Many of us who are in the marketing world aren’t graphic designers, but often find ourselves creating banners, social images, and other graphics. If design isn’t your thing, but you find yourself doing it anyway, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Don’t go crazy with fonts

Keep it simple. Limit yourself to two or three fonts. Don’t be obnoxious with excess bolding, underlining, or bright colors. Stick to professional-looking fonts in a simple serif or sans serif style that matches the vibe of your brand. Do not, under any circumstances use cliché fonts such as Papyrus, Comic Sans, or Times New Roman if you want to be taken seriously.

2. Pay attention to your color palette

Pick two or three colors for your brand theme and use them consistently in your logo and messaging. That way, your supporters will come to recognize your communications, and your brand will have a uniform presentation across all platforms. Also, don’t use clashing colors in images and fonts; incorporate the basic art concepts of complementary and analogous colors.

3. Keep it clean

Utilize white space to emphasize important themes. Instead of overwhelming viewers with text, pick a few key themes and keep them short and concise. Don’t use overly fancy/illegible fonts – if they can’t be easily read, your customers may not read them at all. You don’t want your message to get lost in the noise.

4. Placement matters

Use placement and size to emphasize the hierarchy of items. Make sure objects are even and sized correctly. Few things look more unprofessional than improperly aligned elements in a design. Even if viewers aren’t measuring every distance, they can often tell when something is off.

5. Be a grammar nazi

Though many people demonstrate an utter disregard for the rules of the English language nowadays, making simple grammar and punctuation mistakes looks ignorant and unprofessional. Knowing the difference between your and you’re and colons and semicolons goes a long way.