Principles of Design
Visually, there is very little originality in design — it is usually a rearrangement of an idea observed and recorded previously. No matter how simple the design may be, there are certain principles that must be applied.
Appreciation of their importance will be slowly gained by observation and practice together with good judgement. This will produce satisfactory results without the need for any mathematical calculations.
Principles of design should always be incorporated in any graphic design project
to assist its communicating and graphic interest, however in the planning of a basic design, the designer must produce a job to suit the class of work, the copy, and the tastes of the customer.
To develop a sense of design use the three `eyes':
1. Visual-eyes: Examine closely all types of printed material, i.e. physically see/look at what everyone else is/has done. (What catches or eludes your attention, and why?)
2. Critic-eyes: Separate the good from the bad. (What provokes the ad? What motivates you? Those things that don't catch your eye — why?)
3. Analize-eyes: Select the element that makes it a good design.There are three essential qualities needed to become a competent designer:
Vision.— To be able to detect an idea and
then to toss it around in your head (objects, tones, shapes, colours — everything around you).
Imagination.— To be able to use an idea effectively, i.e. brainstorm the idea and bring it to a state where it can work.
Judgement.— To be able to assess the idea's value and correct place and use, i.e. limitations always arise after you come up with an idea.
The Principles of Design are qualities or characteristics inherent in any art form, such as balance,harmony, contrast, variety, and action.These principles must be used in any design if it is to be in any way effective. Not all of them, however, will be used in the one design.
Whatever principles the designer may adopt, the ultimate result must be a design that can be easily read and clearly understood. Careful control of the principles of design is necessary to successfully project an intended image.
This is the result of an arrangement of one or more elements in the design so that visually, they equal each other. Every object in nature has structural balance, from the symmetry of a flower petal to the chambers of a snail's shell.
The balance needed every time we perform any form of physical movement is automatically maintained by a built-in equilibrium that we take for granted.
Man-made structures, even if not formally equal on all sides, must maintain a balance in relation to a perpendicular surface. Doubtless the Leaning Tower of Pisa will someday fall when a greater portion of its weight shifts off balance. Sound must also be balanced, both in its production and in its reproduction.
Achieving a physical balance is simple: the weight of one object must be counter-balanced by the weight of another on the opposite end of a fulcrum. If, however, the objects are of different materials, the masses may not appear to be balanced. Because steel is heavier than wood, for example, a large piece of wood is needed to balance a small piece of steel.
Physical balance can be measured by use of a balance scale; there is no agreed scientific method, however, for determining the weights of shapes in the arts. Instead, balance is determined by weighing the objects visually.
For graphic design, the visual centre of any typical A4 page of the business world is not the actual physical centre but what is termed the Optical Centre. This visual point of balance can be determined mathematically as being located three-eights from the top of the page, five-eights from the bottom.