So. You aren’t a professional designer. Yet you were still asked to design something. You’re honored – no doubt – but things like white space, alignment and pixels have you way outside your comfort zone. Is there a way that you can pull off a great design without looking like a rookie? You’re in luck, because many of the cardinal rules of design are easy to learn and understand.

To help you create a beautiful, cohesive design that doesn’t look like a beginner’s project, here are six tips to follow.

1. Limit Your Typefaces

Typefaces are fun to play around with, especially when you’re new to them and find a handful that you love. But, the eyes find it difficult to scan content with multiple typefaces. Stick to a simple collection of fonts and limit them to just a couple – one for your subtitles and one for your body text.

2. Choose Color Carefully

Colors, like typefaces, are fun to experiment with. Don’t go overboard, though, as this can make your design messy, unprofessional and hard to follow. Choose a color scheme that has 1-3 primary colors and 1-3 secondary colors. The colors should contrast and complement each other. Some brands use different tones of the same color to pull off this look.

3. Strive for Simplicity

One rookie design mistake is to overcomplicate the design. Usually, non-designers do this because they have so much to say and aren’t sure how to say it. However, a busy design confuses people. Instead, opt for simplicity in its finest forms, such as limiting the number of fonts and colors, using contrasting colors and applying a solid frame. Most importantly, make sure every element has a reason to be there.

4. Use White Space

White space isn’t literally white space – though it can be. Think of it as space that improves the user experience and allows your design to breathe. Leave space around your text boxes, images and other graphic elements so that they can be easily read. This prevents people from getting overloaded with elements and not sure what to do next.

5. Use Hierarchy to Share Your Message

Chances are, some information on your design is more important than others. Hierarchy allows you to order your content so that people know what to read first. Test your design to make sure the right elements are grabbing your audience’s attention. For example, you can make features more dominant by using bold colors and larger font.

6. Align Your Images

Images should be placed strategically on your design project, especially if you are using them for storytelling purposes. Each photo should have a clear purpose and support your overall message. As you choose the right images for your design, use a grid or frame to keep them aligned. Otherwise, they might look messy and cluttered.

Design can get technical, but don’t be afraid to try. Follow these six crucial tips and you’ll be able to create a beautiful design that looks like it came from the pros!