Basic Graphic Design Questions

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by kat.hayes, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    I'm new to the graphic design world and I have been reading as much as I can, though I'm confused by conflicting stuff I'm reading. I see a lot of pages describe the elements of graphic design as:

    - lines
    - shapes
    - color
    - texture
    - value
    - space

    and then I have seen some pages add form/volume/mass

    1.) Does the list above seem accurate? anything missing? should form/volume/mass be included as well to the elements of graphic design?

    2.) What then are the following called? Are these just ways to organize the graphic design elements?
    - proximity
    - alignment
    - repetition
    - contrast/emphasis/hierarchy
    - typography
    - rhythm
    - pattern
    - proportion
    - variety

  2. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    Design is not a hard science, so the "Elements of Design" (your first list) will vary by author/instructor/designer (and even their definitions may vary based on who you ask).

    So will the "Principles of Design" (your second list; and yes, these are methods/strategies for using the Elements of Design).
  3. beowulf70 macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2010
    Hi Kat,

    Your list of words provided and those that will be quoted to you are by no means exhaustive, but are all relevant to Graphic Design.

    My advice to you would be to read as many different books and blogs on Design to gain a broader perspective as possible.

    Don't get stressed over a list of words. Design is fluid and you'll continue to learn more every day. I've been a professional Graphic Designer for over 22 years and there's not a day goes by that I don't learn something new. ;)

    Be careful not to consider Graphic Design as a strict science or art though.
    "Good art is a talent. Good design is a skill".

    Just to mention a little about your List 2. From my perspective, those words are mainly about typography. My advice would be to have a look at Swiss Typography and an exponent by the name of Jan Tschichold.

    You could learn a lot from him.....
    Have fun! ;)
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I see list one as a description of elements available to a designer, and list two as how those elements could be applied.

    Personally, I believe that list two encapsulates more the processes involved in creating good design.
  5. kat.hayes thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
  6. R1PPER macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2008
    Your not going to Magically become a good Graphic Designer from trying to analyse need to DO IT. What sort of stuff do you want to do.? Look at what everyone else is doing and when your work is better than everything else you are a Good Designer.
  7. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    I would agree with what R1PPER said. Reading books about it is helpful, but you really gain your skills by doing it. Make things that look good, and they'll follow most of what the books say anyway.
  8. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Good point BTW.

    It's as much of an art as it is a science, the background information gives you the process but I do agree the doing part makes the designer.
  9. beowulf70 macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2010
    I forgot to ask... can you please elaborate on your seemingly dismissive, broad comment that "Design is not a hard science"?

    I'm very interested to hear your thoughts... Thanks.
  10. spacedcadet macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2009

    looks like someone needed help with an assignment.
  11. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    A "hard science" is Math, Physics, Chemistry, where there is only one correct answer to a problem (4+3 always equals 7).

    In Design there are many solutions to a problem, and none of them are "wrong" (they just vary in degrees of success).

    By 'hard' I don't mean 'difficult'.

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