The 8 graphic design basics you need to know
The principles of graphic design are like building blocks. Each one layers on top of the other until you’re left with the foundation for creating something incredible—whether you’re designing a logo, a website, or a custom illustration. If you want the lowdown on all the graphic design basics, you’ve come to the right place because we’re going to cover them all.
10 ways to use space more effectively
Space is great—but only when you know how to use it effectively. Read the article above to learn new strategies for taking your use of space and composition to the next level.
We often spend so much time talking about what goes into a design that we forget the importance of what to leave out. Your use of space – and how you allow your design to breathe – will make or break your layout. In this article, we’ll walk you through 10 ways to use space more effectively. Follow these tips for an aesthetically compelling and easy-to-read design. Forget it and you’ll be left with a convoluted mess of imagery and text.
The 5 rules of design composition and layout
Utilizing space well comes from knowing the rules of composition. Get to know them (and the other must-know laws of layout) in this article.
Most designers see an invisible grid running through all their designs. In modern web design, clean grid lines have become popular and almost impossible to avoid. There are a few simple reasons for this: grids make your designs cleaner, more efficient and easier to adapt.
Grids bring organization not only to the design, but to the process of creating design. Say you want to create a poster for a lecture series. Create a strong grid and if the dates, times, images and colors all change, your basic designs will feel related. Instant consistency and less time updating and adjusting. Baseline grids also give you a great roadmap when working in a team. Every designer knows the feeling of relief that comes with opening someone else’s design and seeing a clear grid to follow!
Embracing space in interaction design
Interested in UX and interaction design? Learn how to embrace space in digital environments.
White space can be daunting. White space can feel like an empty canvas — something that you must replace with your brilliance, otherwise you’re not doing your job. But the truth is something completely different: the designer’s job is to create the best interface and experience possible, and that means using white space as just another design tool.
All good visual artists understand the importance of negative space, the empty area that draws attention to, and accents, the actual subject. Negative space (the artistic equivalent of a designer’s white space) is like the supporting cast whose duty is to make the star of the show stand out more by not standing out so much themselves.
If you don’t think any part of your design should be intentionally blank, take a look at the World’s Worst Website Ever for an extreme example of the damage caused by too many objects competing for attention.
Printmaking and the elements of design
What about space on the printed page? We’ve got everything you need to know about the elements of design in printmaking—including how to work with space. Printmaking is the process of creating an art piece by using a carved screen to transfer ink onto another surface. The genre has a rich history, and the materials used to create prints has been as diverse as the art styles throughout history.Anything from traditional Japanese woodblock prints to screen printing T-shirts counts as printmaking — there’s no shortage of inspiration to take away from this genre.
The basic elements of design are:
You’ve figured out how to use space and balance. But how do you draw attention to your key elements and make sure your messaging doesn’t get lost in the shuffle?
Hierarchy is how you present the elements on your design (whether it’s a brochure, a website or a business card). This directs viewers to where they should focus their attention. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the design element, the more attention-grabbing it will be. But there’s a lot more to visual hierarchy than “bigger is better.”
This is a great place to get to know the basics of how people view designs and how you can use that behavior to draw attention to your most important design elements.