Graphic Design Lessons - Composition Techniques 3
One Image - Two Meanings
The globe icon is an obvious image to use for ideas concerning social or environmental issues. In this imaginary logo for a humanitarian organisation named 'One', it is used as a visual and verbal pun representing both the world and the letter 'O'. The image of the world expresses our common humanity while the script font 'Staccato 222' emphasises the human touch.
Adapt and Survive
You can experiment by adapting parts of your image to generate ideas. In this global warming logo, the outline of the world has been distorted to form a radiating sunburst and its colour adjusted to suggest glowing heat. A harmonious font called 'Wolfgang Caps' is used to echo the jagged edge of the sunburst.
Before and After (1)
Sometimes ideas need more than one image to tell their story. The information you get from the second image can create a timeline that suggests a 'before and after' effect. As we naturally read from left to right, this sequence suggests a positive message - the restoration of the original.
Before and After (2)
If we change the order of the images, we are presented with a negative message - the process of decay or an act of vandalism.
The Visual and the Verbal
When you add a title to a graphic, the balance between the visual and the verbal is often crucial to the success of the design. The relationship between the images is echoed in the rhyme of the title and the break up of the text. A careful choice of words for a title helps the balance of the composition and amplifies the communication of the idea. A good thesaurus helps you with an appropriate word choice and every graphic designer should own one.
Composition Techniques for Generating Ideas in Graphic Design
The font symbols below were 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 could use to create your own ideas.
Graphic Design Lesson Resources
Download our free Resource Sheets
Once you have studied our composition techniques you can find more symbols in our free Resource Sheets that you may download, print and use to develop your own ideas.