5 Essential elements of graphic design every designer should know

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Every simple or complex graphic design is composed of some of the basic elements. These 5 essential elements of graphic design are responsible for the overall look and feel of the design. Once you are aware of these elements, you will be able to easily create beautiful and professional looking graphics. In this list I have tried to include all the basic elements that you can use to create breathtaking visual designs. All of these elements are essential part of the graphic design and should be followed by a good designer. So lets try to understand them individually-

Lines

The first essential elements of graphic design is Line. A line comes into existence when two points are connected i.e, a starting and end point. Line can be used to define shapes, create patterns, connect content and to emphasize words. It is also useful in separating different parts of the content. When you have understood the applications of line, you can play with it in Photoshop or any other software to create beautiful graphics. Example – Have a look.

In figure 1 you can see that the top left is filled with thick black lines and as we move to the bottom right the thickness of black lines decreases. This creates a beautiful two color gradient like pattern on the screen or paper. Same technique is used in figure 2. In figure 3 you can see how the different patterns are created just by using lines.

Shapes

The second essential elements of graphic design are Shapes. Shapes are areas created using lines and curves, differences in value, color, and texture. Look at this image 2a to understand how lines can construct other beautiful shapes. Shapes are essential parts of a infographic, icons and logo designs. Sometimes shapes can affects the overall sense and perception of a design.

Psychologists have theorized that humans mentally break down images into simple geometric shapes called geons. Examples of geons include cones and spheres. This means that everything can be broken down into known shapes. Most shapes occurring in the physical world are complex. Some, such as plant structures and coastlines, may be so complicated as to defy traditional mathematical description – in which case they may be analyzed by differential geometry, or as fractals.

Also, shape is determined by only the outer boundary of an object. Objects that have the same shape or mirror image shapes are called geometrically similar, whether or not they have the same size.

Colors

The third essential elements of graphic design is Color. Colors are the most important factor that we consider while creating graphical designs. Use of inappropriate colors can spoil the overall impact of graphics no matter how beautiful the illustration is. Selection of right color scheme is essential for aesthetics of the design. It is also important to differentiate elements visually and organize information in a systematic manner. Colors in designs always have a psychological impact on the perceivers. Know more – yellow | orange | red | warm and cool colors.

Texture

The fourth essential elements of graphic design is Texture. Texture refers to how a surface feels or is perceived to feel. A texture when used as a proper background can be used to convey the feeling. Like the figure 4, a texture composed of hexagon shapes (created using lines) then it is colored with dark gray to get the desired texture. Figure 5 gives the feel of ice-cream. Some textures creates the illusion of a paper, glass and metals. See canvas texture in figure 6. There is no single rule to achieve the desire textured. Same textures can be created by different techniques using different softwares.

Typography

The fifth essential elements of graphic design is Typography. Typography refers to the fonts that are used in design, their weight, size, alignment, color, and spacing. It requires both the art and technical skills of designer. A graphic design can be simple and beautiful if typography is used wisely. Different fonts can distinguish the information in many ways.

Have a look at the figure 7, you will see that the product is created using words. Here the designer is trying to preserve the minimal look of the design and bring creativity to the design.

In figure 8, sensible use of fonts created a look of beautiful artwork. The size, typo and the way fonts are used is great.

In figure 9 you can see a bunch of differeent fonts with odd spacing, this created a messy design because of bad typography. Good typography dosent mean use of multiple fonts. It simply means the way fonts are used. In figure 10, only two words are able to create a great design.

You can use google fonts to add more fonts to your system, then use them in your graphics and websites. Learn to add fonts in photoshop.


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