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the bible of

graphic design


visually


literate


v s a i

i u l t r c

l e a y


is design a religion? Religion is a community cosisting of people who worship the same entity. It is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. But is it really necessary to worship a superhuman? For years we’ve been making efforts to improve mankind in every possible aspect. Science, Architecture, Culture, Music, Lifestyle has been evolving ever since. As time passes by, new trends, beliefs, practices take over the old ones. This is because of evolving design. Design isn’t small like this bonsai which you’re seeing. It’s roots aren’t restricted by any limits or boundaries. Design is as dynamic as stock market. And there are people who respect the diversity of design and adapt it as much as possible. There’s a need for a community who sees the world in it’s most basic form and make innovations while keeping the same in mind.


design is a religion! Design is nothing but a practice of trying to be better than the contemporary. Humanity is always struggling to make living better. Design is a religion which consists of both people who design and the people who appreciate the existence of design. Making a lifestyle which is convenient and appealing at the same time. Keeping up with contemporary art can also feel like a religion of its own. Design is vast just like this tree with massive branches spreading in all the directions. It has it’s roots grown firmly into the society but it just needs to be realised by the mass.


visual literacy. Visual literacy is the ability to recognize and critically appreciate meaning in visual content and to use visual elements to create effective communication. Visualizations often provide better ways to tell a story or understand data, and some colleges and universities are making visual literacy coursework part of general education requirements. As the prevalence of visual communication expands, so does the need to develop a critical eye to evaluate visual content for its accuracy and validity. The demand for visual literacy is driving key changes in curricula as visual content becomes a presumptive component of our communication toolbox.


why? Visual literacy is something that has been primarily confined to our arts classrooms; in the arts, students learn how to look at a painting and how to read, analyze, and deconstruct the techniques used by the artist. Usually they study and become aware of concepts such as lighting, color, composition, and more. Today, the need for visual literacy has spread to other discplines. Because so much information is communicated visually, it is more important than ever that our students learn what it means to be visually literate. Those who create visual images (such as photographs) do so with a purpose in mind, using certain techniques. In order to “read� or analyze an image, the audience (our students) must be able to understand the purpose and recognize the techniques. Just like media literacy, visual literacy is about analyzing and creating messages. Images can be used to influence and persuade, so it is incumbent upon educators to learn how to teach with and about images and to help our students understand the language of photography.


elements of design. Creating beautiful design is about more than inspiration or a great idea, it’s about understanding the fundamentals of the subject. Although it’s possible to spend years studying the nuances of design and the many varying takes on how to be successful at it, there are a handful, or two, of basic elements that every designer should know before beginning any project. Even amateurs in the field who maintain personal blogs or only make a hobby of it can utilize these following ten tips to create professional looking pieces, and anyone who intends to earn money from the endeavor must know them. Rules were made to be broken, of course, but you have to know what they are first.


principles of design. A good art work, whether it is a painting, sculpture, interiors or a website design, all starts at a design stage. Its conception is made by the principles and elements that govern art and design. During the initial stages, there are many aspects that need to be focused upon in order to achieve the right balance. -Art cannot be made without the use of basic art elements such as line, form, space and color. -Without the elements, an art form cannot gain its identity. -Knowing the different elements also enable us to describe and detail an artist’s artwork. -Thoughts can be communicated using elements. -Helps us to analyze and appreciate art. -Gives us the independence to create art work, yet follow the rules and principles of art and design.


let’s find out about, line scale colour repetition contrast figure&ground grid symmetry texture balance movement typography depth


lines. The first and most basic element of design is that of the line. In drawing, a line is the stroke of the pen or pencil but in graphic design, it’s any two connected points. Lines are useful for dividing space and drawing the eye to a specific location. Lines can be defined as any linear marks. Lines make up just about everything. Even these words and letters you’re reading now are made up of thousands of curved, angled and straight lines. Lines can channel certain ideas too. Straight ones can evoke order and neatness, wavy lines can create movement, and zig-zagged lines can imply tension or excitement. A technique applied a lot in photography is the use of ‘leading lines’ which do just what they claim – they lead the eye. Finding and emphasising strong leading lines in your piece can allow you to direct the eye through the entire piece or to certain focal points.


