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Composition Techniques for Graphic Design 9


Graphic Design Composition Techniques 9


Building Structures

Building Structures 1

Building Structures 2

Building Structures 3

Certain shapes, particularly symmetrical ones, are naturally disposed to building structural patterns. Once our little modular man meets his friends they cannot help but demonstrate their acrobatic skills in this creative technique.


Welding Images

Welding Images

Welding is another technique used for building structures. 'Welding' in graphic design, as illustrated in our visual equation above, is when you take two or more images and combine them to create a single form. Due to their combined nature, 'welded' images often suggest conceptual ideas with layers of meaning.


Building a Concept

Refrigeration Plant

When developing a logo you are trying to build up a strong concept that communicates information on various levels.

In order to build up a concept around our image we have added the title 'Refrigeration Plant' to create a logo idea for a cold storage company. The layers of meaning that arise from linking the image to this title take the form of a visual and verbal pun. The man/snowflake resembles a 'plant'. The word 'plant' not only describes a living organism but is also another name for a factory. The former is a symbol of nature while the latter is a symbol of technology. Like the stem supporting its flower, the figure holds the snowflake aloft - a reference to man's technology harnessing of the forces of nature and an appropriate symbol for the subject.


Frames are not always rectangles

Frames are not always rectangles...

To develop our concept further we have added a backdrop. Remember that a frame or backdrop does not have to be rectangular. It can be any shape. Here we use a triangular backdrop to frame the image and link to the title. The triangular backdrop also suggests the shape of an icicle, adding some extra chill to the design.


Use Counterchanges to create Contrast

Use Counterchanges for Contrast

Next the design was colored ice blue to further amplify the coldness of the concept. Tonal counterchanges of graduated color were added to both the image and its backdrop in order to contrast and balance these elements of the design


Outlines are not always black

Outlines are not always black...

Finally, all the outlines in the logo were changed from black to white. This adds a 'frostiness' to the concept, more in keeping with the subject. A subtle drop shadow was also applied to restore the legibility of the lettering and the overall tonal contrast of the design was increased to maximise its impact.

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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