Graphic Design Basics General:Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system, or from a company’s digital avatar to the sprawling and interlinked digital and physical content of an international newspaper. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political. Graphic Design is something which drives advertising and attracts us to brands. That is why it is said Graphic Design is so important to our everyday lives. Elements of Design:Line Line is usually present in every design, even if it is a solid border of 1px or a dotted one of 5px. Every website has lines, but the minimalistic style which became more popular in the past couple of years tries to erase the lines from the layouts, or at least to decrease the use of them.The lines can be long, red, straight, thin, blue, dashed, short, black or curved, they are all into the same category. They are most of the time used for delimitation between different sections of a design, or are used to direct a viewer’s vision in a specific direction. The lines can create different effects and visual impact. While a thick, bold line draws attention because of its visual power, the thin lines tend to go the other way. The color has an impact too, dark colors are easier to see and draw more attention than light or pale colors. Value Value is more general and represents how dark or light a design is. Value has a lot to do with mood too, only at a more profound level. Understanding colors will take you close to perfection, but knowing how value works will take you beyond this. Lighter designs offer a different impact and feeling than the dark ones and you need an expert eye to notice differences and decide which one is the best. Shape Shape, or the form, is the second most used element of a web design. They are actually lines combined in different shapes. The forms are still popular and this is because if there is something that needs to stand out, forms are one of the ways to do it. There can be circles, squares, rectangles, triangles or any other abstract shape; most of the designs include at least one of these. Minimalistic designs use it a lot, because they are often based on illustrations and drawings. Textures Textures were not very popular a couple of years ago, but they tend to become more and more used. They replaced (or compete with, if we can call it a competition) the single-colored backgrounds. Textures can look similar to solid background colors, but if they are analyzed closer, small but effective differences can be noticed. Texture styles include paper, stone, concrete, brick, fabric and natural elements, among flat or smooth colors. Textures can also be subtle or pronounced and can be used sparingly or liberally. They work with pretty much everything. Color Color may even be the most important element of a design, because it offers the most powerful visual impact at a single glance. Color is obvious and does not need basic graphic skills to be noticed. While lines and shapes mean the same thing as in the reality, only at a little more profound level, the color means exactly the same thing as in the nature. Color creates emotions – red is passionate, blue is calm, green is natural. Even if you don’t realize this, colors have a clear effect on your mind. Space Space and how it is used is crucially important in design. Lately the “white space” (also called negative space) became used widely because it allows the human eye to read easier. For whoever is not familiar with the term “white space”, it does not mean precisely space filled with white, but every area of the design which is only filled with the background color. You can see several examples below to better understand the concept. Principles of Design: Balance Balance is how the elements of a design are distributed throughout a layout. If the balance is good, then stability is assured, although lately many designers go for unbalanced designs because they are dynamic and offer a totally different perspective. You need to know the three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. The first one takes place when both sides of a design are the same in shape, lines, texture and so on. The second type of balance occurs when the two sides of a design do not look like each other, but still have elements that are similar. Although it is called asymmetrical, they still provide some symmetry, like the first type of balance, only at a lower level. The radius balance takes place when design elements are placed in a circular pattern. They give a sense of movement, dynamism, but it is not seen very often. Dominance/Priority These two principles are together because they are strongly linked. They both have a lot to do with the user experience because a lack of priority and element dominance can be confusing. The dominance level is the one which prioritizes the importance of different elements, logo, content or design. Sure, this is also done by playing with the font and size, but let’s go a bit deeper and see what dominance and priority mean. There are three main levels of priority. We have the headline or call to action, which comes as a primary element; then we have the secondary elements like images needed to make a point or, most of the time, the navigation. Proportion Proportion is important and represents the scale of elements compared to each other. They have a strong effect on the user and are also linked with the previous principle. It is no surprise that larger elements have a stronger impact on the user than the small ones. Contrast This is another important principle not only of design, but also of photography and any other visual art. I don’t think we need to go too deep into this, because everybody knows what contrast means. Having enough contrast between elements makes sure that some of them stand out more than others. If designers wish to blend elements together, they do it by having minimal contrast between them. If the contrast is high, the elements are distinct from each other. Rhythm This might be a new one for you. The rhythm of the page is the principle that makes the human eye move from one element to another. It ensures the flow of the eye and in which order users should see the elements. Harmony/Unity The last principle of design wants to ensure that even if all the principles above are used properly, it is still impossible to create a stunning design without harmony and unity, and this is quite often seen in real life. We often hear of rich people who have everything they want, but lack harmony and unity in their lives. It is the same rule in design. If all these elements work together properly, then you’ve achieved what we call unity.