1. DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Mr. D. SARAVANAN., MFA
SRM Institute of Science and
Technology, Ramapuram Campus,
The art of visualizing ideas is called design.
Good design makes a difference in the world, whether it is communicating a social ideal or
helping a business to attract the clients or motivating people to join an organization or simply
helping traveller to find their way in the busy city or even enabling citizens to vote for the
candidate of their choice.
Design is everywhere, design is what draw ones attention towards whatever material he likes
3. Graphic Design:
Graphic design is a form of communication that conveys a specific message to specific
audiences through the means of typography and image.
Graphic design is a mixture of art and business, that is, an artistic creative vision, applied
practically into a work with help of client, planning, properties and budget.
All graphic designs are made with theories of art, at the same time; it has to fulfill the
ultimate goal by reaching the target audiences.
Graphic design is a process of combining text and graphics, and communicating with an
effective message using the visual communication tools that includes logos,
graphics,brochures, newsletters, posters, signs and any other form of art work.
4. Nature of Graphic Design:
The ability to design is not natural; it is acquired through practice and expression.
Creativity, innovation and lateral thinking are key skills to be acquired to become
professional graphic designer. Creativity in design is a cultivated skill that finds
innovative solutions to solve the problems that translated into design work with
highest level and quality. Anyhow, creative alone cannot be the key part of the
The design work is always based on customer demand, which ultimately established
linguistically, either orally or in writing. That is, the graphic design transforms a
linguistic message in a visual demonstration. The professional graphic design rarely
works with nonverbal messages.
5. The design work activity requires the participation of team
professionals like photographers, illustrators and other professional.
Design often coordinates with various disciplines that contribute to
the production of visual message.
Graphic design is an interdisciplinary field and one who want to
practice the design, need to have knowledge in other activities
like photography, freehand & technical drawing; psychology of
perception, Gestalt psychology, semiotics,typography,
technology and communication. The professional graphic design
means specialist in visual communications that is related to all
steps of the communication process.
6. Graphic Design as a Discipline:
Design is a discipline with a long history and many branches or areas of
subject. The traditional branches of design include Industrial Design (ID),
which focuses on optimizing the function, value and appearance of physical
Graphic Design (GD), which has strong roots in graphic arts and print media
and focuses on bringing together the meaning and appearance of a product.
The usability profession is primarily concerned with Interaction Design (IXD),
a newer branch of design dedicated to define the behaviour of digital products
7. Graphic Design as an Artifact:
The design process results in producing design artifacts that
provide the following stages of product development. Design
artifacts include various system models, design terms, style guides
and prototypes that include low-depending prototypes such as
sketches and rough works and high-depending prototypes such as
mock-ups and system demos.
8. Graphic Design as a Process:
A good graphic design is based on the highest quality ensured to the
client. There are some basic steps involved in finalizing the design, they
Briefing: The briefing stage is the first step for any designing project,
which consist of initial discuss between the designer and client that
decides the project objectives, timing and budget, followed by
finalizing the design project by clarifying the technical issues like
layout, content, schedule and etc.
9. Design: The design stage starts with gathering the basic information like
what is the message? Who is the audience? What is the budget? And
etc. After that the designer will review the gathered information and
decides the brief, background material and context of the project.
Based on the information gathered, the designer will develop the draft
and preliminary design and submit to the client. Based on the
feedback received from the client, the designer will make necessary
correct and alternative input to make the final draft.
Creative work: Based on the feedback received from the client, the
designer will keep working to make the final output. The design should
be creative and effective. So the designer can have some reference of
works or discuss with team members, reading books and etc, but the
final output has to be something different and creative from other works.
10. · Production: Once the final output is ready with the approval of the
client, the designer has to go for product of the design project. For
example, if the project is for print media then the design has to be sent
to the printer from printing or if the project is for TV ad the design has
to be sent to the Ad filmmaker or if the project is for web page then the
design is sent to the IT programmer. In most cases, the project is sent
to two or more production team and combined to bring the final output.
