Graphic design is an art where creative use photography, typography and illustration to communicate a message. Every graphic designer is tasked with making good designs that communicate. Sometimes one may follow all the instructions of a client but still miss the tone of voice, or overdo the designs.
In graphic designing there is a thin line between the good and bad design so let’s look at some mistakes that make a design look bad. Before we get into it, just a recap of our previous article on What Makes A Good Logo.
What Makes A Good Logo?
When looking for a good logo, there are a number of factors you need to look at. Here is a list. For in depth analysis go to Brand Identity, All you need to know about Brand Logos
The most important thing in design communicating your message and placing different elements such as photos and text on a design does that. Not balancing your elements on your artwork or ad makes your design look bad.
For instance, on a newspaper layout the headline needs to be in bold font and centrally placed to virtually capture the readers’ attention. If the headline and sub heading are wrongly placed the important message is disoriented.
image from minpost
When it comes to visual and print media, grammatical errors stand out like a sore thumb making your design look bad. Wrong grammar can kill a design and shift the attention of the viewer sending the wrong message mostly if it is print media, either individual, company or public design. The wrong grammar can cost the brand a lot of money and the company’s credibility to the public viewer.
Example; Rachael finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.
In the example above the design gives the message a different meaning than the intended one.
Too many fonts
When it comes designing simplicity is usually key. It is difficult to understand a message if there are too many fonts used thus distracting the viewer and making your message over complicated. There are so many fonts in the web that one can easily download online but not all them good, there so many bad typefaces out there that are just ugly, illegible and boring to use on creative designs
eg copperplate gothic combine with Trajan Pro, comic sans, papyrus and courier and curlz.
image from pinterest
Wrong color combination
Color in design is very subjective. It evokes different reactions in different people and sometimes it might be perceived negatively due to the color combination. Understanding how color affects people is very important in graphic designing. Putting hues on top of one another would be common sense for most designers but it still happens. Some color combinations make your design look bad and most people would just ignore your art,
Example; green on red. Combining these two shades of color makes it hard to read and the color clashing makes the viewer’s eyes react negatively to what it sees.
Purple on green evokes the same reaction as the green on red.
What is Good Graphic Design
When you think of graphic design your mind goes to the eye catchy advertisement on the web, beautiful spreads on the magazines but design is broader and also include posters , info graphics, book covers, product labels, logos, business cards and therefore the list goes on and on. In making graphic designs there are rules and those rules are called principles of design. They typically separate good design from bad design. And on this article we are going to look at how these principles make for a good design.
The visual weight of every element is distributed in a way that gives the composition stability. We use balance to add stability, structure, emphasis and dynamics. In design one will attempt to place visual elements during a pleasing arrangement to satisfy a purpose or achieve a particular look and feel. In every good design the considers the type of balance to achieve whether symmetrical, asymmetrical or radium balance.
Understanding these three sorts of balance will help achieve the proper visual effect in your graphic design.
For instance: when you draw a line at the center of an image and the visual elements on one side of the screen is mirrored on the other side. They don’t have to be identical but can be similar in number, shape or scale.
image from Pinterest
Contrast is used heavily in graphic design and it is when two visual elements are dramatically different . the greater the difference , the greater the contrast and therefore the key to working with contrast and graphic design is ensuring sure that differences are obvious to the viewer. Contrast in size, value and of Course some other elements too. The main reason for using contrast in graphic design are ; for emphasis, to highlight information and create a hook.
Example; size is an easy way to create contrasts, placing two elements next to each other that are similar in every aspect apart from their size is one way to bring size contrast to the table of your design. It can be a big and a small image or a big in a small typeface but leaving plenty of white space around a small object is another way to create contrast.
image from xpozer
This is the trail the viewer’s eye takes through the artwork, often to areas of focus. So a lot of time movement can be directed along lines or edges.
A good design will have visual pathways to guide the viewer’s attention from one form to another.
image from Shutterstock
Example: when we look at a stairwell design, we can see these sorts of lines of the stairwell kind of moving through a spiral fashion and the lines pulling us from the edges of the piece all towards the center of the stairwell.
This is reusing an equivalent or similar elements throughout a design. Good design practice seeks to repeat some aspects of design throughout a bit of work be it for an easier or complex piece of labor.
We use repetition to bring a sense of unity and consistency throughout a design. Repetition creates a specific style and artistic cohesiveness, emphasis and also strengthens your design.
The ultimate goal of any design is to make a good lasting impression. Repetition in design is a type of visual brainwashing. The more we see something the more we familiarize with it, thus commit it to memory. It is human nature to find comfort and attraction to familiarity.
A good example of repetition is in branding. In any good brand there will be a consistent use of style and language such as a particular color scheme, typeface or photography style.
image from flippingbook