Graphic Design: Elements to Value

This weeks readings focused strictly on important elements of graphic design. Composition is a key factor in any art related design. It can completely change the message that you’re trying to convey as well as how well that message is interpreted by others. Graphic design is all about explaining something to a viewer strictly through visuals. They need to be concise, direct, and powerful. The three key elements to consider when beginning a design project are layout, typography, and contrast.


Deciding on the layout of your design is one of the most important things you are going to do. You want the layout of the design to be eye catching but also easy to follow. When thinking about how to set up your visual, you should ask yourself what is the most important information or factor in your graphic? That should be the thing that you are first drawn to look at. Following that idea, the design should continue so that you are drawn to the most important elements first and these least important elements last. This will help any viewer to better comprehend what it is you are trying to accomplish with your design. Deciding whether to set up your design in a symmetrical or asymmetrical nature may help when organizing your graphic.


Contrast is an element of design that works right along with layout. You can use contrast to help guide your eye to the important parts of design just like you can with layout. In fact, contrast is almost necessary to add with layout to do this effectively. Scolor-wheelome ways to add contrast to a design include size, color, and value. Using contrasting sizes in a design will automatically bring your eye to a certain element which can then trigger your brain to see something as more important (this especially happens when something is significantly bigger than something else). Using contrasting colors or colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel can also further stress the significance of something in a design. Finally changing the value scale of elements (how light or dark something is) may be necessary to get attain a hierarchy of importance throughout your design.


Deciding on the particular fonts you want to use in your design is an element that shouldn’t be looked over. This is an element that can allow you to bring some unique aspects to your design that are visually interesting without being too in your face. fontsChanging fonts can help to keep the eye visually interested and moving from each section of your design. With so many different font types and families to chose from you want to really do your research a pick some that are going to best convey your meaning. You wouldn’t want to use pretty script font for something that is supposed to look creepy or scary, so you really need to keep in mind exactly what your font represents. Making sure that any fonts that are used go together is also just as important. You want to mix fonts that complement each other. They need to be different enough that it doesn’t look like a mistake but not too different that they hurt the overall flow and comprehension of your design.

Graphic design takes lots of practice, and you may not find the perfect composition for an idea on your first try. However, if you keep these three elements in mind throughout the designing process you are sure to come across the perfect balance to best represent your visual idea.

All images via Creative Commons


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