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Color Theory in Graphic Design

Color is a powerful tool in graphic design. It can be used to attract attention, organize content, emphasize elements, evoke emotion and help a design look aesthetically pleasing. But what colors should be used? In order to choose the right colors and color combinations, it is important that the graphic designer have a basic understanding of color theory. Color theory is the study of color in art and design, their relationships with each other and principles used to create harmonious color schemes.

The Color Wheel

color-wheels
The concept of the color wheel was invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666 when he bent the color spectrum, or the range of all visible light, into the shape of a circle. It is a circular diagram used to visually show the relationships between colors and can be used to logically choose color schemes. For the purpose of this article,...

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Grids in Graphic Design

In my last blog post, I discussed the rules of good typography. I intentionally omitted grids because I felt it’s not only limited to typography and hence deserved it’s own post. Grids in graphic design refers to a series of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines that are used to structure content on a page. Their roots are in traditional typography for typesetting books but they can be used for placement of any graphic design element in print, web or multimedia. Grids act as a framework that a designer can use to organize content in a rational manner.

Creating Grids

Creating a grid is usually the first technical step of the graphic design process. Graphic designers begin with a blank page and begin dividing it up with guidelines, which can be turned on and off throughout the design process and are invisible in the final design.

Types of Grids

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Basic Rules of Good Typography

Typography is the art and technique of designing, setting and arranging type. It is used to some degree in all written communication. As I described in my last blog post, graphic design is visual communication that uses design elements to convey print or electronic forms of information. The majority of this information comes from words. Therefore, typography is the the most basic form of graphic design and perhaps the most important tool of a graphic designer.

Typography can be a very complicated topic but understanding some simple concepts and rules can result in solid typography and help make good graphic design great.

Measure

Measure refers to the horizontal length of a column of type. The length of a line affects readability because  readers eyes become fatigued if it has to repeatedly read long lines of type. This is why newspapers and magazines are often split up into columns of text. A good measure for a single column of type is 40-50 characters (including...

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What is Graphic Design Anyway?

This is the question that I often get after I tell someone what I do for a living. For my fellow graphic designers it may seem like a silly question and even self explanatory. We design graphics, of course. However, for the average person who don’t design for a living, it may not be so obvious and require elaboration.

Let’s take a look at a few definitions:

  • Dictionary.com: The art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words and ideas to convey information to an audience and to produce a specific effect.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary: The art or profession of using design elements (such as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect.
  • TheFreeDictionary.com: The practice or profession of designing print or electronic forms of visual...

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