The Principles of Good Design


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An examination of the basic elements that make designs communicate effectively.

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The Principles of Good Design

  1. 1. The Elements of DesignHow Do These Elements Relate to Graphic Design? Contrast: The designer arranges information In a way that separates levels of importance based on scale and weight. Direction: Flow of information leads viewer s eye through the layout in a calculated manner. Balance: Use of positive and negative space. Designer leaves a good amount of visual breathing room and information is not crowded onto the page. Rhythm and Repetition: Repeated design elements throughout the composition, such as rectangular and circular shapes as well as similar fonts. When used together, the principles of design result in a well organized and visually compelling design that effectively conveys information to an audience.
  2. 2. Design Principles Things to Consider Use of Space: How does space flow throughout the design? Is white space well utilized, preventing overcrowding of information?
  3. 3. Design Principles Things to Consider Alignment: Are all elements within the layout arranged in a way that relates to other elements in the layout? Are items arranged in a unified and well-organized manner? Are text boxes and photos consistently aligned throughout the design?
  4. 4. Design Principles Things to Consider Organization of Information: How are items grouped together? Is the information presented in a logical and well thought out way? Are important items emphasized?
  5. 5. Design Principles Things to Consider Rhythm and Repetition: The repeated use of similar elements throughout a design, leading to a feeling of design harmony. Examples can include use of similar shapes, fonts, colors, fonts, to establish a visual identity. Text: Are the fonts well selected, and do they help support the overall image? Are fonts used sparingly (2-3 maximum). Are the type sizes legible and are the colors readable without straining the eye?
  6. 6. Design Principles Things to Consider Images: Are images unified in theme and do they work well together? Do the images compliment or compete with the text? Are they well placed or crowded onto the page? Do the colors work well with one another and the rest of the page elements?
  7. 7. Design PrinciplesOther Considerations Target Audience: Look at the design and try to think like the audience it is attempting to target. Does the piece employ images, colors and words that appeal to the target audience? Does the message make sense? Imagery: The image should be clear and crisp. The colors in the photo should relate to the rest of the piece and overall message. It should be original and look professional.
  8. 8. Design Principles Other Considerations Color: Color is a very important design element. Color can evoke moods or emotional statesin an audience. Color can create a feeling of richness or shabbiness; conservative or creative.
  9. 9. Design Principles Other Considerations Image Source: http://www.food2.comColor: Color has a strong psychological impact on us as well.Audiences can be drawn to or repulsed by the use of color in design.
  10. 10. Design PrinciplesOther Considerations Color: What are the connotations associated with the colors in your design? Do these associations enhance or undermine the message? Are the colors harmonious? If the design uses multiple colors do they work well together or clash?
  11. 11. Design Principles Other Considerations Fonts: The shape and appearance of a word can say as much as the word itself can.
  12. 12. Design PrinciplesOther Considerations A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 2–3 fonts in any design. More than that can cause a disorganized and chaotic look. An example of how this can work is to use one font for a header and another for the main body of text. A third could be used as a subheader, or to call attention to special areas of interest such as quotes. Choose fonts that support your message. For example, don t use a font like Comic Sans for a financial institution s annual report.
  13. 13. Design Principles Summary Fonts, colors and imagery can make or break your design s message.Choose wisely!