“those who think only in straight lines cannot see around a curve.�


scale. Scale is the size you may choose to draw or place an object in relation to the ground it is placed upon. Scale is used to assist in drawing large objects such as houses and furniture and is used to describe the dimensions of these drawn objects. Scale can be used to create visual impact by creating a sense of depth and the feeling of tension. Scale can attract in different ways. It can be use to draw attention, change the size of an object in an unexpected or exaggerated way. Scale is a large part of design, sometimes literally. In a very basic definition, scale is the deliberate sizing of individual elements. Scale can help us make sense of designs and images. Think about if you were to draw a mouse next to an elephant, you’d probably draw the mouse much smaller than the elephant, which would help viewers instantly understand your drawing. In this way, scale helps us make sense of things. But, scale doesn’t always have to be based on realism. You can size your elements dramatically large or small to create stunning effects and to signal which parts of your design are more important and which are less.


“the scale is not the only measure of success.”


colour. Colour is paramount. Colour creates specific moods, atmospheres, channels emotions and each shade has certain specific connotations associated with it. In short, colour can make or break your design. Colour isn’t a principle simply limited to branding elements though, colour expands into everything, even photographs. Filters and image adjustors have given us the unlimited ability to adjust our photographs’ colouring and tones. Hue refers to the color itself. Each different hue is a different reflected wavelength of light. White light broken in a prism has seven hues VIBGYOR. Color value refers to the lightness or darkness of the hue. Adding white to a hue produces a high-value color, often called a tint. Adding black to a hue produces a low-value color, often called a shade. Intensity, also called chroma or saturation, refers to the brightness of a color. A color is at full intensity when not mixed with black or white - a pure hue.


“the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.�


repetition. Repetition is a crucial element when it comes to branding design, both in terms of keeping your branding consistent and in terms of tying your items together. It can also make for beautiful one-off designs. For example, repetition is a key ingredient when it comes to creating patterns and textures. The principle of repetition simply means the reusing of the same or similar elements throughout your design. Repetition of certain design elements in a design will bring a clear sense of unity, consistency and cohesiveness. Repetetion is the use of similar or connected pictorial elements. For example, similar shapes, colours or lines that are used more than once. Repetetion can be regular or irregular and even or uneven. It can be in the form of RADIATION where the repeated elements spread out from a central point. It may be in the form of GRADATION where the repeated elements slowly become smaller or larger. Repetition works with pattern to make the artwork seem active. The repetition of elements of design creates unity within the artwork. Patterns often occur in nature, and artists use similar repeated motifs to create pattern in their work. Pattern increases visual excitement by enriching surface interest.


“being able to be repeated controllably is one key element in risk management.�


figure & ground. Figure-ground refers to the shapes, space or forms within a composition. In simplest terms the figure is what you notice and the ground is everything else. The figure also known as the positive space, refers to the images that are visually dominant on the ground. The ground, sometimes referred to as the ‘negative’ space or the background, is the surrounding area that the figure is placed upon. Everything in a design of yours will be seen as one or the other, and the relationship between them is mutually exclusive. Neither can be perceived except in relation to the other, and changing one is impossible without changing the other as well. Figure and ground can enhance or detract from each other, and organizing the two in relation to each other is one of the more important aspects of design. It sets a context for how your design communicates and how it will be interpreted.


“learn to honor failure, because it is just the negative space around success.�


contrast. Contrast is where two or more elements that have opposite qualities are placed together. In a very basic definition, contrast is the degree of difference between two elements of your design. Contrast has a great effect on readability and legibility as well, it’s a big reason why you see novels and many other publications printing in black text on a white background. Imagine if they printed using light grey on a white background. The contrast would be very low and the type hard to read. So, if you’re using type, make sure you bump up that contrast. Contrast isn’t just a stylistic element or a legibility-enhancer, it can also act to draw the eye to certain elements of your design. Contrast is a useful design principle that can make a visual communication more effective. Contrast can assist in attracting the target audience and can lead their eye through a visual communication.


“contrast is what makes our living interesting, appreciate it.�


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symmetry. Symmetry is used a lot in logos in order to create a harmonious and balanced design. As species, human beings are scientifically proven to be drawn to symmetry. We find symmetrical faces, patterns and designs generally more attractive, effective and beautiful. Symmetry isn’t always as obvious either, sometimes it is subtle, sometimes you may not even notice it. A prime example of invisible symmetry can be found in editorial design, and more specifically text boxes. Open up any magazine you have laying around and chances are in a longer articles you’ll notice that the body copy has been split up into columns of text, and these columns are often symmetrically sized to keep things legible, neat, as well as visually appealing. By using a bit of symmetry in your layout, you can create a sense of balance and order.