11. Characteristics of Graphic
There are number of important
characteristics that have to be used when
working on a graphic design program. The
professional graphic designer might use
these characteristics to make a design
easier and functional.
· Graphic design involves with
particular physical application to set a
layout that features one or more shapes,
arranging text, images and other
elements to display. The display will
decide what kind of design it is.
Typography is another important of characteristics of graphic
design, which involves in many actions relating to design the
text, colouring the text and arranging text in the project.
13. · Colour plays important role as characteristics of
graphic design. The colour is used to balanced, used to
divide, used to highlight and used to attract the audience.
14. · Illustration plays important action in the graphic design.
Illustrations are used to create new image and outline of the
design, which provide space to incorporate other basic elements.
15. · Retouching is the part of graphic design, which serves
how well an image is to be projected and designed based on
what the client wants.
16. ·All Graphic designs end with a business. A planned
design will give the potential to sell the project whether it is
poster, brochure, website or etc.
17. Graphic Design Process:
Before we start a project we need to know what the client needs. Gathering information is
the first step of the graphic design process. When approached for a new design job, set up
a meeting to discuss the scope of the work and gather maximum information about the
design project. That is, gather information like;
· Who is the audience?
· What is the message?
· What are the size and how many pages?
· Budget specific and deadline for the project completion.
· Do the client provide samples or to be designed fresh?
· Is there any existing works to be incorporated with new project?
Take detailed notes when discussing with client, which will be very useful when getting
into the next step of the design process.
18. Create an Outline:
Using the information collected during the meeting with the client,
we need to develop an outline of the content and goal of the
project, which can be presented to the client for approval before
starting the work. The outline for the design carries the size of the
layout (i.e., A5 to huge billboards) and etc.
Present this outline to the client for any changes or correct.
Once the outline is finalized, then we are into the agreement
with client for the project and proceed to the next step of the
19. Creative work:
Based on the correction and changes received from the client, we
keep working to make the final output. The design work should be
very creative and effective. If wanted, we can take some time to think
about creative solutions for the project. If necessary, we can also
have some reference from the research work, browsing websites and
etc., or discuss with team members. But the final output has to be
original work with something different and creative from other works.
The different ways to get the creative ideas includes the following.
20. · Brainstorming: Get together with a group or team and throw out
any and all ideas.
· Visit a museum: Get inspired by the original and existing works.
· Reading Books: Any small colour or shape in the books may spark
to an innovative idea.
· Take a walk: Sometimes it is best to get outside and watch the world;
we may not know what will spark our imagination.
· line Drawing: If we feel that are not good artist, we can visualize the
idea in rough line drawing.
Once we are clear with the ideas, then it’s time to start creating a
21. Multiple Versions:
Once the content and outline of the
design is finalized by the client, we start
working in making the actual design of
the project. Instead of making one final
design for the project, it’s better to have
at least two versions of the design,
which will be good idea to present
before the client. Multiple versions of
the design work make give the client
some options to finalize the design and
also allow us to combine or shuffle the
elements in the design to make the final
Once the final output is ready with the
approval of the client, then we have to
go final output of the design. For
example, for print Ad, we need finalize
the printing press, print material, printing
proof and etc. After every step of the
designing process completed
successful, the final completed version
of the project can handed over to client
and with this, the design process is
23. Fundamentals of Graphic Design:
There are some basic fundamentals of graphic design that has to be
followed to understand and reach the target audiences. Some of the
basic fundamentals are;
· Usefulness: The information and functions provided in the
design should be relevant to the user, similarly the design should
provide necessary usefulness and address to the users.
· Consistency: The design should contain commonly understood
concepts, text and images. The information must be natural and
logical order, which make sure the actions, terminology and
commands are used consistently.
24. Simplicity: Reducing confusion and eliminating the unnecessary or irrelevant
elements makes the design to look simple and visible.
Communication: Providing necessary information with clear and timely sense
will create good communication for feedback and emphasizing meaning.
Preventing Error: Making reasonable corrections and inputs prevent the
designer from serious of errors. So providing clear and basic language is the
solution to recover from the error.
