Ten Principles of Communication Design

On World Communication Design Day, we bring you the ten principles of communication design we work by.


Read and follow instructions carefully. Nothing frustrates a client faster than wasting time providing instructions that are ignored and having to repeat them. Make sure you understand them upfront, complete the work and check the instructions again to confirm that you complied.

Follow instructions


Observe deadlines. Your designs will be viewed less positively, and possibly not at all, if they are late.

Watch the clock


Have a professional attitude. Always be courteous and respectful—regardless of the title or role of the people you encounter.
Be professional


Communicate well. Design is about delivering a message to an audience. Don’t lose sight of this when working on projects. If a design is attractive but doesn’t say anything or otherwise achieve the objective, it is unsuccessful.
Communicate well


Display versatility and flexibility. Be open to the opportunity to do something new, whether that means creating a product, using a tool or working in a format you haven’t used before. And if you get a suggestion, trying it only means you will broaden your perspective.

Be flexible and versatile


Take criticism. You can’t improve unless you solicit, listen and react to criticism. You may not always agree, but you will still learn something from all feedback that will make you better at designing and working with others.

Take criticism


Learn continuously. Every day is an opportunity to expand your skills and perspective. Take advantage of formal training classes, read books, explore websites, read blogs and other online resources, and tap the experience of your colleagues.

Learn continuously


Be passionate about design. Observe it everywhere you go and everywhere you look. Get inspiration from your commute to work, a display in a store and the fashionable crowd at a party.

Get inspired


Approach projects with imagination. Rather than finding the fastest and easiest way to solve a design challenge, do the unexpected. Instead of thinking, “these are the colors used by the industry,” or “logos should always be handled this way,” break the rules now and then.

Use your imagination


Know what rules to break. All professionals learn the basics first. Once you have experience and understand the specific parameters of a job, you can try new things and color outside the lines.

Break the rules

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

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