Graphic Design Lessons - Composition Techniques 8
Stand Out from the Crowd
Good graphic design stands out from the crowd. By merely adjusting one of our stacked cups, this simple change to the image creates a visual metaphor that expresses deeper ideas about attitudes or behaviour.
Contrast Black and White with Color
Colors seem more intense when used as a contrasting element with black and white. In this variation of our design the spectrum of colors suggests both the heat and aroma of a hot beverage.
A Counterchange of Tones
Shading techniques, such as a counterchange of graduated tones (light against dark changing to dark against light) can add a spatial elegance and depth to the most minimal shapes.
A Counterchange of Shapes
To create a 'Morning Coffee' logo for a café, our visual equation demonstrates a counterchange of overlapping shapes that are then shaded and colored like the squares on a checkerboard.
A Simple Layout
To develop the idea further, the image was framed with a background that suggested a tray or a café window. The words 'Morning Coffee' were added to complete a simple layout. The 'Cooper Black' font was chosen for this text as its gently curved corners were in harmony with the other shapes in the design.
Try Different Layouts
Don't be satisfied with your first design - try different layouts. In order to unite the typography with the image, the layout of the shapes was altered to include the text within the design. This also removed any ambiguity about the frame which now looks more like a café window with the cup of coffee sitting comfortably in the foreground.
Test Different Fonts
Always test different examples of typography in a design. Here the type has been swapped for a less formal 'Brush Stroke' font whose calligraphic strokes set a more relaxed tone. The decision as to what works best is usually down to the personal preference and experience of the designer.
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.