What is graphic design?
Graphic design is all around us. We see its elements used in everything that hasn’t been created by nature – fine arts, traffic signs, web design, font styles, logos, book covers, and more! Graphic design uses forms, pictures, words, and graphics as tools to express meaningful ideas to reach a certain audience or achieve a certain goal.
What are the elements of graphic design?
A line is a shape that connects two or more points. Lines can have different weights (heavy, light, fat, thin), colors, or textures (i.e. smooth, wavy, jagged). Lines appear in many design contexts – drawings, illustrations, patterns, textures. Line often plays an important role in guiding the viewer’s eye to a certain subject. Graphic designers also use lines to convey emphasis in text compositions as well as to divide and organize content.
When a two-dimensional shape becomes three-dimensional, it is called a form. Basic forms include spheres, cubes, cylinders, pyramids, and cones. However, any object that has height, width, and depth is considered a form. Forms can be three-dimensional objects that exist in the real world, but they can also be implied through the use of light, shadow, and perspective. These techniques create the illusion of depth and can provide the appearance of layers. Forms are used as a powerful tool that can offer designs a sense of realism when used in moderation
Balance is the equal distribution of visual weight. Graphic designers use balance to influence how much any one object attracts the viewer’s eye. Balance, which is closely related to composition, can be affected by an object’s color, size, number, as well as the amount of negative space. Negative space refers to the empty space behind the object of focus in the foreground. Implementing balance in design requires a sense of intuition, but it is a skill that can be honed by looking at other examples and training one’s eye. Symmetrical design refers to designs that are the same or similar on both sides of an axis. Asymmetrical designs present objects of different weight but can still be considered balanced if the weight is evenly distributed and is able to bring the viewer’s visual attention to right things. Another aspect to consider along with balance and composition is the “Rule of Thirds.” Designers will use this technique to divide their work area into an imaginary three by three grid. The idea is to place the focal point of the image along one or more of these intersecting gridlines. Research has found that the human eye has a natural tendency to follow this path when viewing a design.
Want to learn more?
Lastly, if you’d like to dive even deeper into graphic design or you just want some help getting started, check out iCAMP’s in person Hamptons summer camp, as well as our private in-home summer camp. Go sign up!