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DD150 – Design Basics

Unit 1 – Topic 1 – Fundamental Principles

Vivianne Jimenez

on 6 January 2017

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Transcript of DD150 – Design Basics

Course Overview
Information Design
Design Basics
The following topic will be discussed:
Fundamentals of graphic design
Career fields in graphic design
How to implement a design process
Critiquing a design
According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), information design is a highly specialized area of design that involves making large amounts of complex information clear and accessible to audiences of one to several hundred thousand.
Publication Design involves the design of editorial content; it is also call editorial design.
Publication Design deals with all details pertaining to how information in a publication is portrayed. From laying out the information to improving the experience of the reader this area of specialization has various challenges to overcome. For example, when designing a newsletter deciding what articles are going to be on the front page and how they should be laid out would be the duty of a publication designer.
What is a Graphic Designer
Graphic Design is all about communication. It is a way of communicating ideas visually. In essence, graphic design portrays a message and one accomplishes this by visually designing the message. It sends a specific message to a specific audience with designs to cater to that audience.
Graphic Design is a way to visually portray a thought or idea. In Graphic Design you will be utilizing visual elements that you will create, select, and organize in order to effectively communicate your ideas visually.
Graphic design is all around us. It is found in TV, video, internet, print media, product design, and so on. Everything from an interactive website to the logo design for a corporation was done by a professional designer.
How will you get the message out?

