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What Are The Key Elements and Principles Of Graphic Design?

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William Griffiths
What Are The Key Elements and Principles Of Graphic Design?

What Are The Key Elements and Principles Of Graphic Design?

The art of graphic design has been around for a long time. With each and every passing year, it develops and takes on entirely new trends, especially with the increase in digital use. While some may feel as if those with a natural talent and artistic flair can take to the sector like a fish to water, others will realise that it’s a bit more complex than that.

There are always certain factors to consider when finding success in any field,  and that’s certainly true with regard to graphic design. It’s not a case of picking up a laptop one day and going to work - there are intricacies that take time to master.

As such, we felt it was appropriate to run through some of the best and most important elements and principles that can lead you down the path of a successful venture into this world.

This is about understanding how to communicate in a certain way, learning the basic fundamentals, and piecing them all together as one. They say that form is temporary and class is permanent, but either way, you won’t have to worry about any of that with these tools up your sleeve.

What is unlimited graphic design?

Within graphic design, perhaps the most popular (and on the rise) tool you can use is unlimited graphic design. It’s absolutely essential for anyone who wants to work within a long-term partnership, with clients being given the chance to go back and forth with an entire team full of dedicated professionals before the finished product arrives.

The unlimited element is the key here. It gives you the opportunity to have as many design concepts and revisions as you desire for a set monthly fee. The team that you’ll be working with can produce many different kinds of content, and it’ll all be included in your package.

The communication is always on point, there’s often a great platform that’s simple and easy to understand, and help is never far away. What more could you ask for?

What does a graphic designer do?

Whether it be through natural means, hard work, dedication or all three, graphic designers are incredibly talented individuals. Their job often involves combining art and technology to create a variety of projects, ranging from still images to advertisements to different forms of marketing and more.

There are so many elements that they utilise within their work, which is why it can so often be a strenuous process. It’s all about creating visual appeal, in whatever format that comes in, getting a specific message across to their intended audience.

You have to be smart, you have to be tactical, and you have to be willing to open up your mind and let things flow. That may sound a little cheesy, but it’s the truth.

The key elements and principles of graphic design

Now that we’ve gone through a few of the essentials, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Some of these entries may seem more obvious than others, but when you piece it all together, it becomes the perfect puzzle that the truly talented among us use every single day.

Still, this is only the beginning. We could probably go even further down the rabbit hole and pull out 10 or 20 entries at a minimum. This is how extensive this business is, and it’s why it can cater to just about everyone who needs help. From start-ups to freelancers to established companies, there’s no stone left unturned.

With that being said, let’s dive into it!

1. Typography

The text involved in any piece of work is always going to be critical. In a lot of ways, it can be seen as the centrepiece behind whatever message it is you’re trying to get across. If it’s too small, it’s not going to stand out. If it’s too big, it could dominate the landscape and draw attention away from other facets that the audience should be focusing on.

The point sizes, the letter spacing, the line lengths, the font - all of this comes into play. Each of the graphic design elements we discuss today will take on a huge responsibility in any piece of content, and typography is at the top of that list. It’s about knowing what suits the tempo of the brief and executing it.

2. Colour scheme

The colour scheme of a piece has the potential to make or break the entire tone of a design. There are so many different combinations and styles out there that it can be pretty overwhelming to narrow it down, but for a graphic designer, it often comes as second nature. Positive or negative, cold or warm, emphatic or calm, it all makes a difference.

A colour palette is often used to really hone in on what the best solution is, and although that may seem simple in the eyes of some, these smaller details are so important to get right. If it’s too overbearing, then it’ll throw the audience off immediately, but if it’s too dull, then the brand in question may forever be given that label.

3. Hierarchy

The hierarchy in graphic design can dictate the entire layout and structure of a piece. There needs to be an immediate understanding of the main heading, the body copy, the subtitles and the actual meaning behind the piece. Firstly, though, you have to understand and grasp what kind of genre this work is falling under.

Where do you want the reader or viewer to look first? What’s the last imagery you want in their heads before they move on? It’s entirely dependent on what it is you are creating. A brochure, a presentation, a billboard ad, it’s all relative. Once some of these questions have been answered, everything can slowly come together.

4. Alignment

With a stack of cards, you need to be incredibly careful with your placement - or else the whole thing could come tumbling down. With the alignment of any given piece of graphic design, that’s also true. There has to be a connection between everything on the page/product, seamlessly flowing between one another like a beautiful sonnet.

If there’s any kind of distortion, it can throw the entire thing off. Images, blocks of text, infographics; nothing can fly under the radar. It all has to mesh together nicely because without that kind of attention being given, the work can easily come across as unfinished, even if that’s far from the case.

5. Balance

If you want to be really dynamic and edgy with what it is you are creating, then the off-balanced route may be the way to go. It allows for fewer rules to be put in place, presenting the kind of creative freedom that can allow ideas to flourish in a way that was previously unheard of. It sounds thrilling, right? Well, sometimes, but not always.

A nice balance can immediately lure someone into a visual creation. Through different patterns and great symmetry, there can be a really satisfying image that leaves the audience wanting more. Of course, it’s a bit more conventional, but it really does come down to what the objective is and how you want to see it through.

6. Contrast

Some would suggest that the core principles of graphic design, and the elements that surround it, simply do not get more important than this. If it’s decided that a clear contrast within a certain layout is what you’re shooting for, then you need to sit back and think about how exactly that’s going to come to fruition.

There could be traditional design techniques used, or you could go down the contemporary route. A large item could be accompanied by a small one; there could be darkness alongside the light, sadness with joy - you name it. This one aspect could define everything you’re working on, and that isn’t an exaggeration.

Need help with graphic design? Contact Hatchly!

The graphic design elements that we’ve listed today truly only scratch the surface of what this is all about. On the surface, it’s the creation of work that can be used to promote, intrigue, and fascinate the masses. Beyond that scope, though, there’s a whole other layer that really hits home - and it all comes down to the commitment.

Here at Hatchly, that’s something we take especially seriously. When clients are taking a look at the pricing we offer for our services, they may take a moment to wonder whether or not this is something they really want to invest in. From our perspective, what we can guarantee is that our designers strive to create the very best product every day, week and month of the year.

No matter what the request, we’ll always be ready with open ears to offer our ideas and assistance. From quick turnaround times (24-48 hours) to a friendly team, you can’t go wrong.

So, if you like what you see, feel free to get in touch!

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