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  • 1. Basic Principles of Graphic Design By Stephanie Rae Cleaves (Based on Book, “Elements of Design,” by Poppy Evans & Mark A. Thomas)
  • 2. Introduction • In this lesson, I will list and describe the basic principles of graphic design. • I will also give some examples of various artwork that displays these principles.
  • 3. Unity & Variety • Unity is the control of variety • Variety is necessary to create visual interest. • Managing variety is the art of balancing visual contrasts.
  • 4. Hierarchy & Dominance • Hierarchy refers to an established order, importance, and emphasis given to visual elements. • Dominance is the prevailing influence of one element over another. • Emphasis is the importance of one element over another. • By determining hierarchy, a designer can control the path a viewer’s eye will take in viewing the composition. • Lack of clear hierarchy is the reason many designs fail to attract and hold a viewer’s attention.
  • 5. Clear vs. Unclear “Hierarchy” • By determining hierarchy, a designer can control the path a viewer’s eye will take in viewing the composition. (see top right). • Lack of clear hierarchy is the reason many designs fail to attract and hold a viewer’s attention. (see bottom left)
  • 6. Proportion • Refers to the size relationships within a composition. • Designers & Illustrators must work with numerous proportional formats • Proportion in Design is determined using visual ratios.
  • 7. The Golden Ratio • An example of a visual ratio is the “Golden Ratio,” which dates back to the Ancient Greeks.
  • 8. Balance • The visual distribution of elements in a composition. • There are three main types of balance.
  • 9. Symmetrical (Formal) Balance • Elements are arranged the same or very similarly on each side of a central axis, or a “mirror image.”
  • 10. Assymmetrical (Informal) Balance • AKA “Dynamic Symmetry,” is the art of creating balance using uneven numbers, sizes, or kinds of elements.
  • 11. Radial Balance • All elements radiate out from a center point in a circular fashion.
  • 12. Emphasis • The use of a focal point to stress certain elements or to give special attention to an element. • Contrast is a function used to create emphasis • See Photo-> Variety can be used to harmonize the effect of emphasis by spreading interest throughout the design keeping it lively and interesting.
  • 13. Rhythm & Movement • Rhythm refers to the choreography of graphic design. It is the implied sense of movement of the elements as manifested through the eye of the viewer. • Artists can create a sense of rhythm/movement though the arrangement & configuration of graphic elements (ie. varying line, shape, size, and color), form, and space.
  • 14. Proximity & Repetition • Proximity is the position and space given to the placement of elements in a composition. • The space between two or more elements affects their relationship. • For example, as they move together, tension can result. (See image right)
  • 15. Proximity-continued- • As the elements of a composition touch, new shapes are formed. (see top right) • As elements of a composition move apart, they can also appear disassociated from eachother. (see bottom right) • Proximity groupings can also create patterns, a sens of rhythm, or other relationships that elicit a response from the viewer
  • 16. Thank you for Listening • A general rule for designers is that varied proximity of elements can result in visual tension that brings dynamic interest to a composition.