Investing in graphic design is one of the best ways to make your brand stand out and engage your audience. It helps build a brand’s visual identity and communicates in a way that mere words simply cannot accomplish.
Like every form of art, good graphic design comes down to how well you’re able to utilize its elements to transform your idea into a stunning visual reality. Understanding the elements of good graphic design is like asking “what are the ingredients that I need to make this design the best version of how I picture it”?
Recipes may vary, of course, but every successful branding agency features a combination of the following elements in their design piece:
Colors bring life to any design. Some graphic designers even say it’s the most important element, given its ability to evoke emotion at a single glance.
Even without realizing it, our minds tend to associate different moods with colors – light blue can signify calm, red can signify passion or danger, and green hues can indicate nature.
A good graphic design doesn’t just incorporate the right color mix, but also considers factors like tone, brightness, and saturation to create beautiful contrasts and seamless color blends across the design.
Whether geometric or free-formed, shapes define the length, width, and sometimes even the character of a design. For example, if a piece of graphic design contains lots of heart shapes, viewers can automatically assume that it deals with love or a romantic topic.
Shapes allow designers to create layouts and establish patterns on the page. Additionally, utilizing this design element can create flow and movement on the page, leading the eye from one component to the next.
Basically, without shapes, the design can end up looking messy, with elements out of place and no clear message being communicated to the viewer.
The amount of space available and how well you use it sets the tone for the rest of the design. Graphic designers and artists use space to define how the viewer sees the design — from dictating the path of the eye to highlighting the most important aspects of the design.
It’s also important to consider negative space (also known as white space) — the areas on the page without any design element. Using lots of negative space can give the design an open, airy feeling.
A good example is the standard Google search page. There’s a huge amount of white space while the Google logo is firmly set in the middle of the page. Immediately you land on the page, that’s the first thing you notice.
Lines are crucial in any good graphic design. They serve a variety of purposes, from dividing space and creating flow order to emphasizing the different forms and design effects on the page.
Graphic designers can go further and utilize lines to enhance visual impact. For instance, thick, bold lines can indicate solid boundaries, while thin, dashed lines can indicate movement.
Graphic designs often use text to convey the intended message, like a key point or a call to action. But it’s not enough to simply place the text on the page and leave it up to the viewers what they make of it.
Texts should convey the mood and overall tone of the design. This means taking the time to select the right font, size, color, alignment, and even spacing.
When used properly, the text blends in with the overall design and seamlessly communicates your brand message to the viewers.
This involves properly sizing each element in the design so that it makes sense. For instance, if the designer was going to draw a dog beside a house, they’d make sure the dog is much smaller than the house. This allows the viewers to instantly understand the drawing.
Scaling helps emphasize an element, signaling which parts of the design are the most important. Larger elements draw the eye at first glance and add a certain level of flair to the overall design.
Of course, scaling doesn’t mean the designer should always base all the elements on realism. It’s all about how they want the viewers to see and interact with the design.
Bringing it all together
An eye-catching, informative piece of graphic design is a product of carefully harmonizing these elements to convey the right message to the viewer. Want to see what good graphic designs can do for your business? Get in touch with us today and we’ll show you. Call us now at (800) 481-1720 or reach us through our contact form to get started.