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Design Principles - N4/N5 Graphic Communication

An overview of the design principles, suitable for National 4/National 5 Graphic Communication.

Mr O'Neill

on 28 October 2018

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Transcript of Design Principles - N4/N5 Graphic Communication




Design Principles
To create rhythm:

Alternate dark pages (with lots of type or dark graphics) with light pages (with less type and light-coloured graphics).

Repeat a similar shape in various areas of a layout.

Repeat the same element in the same position on every page of a printed publication such as a newsletter.

Design Principles:- Rhythm

To create rhythm:

Repeat a series of similarly shaped elements, with even white spaces between each, to create a regular rhythm.

Repeat a series of progressively larger elements with larger white spaces between each for a progressive rhythm.

Alternate dark, bold type and light, thin type.

Design Principles:- Rhythm

To create unity summary:

Use only one or two typestyles and vary size or weight for contrast throughout the Graphic Presentation.
Be consistent with the type font, sizes, and styles for headings, subheads, captions, headers, footers, etc. throughout the publication, presentation, or web site.
Use the same colour palette throughout.
Repeat a colour, shape, or texture in different areas.
Choose visuals that share a similar colour or shape.
Line up photographs and text with the same grid lines.

Design Principles:- Unity

To create balance:

Repeat a specific shape at regular intervals.
Put several small visuals in one area to balance a single large image or block of text.
Use one or two odd shapes and make the rest regular shapes.
Lighten a text-heavy piece with a bright, colourful visual.
Offset a large, dark photograph or illustration with several small pieces of text, each surrounded by a lot of white space.

Design Principles:- Balance

Balance in Composition
With Radial Balance the elements radiate from or swirl around in a circular or spiral path. Parts of the design must still be arranged so that they are balanced across the width and length of the page unless you're intentionally aiming for a lack of balance.
The example shown makes use of partial Radial Balance to balance the whole page.

Design Principles:- Balance

Too Much of a Good Thing

“Rivers" can develop vertically or diagonally through justified text. You can cure this by decreasing the type size or you can reset with a ragged right margin.

Overly generous column spacing causes distracting vertical bands of white space.


Design Element:- Space

Essential element in a layout. Space is defined as the distance area between or around elements.

Creates a rest for the eye, and visually organizes what’s on the page.

The placement and the value of the shapes on the page creates spatial relationships and focal points, which are centers of interest.

Design Element:- Space

All graphic elements have been grouped together with the text laid out in each corner. The graphics lead the eye across to the text.

Proximity in Composition

Proximity is grouping related elements and content together.
The Proximity of elements and information makes reading your pages easier.
Proximity of elements helps the reader to easily find their way round the graphic presentation.

Design Principles:- Proximity

Balance in Composition

Asymmetrical Balance —
This page uses a 3 column format to create a neatly organized asymmetrical layout. The two columns of text are balanced by the colour photographs in the lower left. Because the white space is in a block shaped much like the text columns, it becomes an element of the design in its own right.

Design Principles:- Balance

Balance in Composition

Each vertical half (excluding text)
of the brochure is a near mirror
image of the other.

This symmetrically balanced layout
is very formal in appearance

Elements centred on the page.

Design Principles:- Balance

The football and the child is the biggest element, with regard to proportion, in the composition indicating it’s importance.

Proportion in Composition

Proportion is the relationship among the elements on a page. 

Proportionally size the visual elements in your publication according to their importance.

Design Principles:- Proportion

Shades of pink and a circle theme is used throughout this brochure giving it unity of composition.

Unity in Composition

Repeat a specific colour, shape or texture throughout the layout in different areas.
Group elements with the use of line, coloured background or shades of a chosen colour.
Use a border around a page, photo or poster.

Design Principles:- Unity

Use unequal spacing between
elements to make a page dynamic.

How to use Space
Use a lot of white/colour
space around an element
to highlight it.
Use large margins to help
make a layout easy to follow.

Design Element:- Space

Repeating of colour, shapes, fonts etc. gives the page a lively rhythm which contrasts with the quiet pastel colours used.

Rhythm in Composition

Rhythm is used to achieve movement and is the visual progression of repeating elements in a varied pattern. Many pages of identical columns of text should be varied with the use of headlines, subheadlines and images

Design Principles:- Rhythm


Design Principles

The headline, graphic items and body text contained within the white space unify this part of the layout.

Unity in Composition

Unity helps the entire design elements look like they belong together.
Readers need visual cues telling them which parts of the layout go together. For example, relate a specific headline, body copy, and image that go together.

Design Principles:- Unity

How to use Space
Use a small amount of space to create ties between elements.

Form positive and negative shapes with the use of colour and shape.

Give a layout depth by overlapping one element with another

Design Element:- Space

Flush alignment is described as as flush-left or flush-right. Also Known As: Right-justified, Left-justified, Right-aligned, Left-aligned Definition: The alignment of text or graphics up against one side or another of the page is called flush. Definition: The alignment of text or graphics up against one side or another of the page is called flush. Definition: The alignment of text or graphics up against one side or another of the page is called flush. Flush alignment is described as as flush-left or flush-right. Also Known As: … graphics up against one side or another of the page is called flush

Alignment in Composition

Design Principles:- Alignment

Contrast in Composition
When choosing the combination of contrasting elements, be sure that it best represents the mood or idea that you are trying to communicate

Big v Small

Black v White

Smooth v Rough

Design Principles:- Contrast



Too Much Text

Always provide sufficient breathing room around columns of text.

Claustrophobic pages result when text, rules, graphics and other elements crowd each other and the edges of the page.

Squeezing text into boxes or wrapping too tightly around illustrations can produce crowded pages.

Design Element:- Space

Contrast with
Contrast with

Contrast with

Contrast with
Contrast in Composition

In design, big and small elements, black and white text, squares and circles, crooked or straight, rough or smooth, dull or bright, symmetrical or asymmetrical, serif or sans-serif can all create contrast in design.

Design Principles:- Contrast

Trapped White Space

Too Much of a Good Thing

Trapping white space between portions of your layout can be confusing as it interrupts the flow of the copy and the graphics.

A solution to this is to increase the size of display type, enlarge the illustration or recompose the design.

Design Element:- Space

Radial Symmetrical



Balance in Composition
 Three different types of balance :-
* Symmetrical
* Asymmetrical
* Radial Symmetry

Design Principles:- Balance

Left/Right-Aligned Text:- Often considered more informal, friendlier that justified text. The ragged right edge adds an element of white space.

Fully-Justified Text:- Often considered more formal, less friendly than left-aligned text. Centre-Justified Text:- Used mainly for Headlines.
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