Graphic design like any other work in creation has certain guiding principles that govern its development and creation. To be an outstanding graphic designer, to create graphic designs that actually solve problems and meet communication needs, you will need a clear understanding of the principles that govern the world of graphic design.
Yes, it is true that seasoned graphic designers do not always follow these principles. But, in order to know when to discard or disregard these principles, you have to first understand them, their application and the consequences of disregarding them.
The principles of graphic design are rules and guidelines that govern the effective use of images and other design elements to efficiently solve a communication problem.
Balance is one very fundamental principle of design. Balance in graphic design ensures that the elements on your design are evenly distributed to ensure that focus is placed where needed. Balance can be symmetrical, in the sense that the weight of the design elements used are balanced on both sides of your work.
Placing like elements in a group on your design helps to improve the clarity of your message and balance your work too. Text for the venue of a meeting for instance should be groped with the time and date for the meeting.
The primary purpose of graphic design is communication. A defining characteristic of effective communication is the quality of the message conveyed to be recalled by the receiver. This function is what amongst other benefits, repetition gives to your design.
Alignment works hand in hand with the balance of your design. Although, some very creative design pieces have debunked the belief that alignment is vital to the effective passing of information. In the traditional sense, aligning the design elements on your work gives it an overall appealing look and makes it easier for the viewer to absorb the message.
Colour they say, brings art to life. In essence, your design is a form of art. That is to say, the proper application of colours to your design will give it the quality to connect better with the target audience.
Last but definitely not the least is hierarchy. Hierarchy is a design principle that deals with the arrangement of design elements based on their degree of importance to the message being conveyed. Your design should ensure that the most important piece of information is seen first by the viewer.
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