“Good design is good business”. This famous quote made by the former president of IBM, Thomas J. Watson Jr., sums up the importance of graphics in business. After all, “good design” does “good business.”
Few decades ago, high-ranking executives considered design as an important need of the aesthetics and corporate image. Today, delegating corporate design needs to the marketing team is now widely recognized as a key element in business strategy.
According to an article published in the Times in March 2018, a study shows that many of the world’s leading (and most lucrative) organizations have a design director and continue to invest heavily in that area. And half of them were quoted to have said that “designs play a big role in how we succeed.”
Designers are responsible for creating the visual identity of a brand, communicating with both the marketing team and the consumer. Designers are in charge of the logo, the business cards, the appearance and usability of e-commerce. Other important things include the appearance that your product will have and how it will delight your customer.
However, there are 8 basic principles about design that you should know before hiring anyone to do design jobs for you. Having a basic notion of the subject is important as it ensures that you find the best professional and you can have a more fluid relationship with such designer.
Another important need for it is that you will be more prepared and informed enough to give necessary feedback during the execution of the tasks.
Shall we analyze these principles? I am sure you can’t wait to hear it! Follow through till the end!
[Depict Alignment in a design]
The alignment is one of the most important elements in a piece of design, it is responsible for creating a sense of organization and allows the “clean” left design, easy to understand and eliminate clutter.
The orientation of texts in the West is from left to right, top to bottom. When there is something outside of those patterns, the brain becomes confused, and the information may not reach your consumer.
That is why the elements and texts must be aligned with each other, and with the background. Of course there may be exceptions in artistic creations, but they must be very well thought out.
The precise vision of contrast is to understand the passed message or, simply, it will be difficult to distinguish what is written or drawn. The effect occurs when two elements are opposed to each other (dark colors on light colors, for example).
[Depict contrast in a design]
It is the contrast that gives the necessary emphasis to the most important elements of the design and guides the consumer towards what the brand wants him to see.
- Visual hierarchy
When a design element has several pieces of information, it is important to give more weight to what is most important. This is called “principle of hierarchy.”
[Depict visual hierarchy in a design]
This way of highlighting the information is generally done with fonts in different sizes, varied colors, etc.
Whilst designing that masterpiece, keep in mind the main message you want to convey. If you want your company name along with a symbol and your slogan in the main image of your website, for example, the designer should make all of this appear in an organized way, directing attention to the brand first.
It is the principle of balance that guarantees the overall structure of the design. It ensures that the work is well balanced in its colors, shapes, text boxes, etc., without making it sloppy or “heavy” which can hamper the final objective.
[Depict balance in a design]
There are two types of equilibria; the symmetric one occurs when the elements of the design are divided evenly on both sides of the project while the asymmetric uses scale, colors and contrast to achieve that principle.
Certainly, it is one of the most important principles. It sets the tone for a brand. The colour palette needs to be carefully chosen to convey the idea of the brand, its atmosphere and to attract the public.
[Depict colour in a design]
The graphic designer needs to have a basic knowledge of the theory and psychology of colors to build a logo according to the one the client wants, since the palette is also essential for the next principle, creating a pattern.
As mentioned earlier, our brain assimilates better when there are patterns. That is why the principle of repetition is important. It gives strength and consistency to the final product. The color palette, for example, helps create branding and make your brand easily recognizable.
[Depict repetition in a design]
Basically, the rule is: you should not play randomly at work with various things that do not connect with each other. There must always be harmony, to create a comfortable pattern for the consumer.
What is left blank is as important as everything else. A certain amount of text, for example, needs to be wisely divided into blocks, so that the reader does not get tired when reading it (or even give up trying).
[Depict spacing in a design]
The negative spaces (or blank spaces) help to compose the final art. Many times in a logo, they even form a new figure, discreet and simple, that speaks to the consumer’s subconscious.
Proximity helps create a relationship between elements in design work, such as text and images. These elements do not necessarily need to be grouped, but they must be closely connected.
[Depict proximity in a design]
This can occur not only spatially, but also through a connection of colors, fonts, shapes, sizes, etc.
Now that you better understand the basic design principles, you can now think of how to get your design ideas.
- Constantly look around you
Observing is undoubtedly the most important of the techniques for drawing inspiration from graphic design, as well as art in general. Creativity is everywhere, and by observing our surroundings, we can acquire ideas of small details. It is important to constantly observe instead of forcing yourself to come up with ideas for new projects.
Advertising posters and papers taped to the walls can serve as great inspiration. What design techniques have other designers used? What techniques would you have used in their case? What are the aspects that stand out the most? What could be improved? Ponder on these and try them out.
- Collect postcards and magazine clippings
Another technique for drawing inspiration from graphic design is collecting. Postcards, pamphlets, magazine pages, advertising brochures etc., are some of the resources you need to look out for. They all contain colors, images, drawings, fonts and a lot of ideas. Perhaps at first, they do not inspire you much creativity, but reviewing them from time to time, at different times, can help you acquire ideas that perhaps would not have occurred to you at first.
Cutouts and montages from images found in magazines are also a very effective technique for drawing inspiration from graphic design. They will help you discover new ideas, new color combinations and innovative concept combinations.
- Draw and write
Drawing constantly is also a must. You don’t have to be an expert in drawing to be a professional graphic designer, but it is certainly a very effective technique for drawing inspiration from graphic design. You can try different drawing techniques and invent new fonts. Save all your drawings even if the result is not professional as it can also be a great inspiration for you in the future.
On the other hand, it is also highly recommended to carry a notepad everywhere and write down any ideas that come to mind. You can also use it to make sketches and drawings.
- Get inspired online.
Today, there are many web pages and blogs in which we can find inspiring designs and very creative ideas. Check out the different webs, editorials, fonts and advertising designs, among many other modalities. The more the blogs you visit, the better. Observing and analyzing the designs of other professionals could be a great inspiration for your own masterpieces.
Photography is also an impressive source of inspiration. Photographs can be retrieved from the internet, magazines, picture books, art galleries, etc. They can all give you great ideas that will help you impress your future clients.
In all, inspiration can be found anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is look, observe, analyze, and once that’s done, start shunning out those breathtaking masterpieces.
To achieve the best of the best, Jade Crystal Colours combines the amazing principles of design to carry out its stylish jobs.
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