Let me guess, you’re not a professional designer, and yet you’ve been left with the job of designing an invitation or a poster for an event. You don’t know anything about design, and yet everyone is looking to you to deliver a document that epitomises your company’s ethos and professionalism. Time to panic. But wait, you have a world of knowledge just a few clicks away, so don’t despair.

This article offers tips signposts you towards tools that will make your life easier. Soon people will think you are a pro… Little do they know. Don’t worry, we won’t say anything.

BOLD TIP 1: Forget Photoshop

  • Photoshop is great, if you are a designer and can pay a monthly subscription. Otherwise stick with a free design tool such as Canva or Snappa. Believe me, it’s much simpler.
  • Use a free template within Canva or Snappa to start your design off, then customise it to fit your brand identity.

BOLD TIP 2: Start with your brand colours

  • Consistency across all your marketing materials is essential so make sure you know your brand colours.
  • The easiest way to find the hex codes for your company’s colourways is to download a browser extension called Colorzilla. This lets you click on an area of a website and then copies the hex code to your clipboard.

BOLD TIP 3: Progress to other colours that match your own

  • Adobe Color lets you input any hex code and then generates various colour schemes based on it.
  • If you want to identify a colour scheme within an image try – Just insert the image link into the app, and you can find out all the hex codes, which you can then export.

BOLD TIP 4: Pair your fonts stylishly

  • The worst part of any non-pro design is often the font selection. It’s so hard to match fonts without help from the web.
  • Use two to three fonts, no more.
  • If you don’t have a brand font, try Canva Font Combinations for suggestions on great font pairings.
  • If you have a font in mind already, search for it on, which will offer examples of other fonts that go well with it.
  • If you see a photo you love and want a similar font, use Font Spring’s Matcherator tool. Simply upload the image, highlight a small sample of text and Matcherator will give you ideas for similar fonts. .

BOLD TIP 5: Choose classy photos

  • Use high resolution images in all your designs so they can be viewed on larger screen sizes without becoming pixelated.
  • Be careful to ensure when overlaying your image with text that it is readable and doesn’t clash with the background.
  • Don’t be afraid to use filters on a photograph to give your images a brand style.
  • Likewise, feel free to play with the transparency/opacity of an image if it’s part of your background.

BOLD TIP 6: Don’t dis your logo

  • If you are not allowed to display a logo in a different colour, stretched or on an angle, go with what the book says.
  • Use a .png file with a transparent background. This stops those horrible looking white square backgrounds you sometimes see covering a photo.

BOLD TIP 7: Give the design space

  • Compositions can easily look cluttered if you don’t include areas of, well, nothing around your busy elements. Give a few pixels of negative space between images and type.