5 ways to stop your designs from looking the same

As a designer, it’s easy to get stuck in a creative rut. You can find yourself creating the same designs again and again without even realizing it. This can be an issue because your clients will expect something fresh and unique, and you don’t want to risk losing them. If this sounds like a problem you encounter often, then I have some solutions for you! Read on to learn 5 ways to stop your designs from looking the same, so that you can surprise and delight your customers every time.

Principles of design

Understand the principles of design

If you find yourself stuck in a design rut, it might be time to take a step back and review the principles of design. By understanding and applying the principles of design, you can break out of your comfort zone and create fresh, new designs that are both unique and effective.

The principles of design are the building blocks of any good design. They include balance, contrast, hierarchy, repetition, and unity. When used right, these principles can help you make beautiful visual compositions that get your message across.

Balance is the distribution of visual weight within a composition. It’s important that your designs have a sense of balance so they don’t look “lopsided” or off-kilter. One way to achieve balance is to use symmetry, which creates a sense of stability and orderliness. Asymmetrical balance is another option that can add interest and movement to a composition.

Contrast is the use of dissimilar elements to create visual interest. High-contrast designs are eye-catching and can be used to attract attention to important information. However, too much contrast can be overwhelming, so it’s important to find a balance that works for your particular design.

Hierarchy is putting things in a composition in order of how important they are. Using hierarchy in your designs helps viewers understand what is most important and what they should focus on first. You can establish hierarchy through the use of size, colour, spacing.

Find your own style

When it comes to design, one of the worst things you can do is fall into a rut and start repeating the same designs over and over again. Not only does this make your work look boring and stagnant, but it can also lead to creative burnout. So how do you make sure your designs always look fresh? Here are a few tips:

1. Find your own style: It’s important to find a design style that suits you and stick with it. This doesn’t mean you have to be pigeonholed into one particular style, but having a signature look will help your work stand out from the rest.

2. Experiment with new techniques: Even if you think you’ve found your perfect design style, it’s important to keep experimenting with new techniques and ideas. This will not only help keep your work looking fresh, but it will also help you evolve as a designer.

3. Take inspiration from others: A great way to come up with fresh ideas is to take inspiration from other designers and artists. But don’t just copy their work – use it as a starting point for something new and unique.

4. Get feedback from others: Another great way to ensure your designs always look fresh is to get feedback from friends, family, or fellow designers. They may see things that you’re blind to, and their input can help you improve your work exponentially.

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Develop a process

When it comes to design, the process is everything. Without a solid process in place, it’s all too easy for your designs to start looking the same. That’s why it’s so important to develop a process that you can use on every project, no matter what the brief may be.

Here are a few ways to stop your designs from looking the same:

1. Develop a process: Having a set process that you follow on every project will help to keep your designs fresh and unique. Make sure to document your process so that you can refer back to it whenever you need some inspiration.

2. Experiment with new techniques: Trying out new design techniques is a great way to keep your work interesting. Push yourself to try something new on every project, even if it’s just a small change.

3. Take on different types of projects: Challenging yourself with different types of projects will also help to keep your work varied and interesting. Designing for different industries or target audiences will help you flex your creative muscles and come up with truly original solutions.

4. Get feedback from others: Getting feedback from other designers, clients, or even friends and family can give you some valuable insights into how your work is perceived. Use this feedback to make necessary changes and improve your designs.

5. Take some time off: Sometimes the best way to refresh your creativity is to take some time away from design altogether. Go on vacation, take up a new hobby, or just spend some time away from the computer. Doing something completely unrelated to design can help you come back with fresh ideas and perspectives.

Developing a process that works for you will help keep your designs fresh and exciting. Experiment, get feedback, and take some time off every once in a while to stay inspired. Good luck!

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Take inspiration from other designers

When it comes to design, inspiration is key. Without it, your work will suffer. There are a number of ways to find inspiration for your work, but one of the best ways is to take inspiration from other designers.

Looking at what other designers are doing can give you a fresh perspective on your own work. It can also help you see things that you may have missed before. When taking inspiration from other designers, be sure to keep your own style in mind. You don’t want to copy someone else’s work, but rather use it as a starting point for your own.

Get feedback from others

When you’ve been designing for a while, it’s easy to fall into a design rut and end up with a portfolio that looks the same. One way to combat this is to get feedback from others.

Other designers can give you an objective perspective on your work and point out areas that may need improvement. Additionally, clients or potential employers can provide feedback on what they’re looking for in a designer. By incorporating this feedback into your designs, you can help ensure that your work stands out from the rest.

