The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Graphic Design Rule-of-Thumb

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 26, 2008

photoshop_new1As the graphic design industry grows every year, more and more people take interest in becoming a graphic designer themselves.  All must start as amateur designers to build their experience and knowledge, but many fail to realize that to pass this level of design, because they don’t understand the rules.

Rules, you ask?  It’s true.  There are many rules and guidelines that one must follow to produce professional work without looking like an amateur designer.  With so many guidelines, they can often be overlooked, but are essential if you want to be taken as a professional designer.  Here are possibly the most important things to take into account.

Design Rule-of-thumb:

  1. Audience  take note on who your target audience is going to be.  Design in relation to what would interest them. “Know your Audience.”
  2. Layout  – When making a design layout, the page has to be as functional as possible.  Keep the composition in a directional flow, having one main focus for the viewer to be drawn to.
  3. Typography  – This can be very important.  Keep the text legible and it readable.  Don’t lose the viewer with over-decorated fonts. Try to keep it simple.
  4. Image  – Images can help catch the viewers interest by enhancing the content.  Images should help direct the viewer to an idea.  Try to limit the amount of images to ensure that the viewer doesn’t become lost.
  5. Color  – The use of color helps evoke a reaction from a viewer.  Color can help promote certain emotions and moods that can further enhance the content.  Warm colors suggest warmth whereas cool colors suggest coolness… pretty straight forward.  One thing to note is that warm colors tend to appear larger than cool colors.

photoshoptip31One thing that isn’t a rule, rather a suggestion is to try to avoid using effects and filters when designing in Photoshop and Illustrator.  Professionals usually frown on the use of these, seeing them as amateur designing.  To understand the guidelines on designing further, visit the Graphic Design Basics webpage to read more in depth.

 

Matt

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