast

  1. Limit your typefaces
  2. Use a small color scheme
  3. Create clean, crisp, and clear imagery
  4. Keep your designs simple
  5. Use hierarchy to order your content
  6. Use white space
  7. Use cohesive design elements
  8. Make good use of spacing
  9. Know the dimensions you need beforehand
  10. Know what type of file you need when downloading

1. Limit your typefaces

When selecting a typeface or font for headings, subtitles, and body text, use easy-to-read fonts for simple and effective graphic design. The eye finds it hard to scan multiple typefaces, so stick to a simple collection of fonts.

You could create visual uniformity by applying one typeface or font family to the text. Use a typeface or font family that has a selection of variants, such as italic, bold, condensed, and so forth to keep options open.

Pay attention to how the fonts inform the mood of your design. Typefaces with rounded edges are usually friendlier, while hard-edged geometric fonts are solid, and serifs convey an elegant and sophisticated look.

2. Use a small color scheme

Choose a color scheme that has 1-3 primary colors and an additional 1-3 secondary colors that contrast and complement each other.

Use different tones of the same color for consistency by adjusting brightness for contrast. Finer typefaces will need stronger distinction against a colored background.

3. Create clean, crisp, and clear imagery

Pump up contrast by adjusting the brightness of the background image so that it offsets the text color, making the design clear and easy to read.

You could also include a transparent black/white shape over the image, but under the text, to enhance the contrast. This is a great way to apply white or black text over an image to create a strong ‘cut-out’ effect.

4. Keep your designs simple

Keep it simple but don’t forget your basics. Make sure every element has a reason to be in the design and keep the number of fonts, colors, shapes, and frames to a minimum. (Sam Carvalho)

Use contrasting tonal color combinations so that your text is sharp and easy to read.

Apply a solid frame to contain your copy because it will also enhance the compositional structure of your design.

5. Use hierarchy to order your content

The most visually dominant feature in a design should be the most important part of the message.

Apply color or scale to a graphic to see how it changes the hierarchy of elements and what grabs the attention first.

6. Use white space

Create a fluid design by surrounding words with white space to let elements breathe.

The application of space around text boxes, images, and other graphic elements makes a design easier to read. It’s also more likely to attract attention than a cluttered composition.

7. Use cohesive design elements

When you add design elements to your project, they must have a cohesive style between them. This applies to all graphic elements, from icons to illustrations, and even font styles. For example, use all-line icons instead of a mix of line and 3D. (Sam Carvalho)

Mix squares with rounded corners with other curved elements. Straight-angled shapes with straight lines.

Alternatively, break the rules and mix curves with straight lines, as long as you keep a cohesive texture and color palette.

8. Make good use of spacing

Good spacing is one of the most important tools when it comes to creating a balanced composition. You find spaces in:

  • margins
  • between shapes
  • paragraphs
  • lines
  • words
  • between letters

Space is essentially white space, as we mentioned above. The difference is that in this case, it acts as a rule to help you align elements, keep them balanced, and complement each other.

9. Know the dimensions you need beforehand

Never start a project without knowing exactly what size it needs to be. Even though you can change the size later, you’ll have to readjust everything to fit into the new size. (Sam Carvalho)

Dimensions are measured in two ways:

  1. The length and width in pixels
  2. The aspect ratio

Both of these aspects are important to know when designing. The aspect ratio is the relationship of the size to the width of a design, it can have different numerical values, but will always have the same shape.

10. Know what type of file you need when downloading

Similar to how you need to know the size of your graphics beforehand, you also need to know the type of file to download when you have finished your work.

For example, do you need a JPG for a web image or a PNG for a cut-out design with a transparent background?
Analyze what you will need before you start so you can design accordingly. Afterward, download what you need plus any other options that you may also need.

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Sam Carvalho

A photo of Samantha Carvalho is captured. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Designer at Practice of the Practice. She is the host of the Marketing A Practice Podcast and helps therapists successfully market and brand their private practices.Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to

Thanks For Listening!

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