6 Main Principles of Graphic Design

Written on 12 March, 2018 by Shounak Gupte
Categories Blog

Most graphic designers have created a formula to how they approach each project, with main focal points that are carried throughout each design process. Without this focus, the design could end up overcrowded, messy and weak.

Ensure you look over these six main principles of graphic design in your next project!

1. What is the Focal Point?

There are three main phases that are continually addressed within graphic design: planning, designing and reviewing. In order to deliver on all key areas, every designer must continuously reinforce the question: ‘what is the purpose of this design?’. It isn’t possible to make every aspect of the design a focal point to a viewer, so you need to evaluate what key information you wish to get across in the design, then determine how everything else in the design can support that aspect. For instance, if the image is the focal point of the design, it may be the largest part of the graphic with the other aspects of the design functioning to draw attention to that area. Colour, size, shape, texture, direction, position, etc. all work to dictate the focal point of the visual.

2. Is it Balanced?

One of the main parts of any design is symmetry. What is the central axis and does the design support it? Herein, graphic designers should note the hierarchy of the design’s layout: after all, not only do symmetrical designs tend to be more aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, they also help a designer to understand the axis in which your design is balancing on. Is your design aligned vertically, horizontally or radially? More than that, is it balanced? With poor alignment and unknown margins, a design’s layout can be completely thrown off. It has been found that humans find symmetry more attractive than other stylings, so ensure that the alignment of your design is on point.

3. Flowing Visually

Even with a main focal point, the viewer should be able to find a comfortable and easy way to navigate to the supporting information. Through establishing the hierarchy and axis of your design, you should be able to create a streamlined flow that steers the viewer in the right direction. This helps the viewer establish what is important and what is less important, and can be done through various design elements, including your use of white space and text.

4. Form with Function

Make sure you evaluate your design and identify glitches. Are there any elements that aren’t supporting the overall design balance or the message you are trying to portray? If something isn’t necessary to the communication of the message, it may be hindering the design. By recognising this, you may be able to make your design stronger.

5. Readability is Key

The main element that can make or break your design is its readability. There is no point including cool typography if no one can make out what it says! Make sure you test the way in which your graphic comes across on various platforms, as the size may be different from computer to paper. Furthermore, enlist a few different people to proof the design so you can ensure the typeface is readable, especially when looking at contact information or pricing information.

6. What is the Mood?

Every graphic designer should be able to effectively portray a mood with each design. So, what kind of mood does your design portray, and is it in line with the overall message that the design is supposed to support? Mood can be the make-or-break of engaging your key audience, and shouldn’t be brushed over. Massive elements that can dictate the mood of a design include the style of typography, as well as the colour choices and combinations.

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