EYE FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN
What does design mean to you?
The answers for this may vary from the visualisation of an idea and providing aesthetics to it to solving problems. The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to any individual’s point of view on the term “design”. Design is a system in the graphic world and something that makes our life easier by helping us solve complex problems of our everyday lives and providing better closure for a lot of things!
Keeping an eye for design simply means that you can see an overall concept and the big picture for a design, without letting any tiny details slip through the cracks while working on it. While we’re on it, it is important to remind yourself that no one is “born” with an eye for design but the good news is you can always train your eyes to develop it.
The first stage to developing an eye for design is making sure you know the basic principles that create and nurture a perfect design.
The balance factor is the most important one in almost all fields. Balance is how you create the best possible design giving equality to each component. Make sure to arrange the elements within a composition in that complement each other and the whole purpose, that is they are arranged either symmetrically, asymmetrically or radially to create the impression of what you’re trying to convey and describe their importance.
Designer or not, who doesn’t know about the primary, secondary and tertiary colours that were taught in primary classes back in school days? But if you are a designer, you must know well or at least give a thought to the relationship between these categories. Colour is the easiest way to create contrast. But it takes good skills to create the perfect colour palette that compliments your design. Contrast is necessary to be overlooked and worked on as it draws the reader’s eye and guides the reader to focus more on the page they’re directed to. A great and simple example of this is you will always notice yourself focusing immediately on the Bold heading first, the normal font colour second and skimming the last look to the context written in the lightest shade in comparison to the background. So knowing your contrast techniques is game-changing for a successful design.
Repetition in art is an interesting phenomenon. Repetition in design means that the same elements are used again. The repetition principle unifies the entire design and makes the design look more appealing to the eyes. The repetition here refers to many elements including font, lines, placement of page numbers, title design, and the pattern of repetition that is being created when the principle is being acted on. Repetition comes with its three branches itself which include aesthetics, consistency and usability; and learning in depth about these branches will create a better vision for you to choose the perfect pattern that will mix well with the overall design. Usability is a very important principle because it affects success during design. If the usability is bad, the design itself can be bad and the final product can be doomed to failure in advance. Consistency in design means equalizing the elements so that they look the same, that is, “uniformed” so that the element is usable and always enables easy availability of the product. And lastly, with aesthetics, people create thoughts, perceptions, and feelings about a certain design, which further affects their satisfaction with the design itself. In short, aesthetics in design affect people’s attitudes about a certain product. The whole purpose of repetition in short is to create uniformity and give a personality to one’s design.
The alignment principle of design allows you to arrange elements in a way that matches how people naturally scan the piece presented in front of their eyes. Sometimes, to grab the reader’s attention a stunt to intentionally not align the elements is made by some designers. Which may be favourable sometimes but can increase the risk to the design and harm the desired amount of attention towards it. Alignment balances your design and creates a visual connection between the elements making the design look neat and clean. This is a huge factor in the most visually appealing designs!
If you don’t give importance to emphasis in your design, you must be lacking a lot in creating one that leaves a mark. The emphasis principle of design here is the part of the design that actually catches the viewer’s attention. Let’s use a real-life example to understand this principle. Reading a flyer, pamphlet, magazine or even an ad presented on television or your smartphone screen, you will always notice and read the bold font, or the colour theme that is different from the entire palette presented. This is because the designer has specifically used the skills and emphasised more on what he needs your attention on before you move on to the next context. To create emphasis in your design and bring the reader’s attention to the important part of your advertisement, you need to separate the emphasis corner completely from the overall theme. This means, the size, colour, texture, shape, font, context, etc. everything needs to be different. This is an extremely smart strategy that can amp up your entire design!
WHITE SPACE AND MOVEMENT
The white space principle of design simply refers to the negative space that is created amidst logos, and designs you see. The idea of giving white space is to let your design breathe. Yes! a super crowded place never pleases anyone and instead sweeps the audience away. By keeping your design basic with a nice complementing colour palette, straight-to-the-point context and a planned alignment and format, you can actually create spotless designs. Too many colours, changes in fonts, and context can cause chaos and unappealing effects for your design so it is important to not be afraid of the white space and let it create its own impression; decency. Likewise, moving your designs from vertical to horizontal angles, and not aligning line segments will give a similar crowded effect. Stick to one side, pick a side for emphasis and let your strategies speak for themselves!
Just like content writers and marketing agencies, a good designer should also be aware of their targeted audience and the themes that might attract the most traffic.
You need to still remind yourself that a blog guiding you towards designing strategies cannot nurture you into a pro designer. Mastering the principles of design takes time and practice so it is important for you to practice with the quick basics you’ve learnt and to never stop boosting your own ideas into the designs. After all, practice makes a man perfect!