Want to explore a career as a graphic designer or improve your current design skills?
Here is a great opportunity to start with the basics and learn directly from an award-winning experienced designer! Design with confidence as you master techniques that can be immediately applied to creating: print media, presentations, web pages, pitch pages, mobile apps, eBook covers, and more...
selective about the photographs you use in a layout can also provide
interesting shapes. For instance look for photographs that have large areas of
negative shapes and/or empty spaces.
In this lesson you learn and review how to effectively use shapes in a design layout. Knowing how to design with shapes is one important design skills to master and will have you designing like a pro instantly. Especially having the ability to design both positive and negative shapes simultaneously.
Illustrations or photos with blank backgrounds, referred to as cutouts, also create nice positive and negative shapes within a design layout because of their contour edges, as seen in this example.
Recognizing shapes in typography that can be integrated with other visual components can create very interesting designs. Here are examples of logos using shapes and typography.
In this lesson you will learn how line can be effectively used in your design layouts to create movement and direction to centers of interest.
Use value to draw attention to important information, add spatial depth, and establish a mood.
design example shows a full range of values which include black, white, and
One way to test whether a design or
layout has enough value contrast is to squint your eyes when viewing a
composition. Doing so will blur and simplify the design into areas of values.
In this lesson you will see how texture can be used in graphic design layouts to add special effects that help get your designs noticed.
In this lesson, you will learn how space can be used in a graphic design layout.
Space keeps the design from looking overcrowded by the visual components. It makes type easier to read and it helps guide the viewer through the design.
The type should be utilized to emphasize the important content and subordinate the less important parts of the text in order of importance.
The basis for a formal design is the placing all of the visual components in an absolutely centrally balanced arrangement within the layout.
Asymmetrical (informal) layout are achieved by randomly placing the formal elements in the composition until there is a sense of balance.
The Rule of Thirds is a compositional
formula which places the focal point “out of center” to create a more asymmetrical design.
Here is one easy way to simplify a photographic image in Photoshop or any image manipulation program. The image can then be converted to vector art in Illustrator if it is needed to complete a project.
NOTE: You do not have to place the tones into separate layers, but I have found it is an easier way to edit the image. - TZ
Here is another method for simplifying an image for vector art, using "Adjustment Levels" in Photoshop. Using levels will give you more contol over tha amount of detail you maintain in the image. My image actually ended up being 4 values instead of three. I can easily make adjustments on the individual layers, but I like the way it turned out. I hope this is helpful to you. - TZ
This video demonstrates a few of my favorite approaches to creating logos. I'm sure it will give you a few tricks to try if you are new to logo design or need a new direction.
You will also find the "Managing Your Design Projects with Layers" demo (Lecture #36) useful.
It's always good to know what went wrong in a design when you are a beginner, but you can also learn just as much from deconstructing a design that works well. This review points out what is good in the design and why it works.
Being innovative with your design work is important, but keep your audience in mind and anticipate how they will connect with the product and information. This review gives you some pointers, and more discussion about the importance of establishing a visual hierarchy in the design.
My name is TZ. I am an art director, publisher, professional artist, graphic designer, web designer, and educator. My professional design career spans 30 years and started in New York City where I worked as a freelancer and senior designer for several design studios, ad agencies, and publishers. My design experience and skills include illustration; print design; web design; interactive media; computer animation and creative design and art direction for major corporations (AT&T, Merrill Lynch) State government, design studios, higher/adult education programs, and the private sector. I have advanced skills using Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and several other design and publishing applications.
I look forward to introducing you to the basic graphic design fundamentals and will do all I can to ensure your success in the course, by providing feedback, guidance, and sharing my diverse experience in the field of graphic design. Feel free to ask me questions at anytime, I am always willing to share what I know.