Graphic Design – Design Principles

By January 31, 2016 Uncategorized No Comments

Big Chief Creative – Design Principles

Design Principles give the graphic designer a means of ordering the design elements to produce a form of a composition. The design principles should be used to improve the visual organisation of the visual elements used. For example, a Company’s branding may have shapes that are assembled symmetrically or asymmetrically, forms that may be repeated, points that may appear in a sequence, lines that may be ordered in the hierarchy, or any other combination of design elements and principles. These can also be used to improve the quality of the form of a product or shape. For example, the design of a brochure may be symmetrical and be based on a set of repetitive shapes.

The following definitions are intended to aid a general understanding of the design principles and it should understood that the examples provided are not necessary of the ways in which principles may be interpreted and enforced. ‘Visual Communication’ may be two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Therefore, design elements and principles should be considered in the design of the layout or representations and in design of graphic images, products, construction and models.

Design Principles

  • Composition – Composition is determined by the combination of elements and principles in a chosen visual presentation.
  • Balance – Balance may be achieved by the careful consideration and application of a number of design elements, principles and type within a visual presentation.
  • Symmetry – Symmetry is the mirrored arrangement of elements on opposite sides of a visual axis.
  • Asymmetry – Asymmetry is a balanced arrangement of elements that is not mirrored on opposite sides of a visual axis.
  • Cropping – Cropping is created by repositioning borders, often through the use of a viewfinder.
  • Grid – Grid refers to the invisible framework on which relevant imagery, including text may be positioned.
  • Figure – Figure usually refers to an image or images which become more visually dominant than the ground in which they are placed within a composition.
  • Ground – Ground refers to the situation where the background or ‘negative space’  is clearly defined and at time may be dominant.
  • Scale – Scale generally refers to the size of the figure on the ground; relative size, scale will determine hierarchy of elements within a visual presentation.
  • Dimension – Dimension is the actual size of the components of the visual presentation.

Big Chief Creative hold the ‘principles and elements’ guide with great respect and integrity. We can all often over think the most basic of tasks and especially when we are thinking creatively. Having a guide to bring the task back into perspective help simplify and visualise your task. We the Graphic Designer are paid to create for the client, not artists breaking the barriers of fine art. Keeping relevance and understanding of the clients needs and aspirations are important attributes when meeting the demands of clients.



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