Efficiency: Any design must be very effective among the audience, which
makes the audience to use or view frequently.
Judgment: Any design should make the correct judgment of the situation
and experience of user and audience.
25. Visual Design:
Any piece of artworks like painting, videography, photography,
animation and other artistic elements, which are composed and
appeals the human eye is called visual design. In simple word,
Visual design is not about a piece of work that literally said
through words; visual design is a piece of work which is said
through visually and emotionally through appearance.
Successful graphic design depends heavily on visual concept.
Without effective visual design, the visual communication tools
like advertisements, poster, newspaper, photography, cinema,
animation and other visual materials are meaningless. It is visual
design that grabs people's attention and encourages them to
analyze the work more carefully. Some of the basic visual design
concepts are colour, typography, composition and layout.
26. Graphic Designer:
A professional individual who brings structural order and visual form to any form of
communication is called as Graphic Designer. Since prehistoric times, people searched for
ways to bring out their ideas and concepts into visual form and stored these ideas and
concepts in the graphic form to get clear information. Over the period of time, the people’s
visual needs have been fulfilled by scribes, artists and printers. After the arrival of all this
modern technologies, now the people’s visual needs are fulfilled by specially trained
people, who were later, came to be known as Graphic Designers.
Graphic designer is a connector between the client and audience. That is client, who wants
to communicate an idea or product and the audience, who may or may not like to receive it.
So a graphic designer through his creative visual work helps to inform, sell or influence the
audiences on behalf of his client. That is, the graphic designer create the exact message
what the client want for his idea or product, which attract the audience, create awareness,
influence the audience and make the audience to buy or view the idea or product. The
graphic designer works with a variety of communication tools to convey a message from a
client to a particular audience through image and typography.
27. Image-based Design:
Designers develop images to represent the ideas
what the client really want to communicate, that
is a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Images can be extremely powerful and forceful
tools of communication, conveying not only
information but also moods and emotions.
People respond to images immediately based on
their personalities, associations and previous
experience. The images may be photographic,
painted, drawn, graphically rendered and etc. For
example, everyone knows that chilli is hot, so this
knowledge combines with the image creates a
visual for KFC product.
28. Type-based Design:
In some cases, designers rely
on words to convey a
message, but they use words
differently from the regular
writers do. For designers, than
going with words, it’s very
essential that what meaning it
29. Qualities of Graphic Designer:
The Graphic designers are responsible for successful and failure of
any product launched into the market, everything from product or
company logos to the packing strip of any product. So some
necessary qualities are must for anyone to become a great graphic
designer, because today computer made it easy for anyone to
become a graphic designer. The basic essential qualities of graphic
The basic quality of a designer is creativity. To succeed in the field of
design, he must be able to consistently and effective produce creative
and original work that differentiate the work from competitors.
Graphic designers must have a high degree of professional
responsibility and timeliness with deadlines. Clients include companies
that have promotional schedules they need to keep to stay in line with
their overall marketing plans. Consistent delays in design work could
lead to lose the current clients and poor reputation in the market.
Some graphic designers have reserved personalities, where much of their
work time is spent alone designing. But a collaborative, team-oriented
attitude is a necessity in most cases of the work. Designers will be working
with copywriters and creative directors in putting together a complete design
concept. A good designer must be open to other ideas and flexible to adjust
according to client’s requirements.
The professional designer should
need analytical character to research
and consider the business
requirements of clients. In some
cases, designers must analyze
customer data to get a good feel for
the target audience of an ad before
they are created. A highly creative
and visually stunning ad that
doesn’t make impact with the target
market is not useful to the client.
The designer should be well educated with the technologies and has to
update frequently with development of technologies like software, version
of software, plug-inns and etc.
35. Functions and Responsibilities of Graphic Designer:
All graphic designers have some basic responsibilities and limitations to
work with any project. The three basic responsibilities of the graphic
designer are Financial, Physical and Psychological.