Stay up-to-date on trends

Designers have to constantly stay up-to-date on trends in order to keep their work looking fresh. Trends come and go, so it’s important to pay attention to the latest design trends and see how they can be applied to your work. This could mean experimenting with a new colour palette or trying out a different layout style.

By being aware of trends and incorporating them into your designs, you can ensure that your work always looks modern and up-to-date.

Babajide Olowookere is a senior graphic designer at Big Ambitions, which is South Africa’s top content marketing company.

4 things you should consider giving up in 2023

If you’re like most people, the first quarter of the year is a time when you resolve to make changes in your life. You may have decided to lose weight, quit smoking, or save money. But what if you took a different approach and decided to give up something that was holding you back?

Here are some things you should consider giving up in the first quarter of 2023:

1. Giving up negative thinking: One of the biggest obstacles to success is negative thinking. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to start by changing your mindset. Resolve to give up negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

2. Giving up comparisons: Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to sabotage your happiness. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your journey and celebrate your accomplishments.

3. Giving up self-doubt: self-doubt is another major obstacle to success. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to believe in yourself. resolve to give up self-doubt and replace it with confidence.

4. Giving up procrastination: procrastination is a habit that can prevent you from achieving your goals. If you want to be successful, you need to learn to take action and not put things off until later. Resolve to give up procrastination and start taking action today.

To make the first quarter of 2023 your best yet, it is important, to be honest with yourself and identify whether you should give up. Whether it’s procrastination, bad habits, unhealthy relationships, or a lack of self-care – start the year off right by taking steps toward growth and development.

Take stock of what areas in your life need improvement and strive towards making incremental changes that will lead to big impacts over time. With dedication and drive, you can turn New Year’s resolutions into long-lasting habit changes that will create positive ripple effects for years to come!

Babajide Olowookere is a senior graphic designer with Big Ambitions, a leading content marketing company in South Africa.

Get creative with Social Media in 2023

Social media has become integrated into people’s everyday lives, and as a result, increasingly more companies are turning to it as a marketing channel to reach more target audiences, expand their customer base and connect with various generations.

According to research by Global WebIndex, highlighted by digital marketing platform SmartInsights, “59% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 29 minutes (July 2022)”. A wealth of new opportunities exist for employing social media in a variety of contexts, such as in the production of films, customer support, and social listening, followed by analysis to obtain insights and act on them.

In today’s world of digital overstimulation, it is essential for businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition by staying on top of the latest trends in social media and marketing. 

These are the trends to keep an eye on in 2023:

1. TikTok will become even more popular

UK consumer insights company GWI’s latest social media report reveals that the impressive growth of TikTok is continuing. Since 2020, the number of monthly users has increased by 32%. Despite it seemingly aimed at the younger generation, baby boomers and Generation X are the user segments growing the most. Older users in general are playing a role in the continued growth of TikTok, and the appeal of this social media platform shows no sign of waning.

TikTok is useful for businesses that want to sell their products or services via short films, which are popular among the younger generation. The social media platform is currently expanding by offering tools for company profiles and advertisements.

2. The use of short-form videos will increase

GWI notes that short-form content is more popular than long-form across all age groups. While “bite-sized” films may have begun with TikTok, several social media platforms now provide this option. Reels have been around for a while, and their popularity is also growing. Since 2020, there has been a 20% rise among Instagram users. Short videos can be made quickly and have that less polished, more natural content that users like to see.


3. Focus on marketing in the metaverse

According to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “It is really the creators and developers who are going to build the metaverse and make this real”.

70% of internet users have heard the word, but 53% don’t know what it implies. Brands seeking a first-mover advantage can benefit from GWI’s metaverse insights. The impact of the metaverse on content development and marketing also shouldn’t be overlooked. Marketers however may need to come up with new ways to measure engagement that take into account the different behavioural economics at play.

4. The improved use of social media platforms

Some people want to reduce the amount of time they spend on social media, like Generation Z for instance, which is also using Instagram and Facebook less but is still on TikTok. The 16- to 24-year-olds are on social media platforms for around three hours each day. Businesses need to reach customers where they are to ensure the greatest impact of their sales and marketing efforts and increasing their investment in this space is worthwhile.

Connecting remains at the heart of social media and businesses adapting their social media strategies to harness the latest trends, like social listening and short videos, will be able to stand out from the competition. They will also encourage users to stay online for longer durations and boost engagement with their brands.  

Babajide Olowookere is the Design Lead with Big Ambitions, a leading content marketing company in South Africa.