It is very well known that graphic designers work with commercial clients and have an active role in driving the economy through advertisements, promotional content, and information design. However a less recognized side of graphic design is the use of this talent to inform the public of important issues and promote good causes in the community. Through graphic design a visual icon or representation can be associated with these issues and causes in the community resulting in the public having a much easier time relating with them. For example, a nonprofit organization wants to create a poster to promote breast cancer. The graphic designer can use his/her talents to help inform the community.
Some designs that are created are only around for a short period of time. Others are around from generation to generation. Some designs stand the test of time, such as the McDonalds logo. A majority of graphic design and advertising is meant to be temporary. It is a visual representation of what is happening right here and right now.
Branding deals with the representation of a company. From creating the logo for a corporation to developing their website, these duties fall under the term “brand”. A designer must also think about how the consumer will react to the brand. Does the logo grab the user’s attention? Does the color scheme of the website complement the logo?
Advertising involves generating and creating specific visual and verbal messages constructed to inform, persuade, promote, provoke, or motivate people on behalf of a brand or company. This could be either commercial or nonprofit organizations.
Type design and lettering is a highly specialized area of graphic design focusing on the creation and design of fonts, layout of type, and the drawing of letterforms by hand that can later be digitized by the computer. Type design and lettering is found in all areas of graphic design.
Environmental design directly relates to working with natural environments. A designer also works with defining and marking interior and exterior commercial, cultural, residential and natural environments.
See examples on Pg 12-14.
Identity Design
Identity Design involves the creation of a systematic visual and verbal program intended to establish a consistent visual appearance and spirit or image for a brand or group. It is also known as corporate identity, brand identity, and corporate design. The main purpose of Identity Design is to create a coordinated identity that is able to span various outputs in design. For instance, a design can be viewed in print form, on the web or even in a video format.
Promotional Design
Promotional Design’s purpose is to introduce, sell or promote brands, ideas, and events. It also is meant to introduce or promote groups and social causes. In some scenarios Promotional Design and advertising can overlap in definition and purpose. A flyer to promote a concert coming to your area is an example of Promotional Design.
Publication Design
Branding &
Brand Experience
Type Design & Lettering
Environmental Design
It is highly recommended that, as a beginning designer, you gain experience by first working for someone else. As a designer you will have to discover the working environment that best suits your talents. Here are a few examples of careers for graphic designers:
 Design Studio
 In-House Design
 Advertising Agency
 Freelance Work
 Self-Employed
A design studio has many clients that outsource their creative needs. When a client needs a piece of digital media created and they don’t have an in-house design team, they hire a design studio to do the job. Designers in a design studio will usually work
on a team along with illustrators,
photographers and other artists to share ideas.
In a design studio, deadlines are oftentimes
tighter and designers are much more
competitive over their positions.
Design Studios
The opposite of a design studio is in-house design. Some companies maintain their own in-house design team to save money to not have to outsource their creative needs. They hire their own designers to complete and maintain current projects.
Various companies have their own in-house design team. They range from schools and colleges all the way to major national corporations. In-house designers typically are under less pressure from competition of other designers and have more stable careers than in a design studio.
In-House Design
Ideas are the main focus at an advertising agency. Individuals tend to be more verbal thinkers than visual. Executives will usually come up with the concept and campaign and hand it off to their own in-house designers or hire a design studio to execute the project.Agencies work in all forms of media. This could include anything from product packaging, trade show displays, or billboards to video or web design. The advertising agency may have its own staff of in-house designers that handle all campaigns that have to do with web design, for example, and then would hire a design studio for campaigns that called for a different medium that they were not as skilled in, such as product packaging, for example.Most graphic designers will not start working for themselves right out of school. However, after acquiring some experience and practical knowledge in the design field some designers may decide that the correct career path for them is to start working for themselves. At this point the designers will try to either pick up some freelance design work or to start up their own design studio.
Advertising Agencies
A designer can work as a freelance artist. This means the designer is self-employed and works on various projects. A freelance artist must have excellent communication, networking, and business skills to succeed and maintain a steady client base.The advantage of freelance artists is they are their own boss. They answer to their client rather than a boss and complete their work using their own processes and on their own schedule, as opposed to a set process or procedure and more traditional work schedule that they might have to follow in an in-house design studio or agency. A disadvantage is freelance artists don’t have the job security that a design studio or agency can provide. It is up to the individual artist to keep up a consistent amount of work.
Freelance Work
A designer can also try to start his own design studio. This is a much more ambitious choice and will usually require the designer to have worked up some additional experience, not only in a design studio to acquire the experience in design practices but also as a freelance designer to acquire the additional skills needed to effectively communicate and interact with clients.
Creative Discipline
The graphic design profession is an expert creative discipline that focuses on visual and verbal communication and meaning. There are many specialized areas within the graphic design profession; however, all graphic designers solve problems and generate ideas that take visual form. Here are a few categories of specialization.
After deciding on a final format and audience, the designer enters into the thumbnail stage of the process. Here the designer sketches various solutions to the problem on paper. These sketches can assist the designer in where things will be laid out, but they also can be for a particular element in a design. For example, in a website design you want to create a unique button. You can sketch out some different ideas of the button. These thumbnails may be small 1x1 squares of about a dozen on a piece of paper. Thumbnails are integral to finding a design solution because they get the designer’s creative juices flowing. Usually one thumbnail will lead to another and soon there are many design solutions for the problem to choose from.
The designer thinks about the audience, who is being targeted to look at the design. One will want to create their design to cater to that specific age group or gender specific. For example, a perfume advertisement is going to have more feminine colors than an advertisement for a truck. They carefully consider the project’s final form. For example, will the final format be a website or a brochure?
Roughs and Comps
After creating the thumbnails, the designer chooses the three best thumbnails and creates a larger and more detailed sketch of each. This is called a rough. Roughs enable you to visualize your idea more logically. From the rough a comp is created.
Execute Solution
& Production
Once the comps are completed, the designer presents them to the client for sign off. When the client has chosen a solution, the designer creates the final piece that the client will use for its customer.

The production phase is the last stage of the design process. It can be a short phase like creating a logo or a long stage like creating a website. For example, for a website design the comp would be a one page comp of what the website will look like, where the buttons will sit and the content. Once the comp is approved it will go into production. This means the design team will actually create the computer programming behind the website and build all the pages for the site.

A designer will use the design process for all projects they are given. As students, you will complete this process for all of your projects just as a professional designer would.
Target audience
& format
& Comps
When approaching a design problem or project, a designer has several stages to go through before starting a job: concept development, consideration of the target audience, thumbnail creation, rough and comps, and execution of the final solution chosen by the client. The final stage is the production phase.
A comp is taking your rough and executing it on the computer using design software such as Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator. It is the comp that is presented to the client for review.
Stage 1 Concept/Idea - The designer does further research on the company to understand their old logo.
What kind of company is it?
What services do they provide?
Do they have a preset colors for the logo or can you experiment?
Visit the company’s website.
Research other companies logos that are in the same business.

Stage 2 Target Audience and Format – a designer finds out who this design is for and what the design will be done in.

