In our blog title What is … Graphic Design, we talked about how graphic design:

  • Has a specific function;
  • Should convey a clear message that is easy to read; and
  • Should be attractive to the eye.

But how do you know if your company’s graphic design accomplishes what it should?

A few questions

Take a look at your printed materials and at your website and ask yourself if your graphic design has these elements:

Is it easy to read? 

There’s a lot that goes in to making a website or printed material easy to read.

What about your fonts? Studies show that serif fonts are easier to read in print materials and sans serif is easier to read for websites. The idea is that serif fonts (the ones with the small projecting features on the edges of the letters) help guide the reader’s eyes towards the next word but that serifs can be more difficult to read on some browsers.

This funny graphic has been passed around Facebook but it’s more than just humor. See the part where the “shot” is taken out? That’s the serif in a serif font. This photo is courtesy of Flickr user SocialIsBetter

These examples of sans serif fonts (literally means without serif) are from Flickr user FontShop

The rule of thumb here really should be, can the piece be read without struggle or do the reader’s eyes have to adjust, even for a few seconds, before they can try to figure out what you’re saying?

Is it cluttered? 

We know you want to maximize your space, but maximizing doesn’t mean use all of it. White space (parts of the design where there is nothing there except perhaps background color) can be your friend because it strategically separates different components of the page, allowing you to draw attention to specific features.


An overly cluttered page will:

a) Hide your message and

b) Overwhelm your reader, and they won’t even try to sort out what you’re saying.

Does it fit your target audience and message? 

We alluded to this concept in our previous blog about graphic design, but how well does your graphic design fit your target audience? You can’t please everyone, but if you have printed material that isn’t interesting to your target audience, they won’t read it. If you have a wide ranging target audience, it might be beneficial to have multiple kinds of printed material so that you can reach multiple demographics.


Does it have correct spelling and grammar? 

One would think this is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of mistakes that show up on websites or in printed materials because they obviously weren’t checked. We at The Belford Group have someone check each piece for grammar and spelling before sending it to the printer or launching a website.

Definitely a good idea for your graphic design projects to be checked for spelling and grammar before being printed! This photo is courtesy of Flickr user Jason Rosenburg

Where do your eyes go? 

The average reader in most languages (including English) reads from left to right. Our brains and eyes are trained to do this. When it comes to graphic design, studies show that the eyes go from the top left corner and end at the bottom right corner, which means that bottom right corner is the last thing the reader sees.

Use these simple questions to determine effectiveness:

–         What is in your upper left corner? Does it grab the audience and invite people to read more?

–         What message are they being given at the bottom right corner as they leave the page?


Does it fit your branding

Good branding stretches across all communication mediums including printed pieces, website, social media, signage, etc.

–         Does your latest graphic design effort fit your branding?

–         Are you using your most recent logo and design across all platforms? In other words, does everything match?


Need help? 

The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget …and any medium.

Call us. We’d love to hear from you.