Contrast and Proportion
When creating a print design or brochure design, one goal I have in mind is to create contrast, usually by creating a balance of light and dark, and also by using varying sizes of text or shapes, bright or subdued color, and texture.
Wonderful vector textures that can be easily manipulated to suit your style are available on-line from image resources. Or, you can create your own. Incorporating a vector background can be a great way to get inspired when starting a design.
A rich pantone spot color can have the same effect, or a dramatic photograph that stands out against a soft background (taken by one of DDA’s photographers, of course!). A background with good contrast and proportion helps make the whole piece “pop.”
If I feel like my design is a bit bland, this is the one of the first qualities I look for. Sometimes adjusting the contrast is all that the design needs to add drama and interest!