Stage 3 Thumbnails– student clicks on button and digitized
image of thumbnails show up with text saying:

This is the thumbnail stage of the process; a designer comes up
with many different solutions to the problem

Stage 3 Roughs and Comps– During the roughs and comps stage the
designer chooses the best three thumbnails and creates them in the
computer at full size, then presents the three roughs
to the client for their consideration."

Stage 4 Execute Solution and Production-
This is the final stage during which the
designer touches up the chosen rough to
present to the client.
Ethical Standards
American Institute of Graphics Arts
It is the responsibility of every designer to discover and maintain ethical standards in their practice. There are benefits and consequences for everything you do as a designer on both an economic and a social level. AIGA has released a series of brochures outlining the critical ethical and professional issues encountered by designers and their clients. The series, entitled “Design Business and Ethics,” examines the key concerns a designer faces in maintaining a successful practice and speaks directly to the protection of individual rights.

 A professional designer does not work on assignments that create potential conflicts of interest without a client’s prior consent.
 A professional designer treats all work and knowledge of a client’s business as confidential.
 A professional designer provides realistic design and production schedules for all projects and will notify the client when unforeseen circumstances may alter those schedules.
 A professional designer will clearly outline all intellectual property ownership and usage rights in project proposal or estimate.
If you would like to learn more information and case studies related to the AIGA visit www.aiga.org.
examples of Information design are as follows:
signs and etc.
Target Audience and Format
The Design Process
As designers, you will critique your own work and the work of others. In this course, we will have critiques of everyone’s work. We will talk about how the design elements have been used and if the design is successful or not. The more you critique, the better designer you will become. You will become familiar with what makes a design good or bad.
Always look at other designers’ work. Graphic design is all around you everyday. Try to ask yourself why or how the designer chose the design solution. It is at this point that you will start to become a better designer.
A critique is an assessment, an evaluation of your project. In a critique, your project and process are discussed. Critiques force you to reevaluate your design. Some questions to think about when critiquing are shown here.
Did you succeed in accomplishing your goal? What was your goal?
Is your design suitable for the intention of the project?
Does your design communicate to the appropriate audience?
Is there an order of importance in your design? What should the
viewer be looking first? Second? Third?
Did you use any research you gathered for the project? If not, why
Did you spend time analyzing your thumbnails and roughs? Did you
think of every conceivable way to push your design to be the best?
Did you experiment on the project? Experimentation can lead to
amazing discoveries in terms of design.
Did you free your mind and go in a direction that you typically are
not used to?
Were you too hard on yourself? Give yourself the chance to be
creative before you get trapped into one direction which might not
be the best one.
A designer is his or her own worst critic. A designer analyzes and dissects every design they view. They decide what a good design is and what makes a bad design; what areas do work in terms of page layout and color scheme, and what areas do not. Typically, good designs use all the elements and principles of design.
In summary, we explored the fundamentals of graphic design, you defined graphic design and reviewed different areas of specialization for designers. We reviewed the different careers available to you, for example, freelance artist or design agency. We reviewed the stages and how to implement a design process for individual design projects. We also reviewed how to critique a design.
The company TO Solutions has asked you to design a new logo for their company. They only want to utilize the letters T and O. Right now they are using the font style
Arial for their logo. They are looking for a fresh new, recognizable look that is easily
reproducible for print and the web.
In the first stage of concept development for the project, the designer analyzes the problem and starts to think of ways to solve it. During this stage, a designer might have to research the problem more to gain a better understanding of how to solve it.
In this early stage the designer would gather information on the problem in order to create an exceptional design. While researching the designer would be searching
answers for questions, such as, what is the target audience? What color scheme should I use? What are the project requirements?

Most designers keep a book or save websites of designs they like. When a designer is stuck on a problem, he or she can use these saved resources for inspiration.
A designer also puts together a design brief for the client, which is a written plan delineating strategy, objectives, expectations, audience, and brand or group perception and may include budget and media.

According to our textbook, by Robin Landa, a typical design brief answers the following questions:
What is the message?
To whom are we speaking?
How do we want to be perceived?
What are the executional guidelines or budget constraints?
Fundamentals of graphic design
Careers in Graphic Design
Design Process
Critiquing a Design
Full transcript