Sunday, 10 February 2013



Based on the content of the lectures, workshops and tasks intoduced throughout the module so far, identify 10 principles, facts or concepts that you think 'people' need to know about Graphic Design. You should aim to collect a range of research and source material related to each of your 10 things including texs, quotes, images, diagrams, information and statistics.

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1. Layout and Grids:

These should be used to help the "layout of the design elements in relation to the space that they occupy as part of an overall design scheme... The objective of layout is to present the visual and textural elements that are to be communicated in a manner that enables the reader to receive them with the minimum of effort" (p, 33, The Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

Grids help ensure the correct balance is achieved when laying out body copy and images. Grids are "a series of reference lines that help a designer divide and arrange a page to allow a quick and accurate placement of design elements" to ensure consistency and continuity. (p, 33. The Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

Source: gdbasics

Source: visualizeus

"The beauty of a grid becomes apparent over a series of spreads. Some items remain consistent, while others alter. Pace is added, type size varied, and the relationship of images altered, to create an engaging and dynamic design"
(p, 33. Ambrose and Harris, Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

Why do we need to use grids? By Josef Muller-Brockman, 1981:

A: to construct the argument objectively with the means of visual communication.
B: to construct the text and illustrative material systematically and logically.
C: to organise the text and illustrations in a compact arrangement with its on rhythm.
D: to put together the visual material so that it is readily intelligible and structured with a high degree of tension.

Taken from, p, 34, The Fundamentals of Graphic Design; Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris.

2. Never use more than 3 typefaces on one piece of design:


Too many type faces or fonts on one piece of design can be overwhelming for the eye, making it unclear of a focus point, and can deter from the readability and legibility of the type used, and can affect the overall aesthetics of design. 

You can use as many fonts within a particular typeface as desired, but it is advised to limit fonts to 3.

Source: quoracdn

Source: urbangeko

As you can see the two images above show the over use of different typefaces. On the bottom image it is also evident the designer has used a variety of styles also; bold, italic, etc. This should be kept to a minimum and used for emphasis in hierarchy, rather than spontaneously.

3. Never use more than 3 colours, however you should use tints and shades instead:

The rules for this are similar to type, in that their are no limits. However, it is recommended one uses the most of 3/4 fonts, and a similar variation of colour. Shades, tints and hues can be used however to create more balance and visual stimulation, opposed to adding more colours as this can make the design harder to understand or read.

This isn't necessarily a design decision, and is rather based on simplicity, legibility and readability, as type and colour equally fall hand in hand. You can lose control of your design if you add too many colours. 

Aesthetic balance, personal opinion, client restrictions and brief guidelines restrict colour use, as well as stock, cost, composition and image.

Source: martymccolgan

Here you can see the designer has used one typeface, and two colours along with black. The colours stand out against the background and are highlighted with the band of colour in the middle. The type is legible and readable, due to the use of minimal colour use.

Source: graphics

However, here you can see the blue background with yellow text "workbook" wobbles at the sight due to two highly chromatic colours being placed together. You can also see the green which can be seen which is being forced out of the yellow on the blue. Yellow + Green = Blue. There is too much colour and variation of tones, shades and hues to make the cover aesthetically pleasing, as well as allowing for no colour balance. 

Source: behance

This is the same for this example. 5 colours have been used to make up the title 'colour' including darker shades for a shadow, Due to the highly chromatic background imagery and colour, this makes it illegible at a distance. There is too much colour here to have a specific focus; it has been lost through over use of colour, which is something to be aware of.

It is said that whilst using colour in design, you should follow the following percentages:

60% = Primary
30% = Tertiary
10% = Secondary

However the number of colours, likewise with fonts, also varies on the clients needs, preferences and specifications on pre-defined colour schemes for branding, costs and the brief. It is recommended you use tints and tones opposed to different colours.

4. What is the difference between a 'font' and a 'typeface'?

Font: A collection of characters, letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation etc, which have the same distinct design.
Typeface: The physical means used to create a typeface, be computer code, lithographic film, metal or woodcut.

For example, below is a list of 3 fonts, different variations from the same typeface/type family.
Helvetica = font
Helvetica Neue = font
Helvetica Bold = font (all different weights)

Source: sparklelabs

Above you can see all the fonts which make up the Helvetica Typeface.

5. Black should always be used for body copy, as it's the most legible and readable option. 

In editorial design, gothic fonts are used for body copy, opposed to block, script and roman. Smaller text means more lines, and multiple line lengths opposed to a book (columns vs whole page).

Gothic and Roman fonts can be made bold, increasing weight, decreasing kerning and more tracking allowing better readability and legibility at a larger scale.

Black and white body copy is the best possible combination. It always has a high contrast making it easy to read.

Due to the reduced contrast, using alternate colours can slow down reading, and make it harder to read/illegible. 

Never use yellow for type, due to the really low contrast of colour. Body copy should be kept simple by using one colour.

6. Remember to Kern your text!

"Kerning is the removal of space between characters... Kerning is used to reduce unsightly space between two letters to give a more pleasing visual appearance." (p, 76. The Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

Source: blogspot

Source: wikipedia

"Kern Me" is a game for type enthusiasts to practice kerning text.

You move the letters to the appropriate place where you think they should be and press compare. You will then be marked out of 100, and shown a blue letter under where you have placed yours. It gives you options to see how it should be, and where you compared to. There is 10 questions per game and is surprisingly enjoyable!

7. Image Types:

There are different types of images which are used within design, each has different ways of being created, used and saved.

Raster Images: "A raster or bitmap image is any graphic image that is composed of picture elements or pixels, where each pixel contains colour information for the image" (p, 96, The Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

Enlarging raster images will make the image appear distorted, pixilated and of a higher quality.
The highest resolution we can see an image at is 300dpi (dots per inch).

Vector Images: "A vector image is made up of many individual, scalable objects that are defined by mathematical formulae rather than pixels, which makes them scalable or resolution independent" (p, 96. The Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

This means vector images can be resized without losing detail, quality and will not become pixilated. 

This image I drew on illustrator as a vector, can be resized as many times as possible without pixilating, distorting or losing quality digitally or when printed.

8. Basic Colour Theory of Additive Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colours:

White light is made up of red, green and blue.

Primary Colours (Red, Green, Blue) are those which can be combined to make other colours, however Primary colours themselves can not be reproduced.

Secondary Colours are produced from any two primary colours being mixed together. 

Tertiary Colours have equal amounts of a primary colour and the adjacent secondary colour on the colour wheel. 

Source: mmprint

9. Basic Colour Theory of Subtractive Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colours:

These primaries make up the four colour printing process as when mixed together in equal amounts creates black.

Primary Colours (Magenta, Cyan and Yellow) are those which can be combined to make other colours, however Primary colours themselves can not be reproduced.

Secondary Colours are produced from any two primary colours being mixed together, however with subtractive colours, the secondary colours present are primary additive colours.

Tertiary Colours have equal amounts of a primary colour and the adjacent secondary colour on the colour wheel. 

Source: cgboomer

10. Complimentary Colours:

Complimentary colours are also known as contrasting colours. They face opposite each other on the colour wheel, have a strong contrast and work alongside each other well when applied correctly.

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