If you’re a great visual designer, there are still a lot of interesting tips and tricks that could help you improve your artistic products. Whether you’re designing a website page or an advertising leaflet, knowing how to use the right colors or the most appropriate font can make a huge difference between a catchy and a boring result.

Although you surely have your “arsenal” of knowledge and tricks that you use to make your own customized designs look professional, keep reading this guide to find a few fresh ideas. We collected some tips from the pros to help you improve your results even further.

1. Focus on your Point of Interest

Also known as “focal point”, the point of interest is the place where you want your customer to focus on. It’s a defined zone of your design where the user’s eye will instinctively land, regardless of the colors or the images you chosen.

Widely studied by expert photographers, the focal point is measured by the so-called “Rule of Thirds.” A sort of natural “magic” law that is connected with how our brains are wired, this rule follows a precise pattern described by our eyes when we look at things.

This point is usually determined by drawing a grid that is usually found in most camera phones or graphic templates. It will help you catch your user’s attention on a specific place, while making all the other details less conspicuous. Knowing how to use it adequately is critical to avoid attracting unwanted attention to secondary or non-relevant details.

2. Use a template software

Even if you’re the best graphic artist in the world, there’s nothing wrong in using a template software. Pre-made templates can bring you a wealth of new ideas and suggestions. They will make your life much easier, especially when you just need to fix or repurpose a page with a detail that you don’t want to spend too much time on.

You can complete side projects in seconds and find templates made for Facebook, Twitter on Instagram. The most modern services such as Easil include many stylish industry-specific designs made by professionals, so you can quickly jump in with the current trends.

3. Choose the right text effects

Few things look worse or more distracting that a bad text effect. Terrible drop shadows and other shady text-effects are commonly found in many visuals, and instead of increasing the readability of the image, they simply detract from the overall design.

Using a subtle shadow effect can add fullness to a text, making it look more three-dimensional and more visible against a complex background. However, it must match the colors and the tone of the picture as a whole to avoid looking tacky and cheap. Contrasting colors or overdone glows can seriously look horrible.

First, and foremost, keep attention at how it is rendered, or instead of lifting the text, you will make it look cheesy. Keep an eye on opacity, especially with text on lighter color backgrounds that requires less of it. Finally don’t blur everything. The user still needs to read the text clearly, doesn’t he?

4. Balance is Everything

Every element of your final design must be balanced. Too much of any given element, and your product will look cheesy and excessive. For example, if you add too many shadows, the picture may look so dark that many will simply miss out many details. On the other hand, if you add too many colors, everything will look too bright and will make you want to turn your eyes away.

Keeping a composition balanced means keeping viewers engaged with every part of it. Even space, or the “empty” zones are critical, as not balancing them means making everything become cluttered and confusing. It’s much better to add more spaces rather than to clump everything together. Don’t worry, colors will help you make it look less empty than it seems.

Symmetries and alignment are part of balance, as if something is misaligned it will quickly become uncomfortable to look at. Weighing elements symmetrically or asymmetrically around the focal point requires carefulness to avoid the image becoming too busy.

Did you ever gave enough thought about the elements we just spoke about? These useful tips can help you wrap your head around the most difficult project, and improve your skills as a visual designer, even if by just a little bit.