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Seven Creative Web Design Tips for Non-Designers - gist

It can be a fine line between creative web design and going completely overboard. Your website doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles to be compelling and engaging. 

But I do know that urge we all get to spice up your online home a bit.

Think of this post as a list of ways to add some creative finishing touches to your site – like adding in that last art print on your gallery wall or picking the perfect couch pillow.

Below are 7 easy ways anyone can boost their website’s creativity without a fancy design degree (or wasting a bunch of hours).

No.1: Play With Fonts 

One of the first ways to easily get creative is to play with fonts. The general rule of thumb is to have 2-3 fonts on your website at one time.

This helps keep things clean, uniform and can help establish a hierarchy in your design.

An easy way to boost your website creativity is to use a decorative font for emphasis or creative flair:

A lot of time you’ll see this done with script fonts. Using a script font for an entire body paragraph is super hard to read, but when used sparingly at a larger font size it can draw the eye and really add emphasis to the word.

You would generally take your bolder or slightly more decorative font and use it as your H1 or Title/Heading font (for Showit Users this is your H1/H2 respectively).

Then use a font that’s much easier to read as your body or paragraph font.

For a lot of people, the H1, H2, and body fonts are all same font but used with at different sizes or weights (think how thick or bold the letters are). Using the same font will automatically keep everything cohesive if you choose the right font family to stick too. 

Check out the examples below and how a decorative font was used to draw your eye to important text.

Give it some color

In addition to easily changing the color for certain words or headings on your site, you can even add little backgrounds or colorful underlines to them to add emphasis:

No. 2: Use Icons to Illustrate a Point

Creative web design isn’t always about colors and typography – finding strategic ways to use icons and images to show instead of tell is a powerful tool.

Use icons to help illustrate your point and to add some fun to the page. I’ve been incorporating more and more icons to my template shop; more specifically with the hopes that it catches the eye of the people that like to skim to the features of the Showit templates.

Showit website using icons to illustrate a point

Here are two more examples from Gusto and Aera on strategically using icons:

Gusto payroll homepage

I love how Aera uses icons on their product page to help visually illustrate the features of each product:

Aera Oil Diffuser icon
https://www.aeraforhome.com/

No. 3: Using photo collages:

I’m a huge fan of e-commerce web design so this tip is one of my favorites.

Instead of having a sliding gallery or one static image, why not showcase a few images related (whether in style or subject matter) in some sort of collage?

Check out this example from Cure and that does it reallyyy well:

cure skincare brand
https://curenails.co/

Their photo choices nails their core values of promoting wellness in a modern and feminine way.

No. 4: Overlapping shapes and text

I love overlapping shapes, text and images to create an engaging layout easily.

It gives the content a more modern feel and can be used to really make certain images pop or sections of text stand out.

Below is example of overlapping colors, shapes, images and text from Talentful, a talent agency, and A Constellation, a lifestyle and fashion blog.

No.5: Adding some decorative elements and patterns:

If you have any symbols or graphic elements in your branding, strategically (or randomly) placing them throughout your website incorporates your branding and will easily boost your website creativity. 

https://www.onceuponatimemag.com/table-of-content

And patterns look amazing as the background to some call to action sections or anywhere you want to add some texture to the page.

cure skincare brand
https://curenails.co/

The way that the above examples use their decorative elements and shapes really add a playfulness and lighthearted feel. 

No.6: break up large blocks of text

No one likes to do a lot of reading on the internet (crazy I know) and they for sure don’t want to stare at a big block of text. Break that text up (logically) and find different ways to arrange the paragraphs on that page:

Junction Moama
http://junctionmoama.com.au/

Where to find creative web design inspiration:

While most of my designs come from me  just playing around and letting the design carry me, I do gather inspiration from some physical places. 

Search for things like “modern web design” on Pinterest, or simply hop on Typewolf (a curated website related to typography). 

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Seven Creative Web Design Tips for Non-Designers

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