Category Archives: The Basics

Articles on the Basics of Graphic Design, Including the Elements and Principles of Design

Using Other People’s Content is OK!

Using other people’s intellectual property is not only ok, it’s necessary in the professional world of graphic design. WHAT?! Yes, really. As much of a purist as I like to be, in the real world I’m finding it’s impossible to design without using other people’s stuff (purchased ligit of course). You simply don’t have the […]

Why Being Odd is Good: The Principle of Balance

The rule of thirds is a photography principle of composition. It also plays a large role in one of the principles of design: Balance.

If you think about how photographers have taken your portrait over the years, you’ll notice they always put your eyes about 1/3 of the way down the photo. Some photographers do place the top of the head here, which, in my opinion, is less interesting… who cares what the top of your head and the background above it look like! We want to see your face!

Picking the Perfect Color Palette

Do you ever struggle to find those elusive perfect colors for a graphic design project? What do you do?

There are many color theming sites out there, like Adobe Kuler and Colour Lovers, but not all of the themes people put together actually work with a real project and there are a lot to dig through.

Are there any “old reliable” color themes you always go back to?

Using Points and Picas

By the way, it’s pronounced pieka, as in pie, not pika. Please, no pika. A quick recap from the last post: 1 inch = 6 picas 1 pica = 12 points 1 inch = 72 points Why Use Points and Picas? The thing that I like about using the pica system for page layout is […]

What’s a Pica?

When I was looking at designing my first big print piece, I decided it was time to learn more about the grid and about the measurement system of points and picas. I started reading about picas and it immediately clicked with me: even our screen resolutions are based on this system! Haven’t you ever thought […]

The Grid in Practice

If you’re new to using the grid system, you might have been a little confused by last week’s post. You may have been thinking that you have to reduce all your text or crop your images to fit into those skinny little columns.

Remember, the grid is just a tool. Use it to enhance your designs and make laying out images and text easier on yourself. How do you do that? Build a grid first, then put on your creativity hat! Have fun!

Using the Grid

The more I learn about how designers use the grid system and the different ways they construct their grids, the more free I feel to take my creativity to new heights! But how can using a complex, confusing, restrictive set of lines help me be free?

Glad you asked.

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