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Introduction to Graphic Design

History & The Elements & Principles of Graphic Design

susannah slabinski

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Graphic Design

Introduction to Graphic Design The Elements
Graphic Design LineLines are another design element that can be used to show direction—where you want the eye to go—and movement. Vertical lines give elegance and elongation to the page, while horizontal lines create a more relaxed feel; curved lines suggest an organic theme. Repetition of lines, or other elements, can be used to also create patterns. Line Starting a new graphic design project can be a little overwhelming. Don’t worry—help is on the way! The first step to making the process easier is to understand the principles and elements of graphic design. You can use the elements, singly or coupled together, to create your design, and the principles will show you how design elements should be arranged to make the resulting design both pleasing and functional. Here is what you need to know. The first element is the focal point. A focal point is a single spot on a page. A focal point can be typographic, like a period or punctuation mark, or it can be a graphic element, and it doesn’t have to be circular in form. It can serve as a foundation or building block for a design. The natural tendency is to put a focal point in the center of the design, to become the focal point. Moving the focal point off-center, however, shifts the focus to wherever the point is.You don’t have to use a point alone, though. It’s merely one design tool to lead the reader’s eye to where you want it to go. Focal Point Lines are another design element that can be used to show direction—where you want the eye to go—and movement. Vertical lines give elegance and elongation to the page, while horizontal lines create a more relaxed feel; curved lines suggest an organic theme. Repetition of lines, or other elements, can be used to also create patterns. A shape is exactly what it sounds like:
circles, squares, rectangles,
and triangles are all design
blocks. Repeating shapes or
them in an organized method works
to create patterns, too. Shape Form Form is another design element
that has to do with the appearance of depth.
Form gives a three-dimensional
perspective—sometimes through drop shadows and
tone—while physically occupying space or giving the illusion
of occupied space in a flat, two-dimensional surface.Form is the
shape of text, images, and white space—also called void—
on a page. By using graphic
elements or white space the designer can lead a viewer
around a page. Because we are so accustomed to getting
information quickly, form
can help a viewer see pertinent elements. Tone/Value When adding tone to a design, you’re adding a sense of lightness and darkness. The most common way to do
this is through gradients, where an area goes from light to dark or from darker to lighter color. Using shadowing and patterns in a lighter tint can also add tone—the overall goal is to add depth to a piece. But be judicial in your use; to overuse these techniques looks amateurish. Texture Another design tool is texture, which officially is defined
as the character of a surface.
Texture on paper adds dimension, through repeated
dots or lines, for example.
Be careful when selecting textures; decide if you’re using a
textured paper or adding it in the design.
Using many different textures can be confusing
and work against the overall design of a piece. Color Any kind of color adds impact and interest to objects and design. Brighter colors make elements of a design seem larger, while cooler colors make them seem smaller.While there are thousands of shades of color, designers approach them in three major categories:•Primary colors—red, yellow, and blue•Secondary colors—green, purple, and orange•Tertiary colors—all the colors between the secondary colors on the color wheel The Principles of Graphic Design Letterform/Type Face Text, or copy, and blocks of text are considered letterforms, and are an additional
element to be considered as
part of your design. Nearly all designs include some amount of letterform as a way of
communicating with recipients.Letterform can be used as a graphic element, such as with enlarged letters, or as a
means of conveying information. Figure Ground The first principle is figure-ground:
the figure refers to the main focus within your design, and the ground is the area that surrounds the figure. Either one can be dominant, depending on where you want the viewer’s eye to focus. Balance Elements in a design can either be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Large or small, all work in this principle. For example, when using a large object and small object together on the same page, the proximity to one another can be well-balanced or poorly balanced. By placing them close together, the balance is poor. If you allow more space between the objects the balance is more even.Asymmetrical elements are often used to create visual excitement, by calling attention to certain elements. Designs that are asymmetrical are generally divided into thirds, rather than halves.When using tone to create asymmetrical balance, use the rule of thirds for your composition. By that we mean, the tone or pattern should be anywhere from to of the design—one third of the design might be colored darkly where the other third would be lightly colored. Contrast Contrast refers to the relationship between the elements of design. The greater the difference between
the two elements, the greater the contrast, as in the case of size—
big versus little. Colors can provide contrast, too, with
complementary colors—opposites on the color wheel—providing the greatest contrast, and coordinating
colors having the least contrast. In the next figure,
the color yellow works better with the purple color because the
contrast is greater than with the green color. The green text block is more difficult to read because the green
and yellow are too similar in contrast. Cropping Although we most often hear the term cropping with respect to photography,
it really refers to the process of
selecting the elements of design we want the user to see.
It’s generally used to zero in on the most important subject within an image. Hierarchy The principle of hierarchy determines how
important or dominant an element or set of
elements is to a design.
The most important elements are at the top of the hierarchy, while less
important elements are at the
bottom. Size, weight, and scale all can contribute to creating a visual hierarchy. Scale You most often see scale used for exaggeration,
such as in caricatures, where certain features of a politician, for
example, might be disproportionate to his or her body.
Scale refers to how large an object is in relation to other
objects in the design, and is often used to inject humor, by making
smaller objects oversized, for example. Scale can also be used to
show intricate detail that is not easily
seen at a 1:1 ratio, but is also a technique used in technical
drawings that show an “exploded” or enlarged section. Proportion Proportion within a design
deals with the relationship between
various elements and whether they
are pleasing to the eye.
It comes down to a mathematical formula, with
four ratios being the most pleasing: •3:2
These are guidelines and can be kept in mind when visually assessing your design. Most designers do not use rulers or other measuring devices to guarantee these proportions, but they are rules learned and practiced over time. Pattern Pattern
As it suggests, the principle of pattern deals with the repetition of elements, such as lines, points, or shapes, as you saw previously. If you add patterned paper, don’t forget to count that as well. Patterns, if over used, are not attractive and show the mark of an amateur. The History of Graphic Design Economy Less is more. On average, simplicity tends to emphasize
a design's intent more powerfully than complexity. Any questions?
Concerns? So, what is next? Your assignment.....

is to make your own design...
Full transcript