“symmetry shows constancy, people crave it because contstancy has deficiency in life.�


texture. Texture is a general characteristic for a substance or a material. Texture exist all around us. It can be natural, invented, or manufactured. It can also be simulated or made to look and or feel rough, smooth, hard, or soft natural or artificial. Simulated textures such as a rough stone wall or a fluffy cloud are made to look and feel like real textures. Texture refers to the surface quality in a work of art. We associate textures with the way that things look or feel. Everything has some type of texture. We describe things as being rough, smooth, silky, shiny, fuzzy and so on. Some things feel just as they appear; this is called real or actual texture. Some things look like they are rough but are actually smooth. Texture that is created to look like something it is not, is called visual or implied texture. Clean, sharp and sleek graphic designs can be wonderful, but sometimes, roughing it up a little with some texture can be even better. Texture can add tactility, depth and can add some pretty interesting effects to your design.


“life has ups & downs, light & shadows. together they create a beautiful texture.”


balance. Balance is a pretty important thing in most of life, and it’s equally as important in the world of design. Balance is the even (though not necessarily equal) distribution of the design elements to create harmony within a composition. A composition can be symmetrically or asymmetrically balanced. Imagine placing an imaginary line down the middle of a composition. If the elements are of equal weight and value on either side we refer to this as symmetrically balanced. Usually when one or more elements are mirrored on either side we refer to this as a stable or more formal composition. When the imagery is not mirrored we can describe the composition as being dynamic or informal. If the elements are not mirrored this is referred to as asymmetrically balanced. Symmetrical Balance add a sense of order, rest & calmness to a composition. Asymmetrical Balance adds a sense of tension, dynamics and emphasis to a composition.


“the secret to life is creating the right balance to everything you do.�


movement. Movement is the result of using the elements of art such that they move the viewer's eye around and within the image. A sense of movement can be created by diagonal or curvy lines, either real or implied, by edges, by the illusion of space, by repetition, by energetic mark-making. Movement is a big part of the visual arts, including graphic design. Without movement, artwork becomes stagnant. A few good strategies to evoke a sense of movement (among many others) are using diagonal lines, placing shapes so that the extend beyond the boundaries of the picture plane, and using changing values.Movement is the path our eyes follow when we look at a work of art, and it is generally very important to keep a viewer’s eyes engaged in the work.


“Movement is necessary. We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.�


depth. Depth is an important and exciting principle in the world of design. Even with the flattest of mediums, you are able to create a sense of depth, and an illusion that your design expands beyond the second dimension. Most commonly known technique to show depth is shadows. Now, shadows can be tricky little devils, as they aren’t always linearly shaped, sometimes they stretch, bend, warp and skew. Another technique is overlapping certain elements. This reduces the flat appearance, and makes things seem more layered and on different levels and tiers. Another technique is to play with perspective, which is a technique that often gives elements a “3D effect”. By adjusting the perspective of certain elements, you can give the illusion of raising them up off of the page, creating instant depth.


“the depth of your life is more important than its length.�


typography. Typography is the visual component of the written word. Typography is the art of manipulating the visual form of language to enrich and control its meaning. It’s an essential area of skill and knowledge for graphic designers. It plays a critical role in strengthening your brand, creating interest in your product, and highlighting your central message. Typography is the art and technique of arranging type, type meaning letters and characters. It's about more than just the design of letters and characters; the arrangement of those letters and characters is just as big a part of it all. That refers to the selection of point size, line length, and spacing, both on a single line and throughout an entire page or piece of work. Typography is absolutely everywhere. Just look at your phone, a billboard, your coffee cup. Every font, letter, and character arrangement plays a part in determining how a message is conveyed.


“make life appealing & easy to perceive.�


grid. Grids are important, usually invisible elements to just about any design. They are comprised of a certain number of rows and columns that you can align your elements against. Grids can help to keep your content in order, neat, legible and looking good. Think of a design grid like the foundation to a house. It’s a crucial first step in allowing for you to build a functional, and beautiful final product. It signals to the builder/designer where certain elements should be placed, what should align with what, and provides a general outline for construction. The foremost purpose of a grid in graphic design is to establish a set of guidelines for how elements should be positioned within a layout. Not only does an effective grid provide the rhythm for a design, but it also defines the meter. Grids can greatly speed up and improve your design time, as they can act as a guide that signals where is best to place, position, and scale elements. Instead of randomly positioning elements until you find a decent looking composition, a grid should help guide you toward a natural solution.


“ocassionally live off the grid, it adds a whole new spice in life.�


essentially design is Intelligence made visible.


visually


literate


a project by pranav.

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