What Makes a Good Design?

 
 

There are so many different elements to consider in a great design from negative space to colour. In my opinion, there are a few that have a big impact on the end product. Here are four design elements to help take your designs to the next level.

 
 
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1. BALANCE

A great way to think of balance in your design is to think of each element as having weight to it. Imagine your design physically printed out as a 3D model and consider whether it would balance and stand up right or be lopsided and fall to one side. This idea can apply to all elements on your design from images and text boxes to blocks of colour. Think carefully about each of the shapes, sizes and what weight they have in relation to other elements in your design.

 
 
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2. HIERARCHY

Hierarchy is the level of importance a certain element in your design has

Using a newspaper as an example; the top of the hierarchy is the most important piece of information, generally the title/heading. This is where you want your viewers’ attention to go to first. Next would be the things that don’t demand as much attention as the main heading, such as subtitles, pull quotes or dates of an event, which can be made smaller than the main heading. After that, you have all the other elements in your design such as body text, additional info on a poster, links etc.

When considering a design make sure the most important pieces of information are ranked higher on the hierarchy so they grab your readers attention first and help them journey through the secondary information.

 
 
 
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3. CONTRAST

 
 

Contrast is one of the key ingredients to making your designs pop. Contrast is the difference between elements in your design. The most common forms of contrast in design is light and dark, small and large and thick and thin as illustrated below.

Contrast brings variation and interest to a design. Contrast also accentuates important pieces of information.

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4. COLOUR

Lastly, choosing the right colours is something that will give your design emotional weight. Whatever you’re designing, try and pick a colour that fits with the theme of what your design is about. Colours are subjective and can trigger certain emotions is people when they see are seen. Below are some examples of a few colours and the emotions that they can evoke.

  • Blue is often associated with; sadness, loyalty, wisdom.

  • Green is often associated with; wealth, nature, health.

  • Red is often associated with; passion, love, joy but can also be associated with anger and danger.

  • Yellow is often associated with; happiness, education, creativity

  • Black is often associated with; mystery, elegance, sophistication

  • White is often associated with; cleanliness, freshness, purity.

Keep in mind what emotion your are trying to provoke with your next design.

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Have a play around with the different elements above and see if you can incorporate one of them in your next design.

Blog by Danielle Eagle, Lumiere Graphic Design Intern