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Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 1

 

Graphic Design Composition Techniques 1

 

Creating Patterns

Snowflake Pattern Formula

Symmetrical forms like our snowflake are ideal for creating repeat patterns. They fit together like tiles. Note how a 'hidden' cube or box is formed at the centre of the design on the right. Designs within designs are often waiting to be discovered. A good designer should always be awake to the possibilities that lie within a shape.

 

Less Is More

Less is More

This Christmas card design pushes the pattern technique to extremes. However, in graphic design 'less' is usually 'more' and consequently simpler ideas are often more visually satisfying.

 

Arranging Image and Type

The Ice Box

The 'hidden' cube or box at the centre of this design suggests an appropriate use for the image: a logo for a refrigeration company named 'The Ice Box'.

The relationship between image and type in any design is very important and there are many ways of linking them. 'Arial Black' was chosen as the font for this design because the breadth of the letters match the thickness of the lines in the image. The triangular arrangement and placement of the type also mirrors the composition of the snowflakes.

'The Ice Box' idea now needs some further work to transform its basic form into a unified design.

 

Color Links

The Ice Box - Color

Three icy blue tones were added to the image to emphasise the three planes of the 'box'. The same three colors were also used for the type to strengthen the link between the image and font.

 

Developing the Design

The Ice Box - Color 2

A process of trial and error is essential in developing any graphic idea. In order to try to increase the chill factor in our design, its black outline was removed and replaced by a cold green backdrop. This, however, did not work well as the image lost some visibility and weakened the impact of the 'hidden' box.

 

Improving the Design

The Ice Box - Color Drop Shadow

In an attempt to improve the design, a drop shadow was added to increase the visibility of the image. This worked well and restored the impact of the design.

 

Finalizing the Design

The Ice Box - Final

As adding the drop shadow had dramatically increased the visibility of the design, the background was deemed unnecessary and removed. Finally, the type was changed to a single colour to improve its legibility. Its drop shadow was also removed to further enhance the visibility of the design.

The solution to 'The Ice Box', like most graphic designs, is the product of a process of trial and error, where error plays a necessary part in the success of the work.

Composition Techniques for Graphic Design

 

  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 1
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 2
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 3
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 4
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 5
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 6
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 7
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 8
  • Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 8

Each of the font symbols above was randomly chosen as a starting point to demonstrate the process of developing an idea for a graphic design.

Click on each symbol to explore a range of composition techniques that you can use to develop and adapt for your own ideas in graphic design.

Once you have studied our examples you can find other symbols in our free Graphic Design Resource Sheets that you may print and use to explore the techniques you have learned.

Graphic Design: Logotypes and Typography

These lessons introduce you to some basic principles of good design that will help you to develop effective logotypes with an understanding of relevant typography.

 

Graphic Design: How to Create and Develop Ideas

These lessons introduce you to some of the skills and techniques that will expand your creativity in developing original ideas for graphic design.

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