Determining Your Design Principles and Sticking to Them

Sticking to Your Design Principles

Every professional graphics designer understands the importance of having strong design principles to define their work and establish their brands in the design world. The design world demands uniqueness, and you can’t come up with unique designs unless you have unique design principles which you follow with every design project you embark on. This is the only way to build your personal brand besides creating coherence and consistency across all your designs.

The process of discovering or creating your design principles might be challenging at the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it will be interesting and it might be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do for your design career. Listed here are certain principles to help you discover your design principles and how to stick to them so that you have your different methods of accomplishing your design tasks-:


The first step towards determining your design principles is to interrogate the relevance of every design project you work on. As a graphics designer, you should ask yourself why you are doing the designs you are doing in the manner that you are doing them. As you do this, you will start to realize or notice certain patterns you tend to lean towards and which you have adopted in most of your designs.

The answer to how appropriate your designs fit the needs of your clients will also reveal to you if you are a trend follower in which case most of your designs are based on fads. Basing your principles in fads may not be a bad thing so long as the design remain relevant and will be adaptive in the future should there be changes in the fad. Therefore, if you can define the appropriateness of your designs, then you shall have taken the first step in determining your design principles.

Understanding needs of the client

Adequacy of design will only come if you can determine the needs of your client. It is thus imperative that you take the time to understand what your clients really want for you to come up with the right designs that will solve their needs. Every designer has their unique methods which they follow to understand the needs of their clients.

For instance, some will assemble mood boards, make reference to past works, study the brand guidelines, or simply resort to researching more on the topic. Whichever method works best for you; you need to be aware of it so that you can consider it as one of your design principles to help you save time and make you more productive.

The Execution of Work

How you execute your work is another important element in determining your design principles. Many people usually think of craftsmanship simply as the style, but it goes beyond that and reflects directly on your knowledge and understanding of design. Every designer aims at attaining high levels of craftsmanship since, without beautiful designs, it will be very difficult to attract and retain customers. It is, therefore, important to have a conscious awareness of how you execute your projects and also master the kind of results you have been getting from them.

This will reveal to you a deeper realization on how you work as well as your levels of craftsmanship so that you can refine further your design principles for more proficiency. When considering how you execute your work in defining your design principles, you should think about all the work you do, how you do it and the tools you use in arriving at the final product.


Without passion, you will always have dismal results from your design endeavors. As part of your design principles, you need to determine just how passionate you are about the work and the particular things you do to ensure that you don’t lose your passion as a graphics designer. You should have a desire for constant progress and adaptability, and as your portfolio grows, you should be able to note improved quality of your previous works. Your passion for design will affect your style hence your design principles eventually.


Finally, the design principles you adopt must be unique. This should always be the case since each and every designer has a different approach to reaching solutions for the design challenges they encounter. As a graphic designer, it might take a while before you understand your unique style or position as far as graphics design is concerned, but as you continue to practice and be more proficient in the career, you will start to notice the uniqueness in your design principles. You can also try challenging yourself each time to come up with unique solutions and always operate away from your comfort zone.

Having a good understanding of your design principles will make it easy for you to avoid being complacent and always be on top of your game. Otherwise, design will just be routine for you and will never get any pleasure or achieve levels of mastery without solid design principles.

Check out these impressive logos that have just two colors


design principles

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