diagram design tips

3 Tips for Wow-Worthy Diagrams

Bear Shelton

Reading time: about 5 min


  • Diagramming
  • Lucidchart tips

Lucidchart makes it easy to create any diagram—but did you know our platform also makes it easy to make wow-worthy diagrams? It doesn’t take long to touch up your diagrams, taking them from rough drafts to eye-catching, presentation-ready visuals.

We’ve got three tips for a diagram makeover. Three C’s, actually (so they’re easy for you to remember): clarity, consistency, and contrast.

1. Clarity

Organize your visual so it’s easy for your audience to read. Think about it from the audience’s point of view:

  • Do they know where to look first?
  • Do they know where to go from there?
  • Is the information clear enough for them to follow?

Adjusting alignment can make a big difference in the readability of your diagram. Now is also a good time to do a spelling and grammar check. Remember that Lucidchart does include a spell-check feature (just click “Edit” at the top of the editor and then “Spell Check”)!

2. Consistency

Here’s a little design tip: more does not always equal better. Take fonts, for example. We know it can be tempting to go a little crazy—there are just so many good ones to choose from! But you should practice self-discipline and pick one or two fonts to apply throughout your diagram.

The same principle applies to font size—try to keep font sizes the same for the majority of your shapes, although headers can be bigger. And use formatting such as bolding, italics, and underlines only as needed—keep your diagram simple and clean.

Now let’s have a chat about color. Do you realize that every time you guess your brand/company colors, you give a designer somewhere a small heart attack? It’s true. So for their sake, don’t eyeball it. Ask for a brand color palette, and you can use hex codes in Lucidchart to get the exact colors you need.

If you can’t get a palette, simply copy and paste a branded image into your Lucidchart doc and use the color sampler to find the right color. You might even want to add your organization’s logo, especially if you’re working on a customer-facing visual. Try placing your logo in the corner and locking it down so you can easily maneuver other objects.

An easy way to add a finishing professional touch to your diagram is to round the corners of your shapes by using the Shape Options drop-down menu.

Shape Options menu

3. Contrast

This step can easily add that wow factor and help key information stand out on the page. Here’s a little trick to make sure important information is prominent enough: If you cross your eyes and look at your diagram, does it all blur together or can you still pick out the important shapes and words? If you can read it, it’s a sign that you’ve made them stand out well.

For example, if you want people to start reading at the top right of your diagram, make that shape a darker color so their eyes are drawn to it. Use lighter colors to distinguish shapes that serve a different purpose in the diagram. To make text stand out, make it bigger or bold a few keywords (remember not to go overboard).  

There you have it. Three C’s to help you build diagrams you’ll be showing off around the office. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg—we’ve got a whole library of video tutorials full of handy diagramming tips. Here’s a sneak preview, and be sure to go check out the full videos!

Aligning and distributing shapes evenly

One of the most frustrating things in design is getting everything lined up evenly. It’s frustrating and time-consuming, and even non-perfectionists can’t stand when things are a bit uneven. Luckily, Lucidchart sports alignment and distribution features that can do all the heavy lifting for you. After watching this video, you’ll never have to worry about uneven diagrams again.

How to make text fit

Is your text spilling out of your shapes? Perhaps the text isn’t aligned properly? In either case, we have some tips to address your woes. After watching this video, you’ll be able to make your text fit into any shape in Lucidchart, so you can get your ideas across in any diagram or flowchart.

How to make images black and white

Sometimes the images you use in a diagram might not match or you may want to edit the color scheme of your diagram. Instead of editing images and icons in a separate tool, we’ll share a neat Lucidchart trick that can help you make images and icons black and white! After watching this video, you’ll be able to take any image uploaded to your diagrams and make it black and white—all without leaving Lucidchart.

How to download diagrams with a transparent background

One of the most common complaints people have about any program that produces images is when the image contains a white or otherwise colored background around the image itself. These images don’t always look good if you’re going to insert them into a webpage, slide presentation, or a flyer.

Never fear—a solution is here! After watching this video, you’ll be able to download any diagram with a transparent background, so you can use it anywhere you like.

Hungry for more?

If you loved these tips and want more, you’re in luck. Our Lucidchart design playlist on YouTube is full of videos with even more helpful and easy design tricks. Watch now! 

And if you haven't tried Lucidchart yet, sign up for the most intuitive yet powerful diagramming app on the market. With Lucidchart, you can easily create professional diagrams that convey your ideas and leave your colleagues impressed every time.


Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidchart.com.

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