Design Tips

Images and Illustrations

Whenever you design, pick images that are appropriate for communicating to your audience in your particular context. Some principles to keep in mind:

Know your context: Remember that your visual materials are competing against companies advertising all kinds of products. While you might not be able to afford professional photography in every instance, it is important to at least be aware of what other items your materials will be compared against. Other people are already doing research about what works to attract attention. We do not need to reinvent the wheel every time.

Use realistic images: As much as possible, when using images of people, use images of real people in real situations. “Fake” situations can easily be recognized as fake, and can make your materials feel insincere.

Pay attention to contrast: When using text with images, think carefully about the texture and color of the image so that there is always enough contrast between the text and the image. If you are using text, it is because you want people to be able to read it. If contrast is a concern, try to move the text to another area, or consider using a background element.

Be conscious of color: When using images in a layout, white, dark, and neutral colors are usually safe colors for text, backgrounds, and the Sabbath column. If you are using a colorful palette, pay attention to how the images work (or don’t work) to compliment it. Images don’t always have to pair perfectly, but aim for this as much as possible.


When writing, use language that is appropriate for communicating to your audience in your particular context. Some principles to keep in mind:

Speak in the vernacular: If the people you are trying to reach don’t speak old English, then you probably shouldn’t use old-sounding words. If you’re writing for Adventists, maybe it’s okay to use Adventist jargon. Remember that the Bible was written in the common languages of its time, and even the revered King James English was what everyone was speaking at the time. While you might enjoy more traditional or friendly language, think about what works best for your audience.

Keep it concise: When writing copy for posters, web-ads, billboards, or any kind of public-facing materials, try not to be long-winded. Less isn’t always more, but when it comes to things people might only have a few seconds to glance at, it helps if you can communicate your message as quickly as possible.

Think about hierarchy: When preparing multiple types of information for a design, try to think about which items are more important than others, and write (and then design) accordingly. Is your entity name the most important or least important thing? Do you really need a title and a subtitle? If you have an event description and a Bible passage, what do you want people to think is most important? People may not always read everything you write, so make sure the most important information is clearly the most important.

Arrangement and Layout

The Creation Grid is a central component of the new identity system, and it is important to use the implied grid lines when designing materials. Using the grid will ensure order and consistency. Whether you expose the grid or keep it subtle, here are some principles to keep in mind:

Always use gutters for text: The Creation Grid separates the layout into edge-to-edge columns, so when splitting text across columns, make sure to add some padding, or gutters. There are a few options for how to do this, which can be seen below and are included as alternates in the templates.

Gutters for images are optional: When using images or layout blocks, it isn’t necessary to use gutters, but it can be helpful to break image-heavy layouts. Determine your usage as based on your layout and image options.


When using colors, here are some principles to keep in mind:

Pick a base: An easy way to ensure visual harmony is to have a dominant color that is stronger, either in brightness or usage, and build the other colors around it.

Aim for contrast: In color theory, value refers to the lightness of a particular color. Yellow has a higher value than blue, whereas green and blue are similar in value. When using colors next to or on top of each other, similar-value colors can cause an uncomfortable visual vibration. In some instances, using low-contrast colors can create a pleasing, calming effect. Whatever you do, try to ensure it doesn’t cause a viewer trouble in understanding the content.