Financial responsibility is very essential for any graphic designer. Before
starting any design project, the graphic designer has to discuss with client
regarding his demands. The graphic design has to understand what
concept the client expect, how much the client can spend for his project and
who are the client’s target audience. For example, the design is targeted to
the elite group of the society will be entirely different with the design
targeted to the middle class of the society. So a graphic designer has to
give his best out to the client with planned budget.
The next responsibility of the graphic designer is based on physical aspect. That
is, while planning design for any idea or product, the graphic designer has to
decide on what medium the design is going to be displayed like video, web, print
or etc. Because based on the medium selected the concept, planning, budget
and etc will change accordingly. That is, based on the medium, the target
audience are decided and based on the target audience, the concept and
the final output will be finalized.
Another responsibility of the graphic designer is based on psychological
aspects. That is, the graphic designer has to understand and analysis the
target audience before planning for any design project. The graphic
designer has to know the likes and dislikes of the audience like what they
see and don’t see, what they read and don’t read, what they buy and don’t
buy, what they give and don’t give, what they share and don’t share and etc.
By knowing and understand this basic behaviour of the audience, will help
the graphic designer to finalize the concept, colour, language, layout and
medium of any design project.
39. Qualification for Graphic Designer:
The basic essential qualifications for graphic designer are;
Education: A bachelor’s degree in graphic design is usually required for the entry
level and advanced graphic design positions. Bachelor’s degree programs in fine
arts or graphic design are offered at many colleges, universities, and private design
schools. In addition to design courses, a broad area of arts education that includes
courses in visual art history, writing, psychology, sociology, foreign languages and
cultural studies, marketing and business are useful in helping designers work
effectively. Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer
graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software
40. Other Qualifications: In addition to the bachelor’s degree, creativity,
communication and problem-solving skills are essential for graphic
designers. Graphic designers must be creative and able to
communicate their ideas visually, verbally and in writing. Designers
must prepare a portfolio by putting together all his best works, because
a good portfolio will be the deciding aspects to get placed. Graphic
designer should need self-discipline in making a project by their own,
keep up timing, meeting the deadlines and stick with the budget.
41. Training: The graphic designers usually need one to three years of working
experience to get placed in good position. An experienced graphic designer
may be placed in reputed companies as chief designer, art director, creative
director or other high positions. Many faculty members continue to consult
privately or operate small design studios to complement their classroom
42. Common Visual Design Mistakes:
To create a standard and professional design project, some mistakes that are
common to everyone has to be identified and rectified before submitting the project.
Some of the basic mistakes in the graphic design are;
Impact of Design: In video production the framing makes everything special,
similarly the layout makes special in the graphic design. Because, the layout format
convey message, convince, build the brand of the product that is, everything in the
design communicate something. So the designer has to special care in designing
the content of the visual, which is going to make special impact on the audience.
If the designer fails to do so, the design will not make any special.
43. Lack of Unity: Whatever elements added in the design should be
consistent and related with one another and should give sense of order and
continuity. Instead of going with more elements in single design, the designer
has to be very smart in selecting the right elements that give sense of unity
44. Unmatched Graphics: The use of vector images and clip art in the design
should make some sense of meaning and communication. The first rule for
using graphics in the design is not just decorative items, it should contribute
content message to the design. The second rule is the use of graphics
conveys a sense of professionalism. So wrongly used graphics mismatches
with content of design and it doesn’t give sense of meaning.
45. Confusing use of Contrast: Contrast is one of the most
critical elements of design, which allows highlighting the
differences in the content of design because contrast naturally
attracts the audience attention. But wrongly highlighted
contrast will distract the audience and make them to focus on
wrong content of the design.
46. Misuse of Fonts: Fonts serve some
important purposes, first they display text
use that means have to consider which font
style and font size are going to work best on
design. The fonts should fit into the overall
theme and concept of the design. For
example, for traditional or formal design san
serif fonts may be used and for informal
design, comical or decorative fonts may be
used. So before getting into the design
concept, the designer has decide on what
font style and size has to be used to convey
the exact meaning of the design.