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The Building Blocks of Graphic Design

Simply put, graphic design is combining different elements of text and imagery to make a product. But let’s be honest — that only scratches the surface of what good design truly is. Each designer is unique, and that means that their independent styles are what take those basic building blocks of good design and turn them into something truly great.

Though designers place a bit of their own spin on each piece of creative they work on, there are a variety of basic fundamentals that are always important to keep in mind when creating a new design.

1. Scale

There should be variation in size among the design, placing visual emphasis on what’s most important to the viewer. This helps create hierarchy and deliver the right message to the audience.

2. Colors

If you’re looking for a good read, there’s a huge collection of books out there on color’s impact on design. Color perception is huge. A color change can drastically alter the way someone feels and the emotion they place on design, so be sure to take it seriously.

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3. Shapes

Shapes can also have an impact on an audience’s perception, but more importantly, it plays a significant role in the cohesion of a design. Shapes force the viewer’s eyes to move around the screen or page to the points of emphasis. This also helps provide structure to the design.

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4. Lines

Lines are essential in design. They have the ability to do almost anything — from dividing up space to connecting content. They can add emphasis to words, direct a viewer’s eye, and so much more.

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5. Texture

Texture makes a design more interesting, evocative, and tangible. It causes it to stand out by adding depth and interest.

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6. Space

The use of negative space (sometimes called white space) has become more common in design — and for good reason. Space helps focus the eye to essential message points and reduces clutter. It also helps make the design feel sleek, simple, and modern.

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7. Value

Value may be the last on our list, but it’s certainly not the last in our hearts. Value is the range in a design from the lightest tone to the darkest. When working with value, aim for contrast between lights and darks that help grab the viewer’s attention without being distracting.

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And that’s it! There’s absolutely nothing more you could ever need to know about graphic design.

Obviously, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Graphic design is constantly changing and evolving, and what works today may be considered played out and weak tomorrow. It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends, read the newest articles, and to always experiment to try and find the next big thing in the world of design.

This blog was written by our Graphic Design Intern.

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