Image by Tala Safié

Ever wanted your design to stand out from the crowd? Here are our top tips for even the most unimaginative creator—and if you’re reading this, that may well be you. Let’s get your work popping off the page!

1. Wow, That Yellow Is Really Bright

A judiciously chosen yellow screams “I’m frisky and risky,” and “I will be difficult to look at for those with visual stress.” The bold hue of iconic brands such as Snapchat, McDonald’s, and Lil Lester’s Cheese Farm will serve you well: just don’t stray into gold or green. Your yellow must be painfully bright to make its mark. You can’t look… but you can’t look away.

2. The Art of Beige

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, maybe lots of loud colors will help my work stand out,” then you can bet your sweet ass your competitors are thinking the same. The answer? Create something incredibly boring. Experiment with type that’s the same color as the background; kinetic typography where the full stops rotate and nothing else moves; entirely beige frames with nothing in them. “Ugly but weirdly memorable” is your new aesthetic.

3. Be There to Explain It

The trouble with so much great design is there’s no one there to explain what it means to the average Joe. There’s an easy fix: make sure that wherever your design is shown, you’re there to elucidate. Is it at a gallery? Show up and give a guided tour to visitors. In a magazine? Visit every subscriber at home. You’re welcome!

4. Bigger Is Better

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Mona Lisa is disappointing in person. Why? Because it’s so small. Any artist worth their paycheck knows that the punters want a heaving, gargantuan monster of an artwork. The human eye can only take in so much, so overwhelm it to the point of “What is this? It must be genius.” Succeed where da Vinci failed: make it bigger.

5) Outspiration

Work only inspired by other designers is dull. What about looking to The Matrix? Or Titanic? Ever heard of a little dance called the Macarena? When you get a design brief, consider asking, “Would this work as a feature-length movie? No? What about an Instagram filter?” Your work will stand out simply by dint of using a medium you know absolutely nothing about. The sky’s the limit.