Not all clients come to me looking for brand new designs. Often I’m asked to redesign existing pieces of marketing. Starting a project like this can be daunting at first, especially if the original materials are very outdated, or the client still feels very attached to them.

So what do you do when you’re handed an old flyer and told to redesign it with primarily the same elements?

I tend to think of it like rearranging furniture, as opposed to remodeling a room in your house. I have a few techniques I gravitate towards first when redesigning existing materials using the elements I already have, but in a different and more interesting way. Say I was given the ad below and asked to revise it, using primarily the same brand elements, there are a couple tried and true methods I would consider using.


White space:

It’s pretty obvious when a piece needs an update, and this is largely due to clutter. Allowing for extra space in a design will help the viewer understand the intended message. This is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to cleaning up a dated design.



Sometimes refocusing the attention from one element to another changes the entire message. Maybe the old ad was very copy heavy, but if the amount of text can be cut down, and a graphic or photo enlarged, it’s much more likely to grab people’s attention.


Adding or Reducing Color:

If your brand uses the same color for every single thing, it may be time to think about adding an additional color. This doesn’t necessarily need to be used in all materials, but more as an accent color for emphasis from time to time. Similarly, if your designs tend to be all over the place with colors, making the decision to narrow it down to just a few can instantly make your company seem more polished and professional.



There’s no denying the impact a well-cropped photo can have on a design. Cropping can help draw the eye in, or it can remove a distracting area of a photo. Circular photos have become a huge trend the past couple years, and have proven that altering the shape of a photo can drastically change the style of the design.


Of course these are all just quick examples, and by no means examples of spectacular design work. Real redesigns would generally combine a few of the above techniques, be much more polished and would be tailored to the client. These just go to show how a few small tweaks can breathe new life into a design, quickly, and with little effort.

To see some of these design tips put into action, check out our Graphic Design Portfolio page!