Design is not art

Rather than focusing primarily on form or expression, as is often the case with art, the primary function of design is the opposite – to support function.  When making design decisions, keep in mind that the goal of design is to support the function of your content with form. The content should always be the focus, not the design. Good design shouldnt be obvious. In fact, it’s often completely invisible.

Why Use Illustration?

Illustration aids visualization of ideas in a way most other representational mediums are unable to do. Illustration can: Provide visual representation of something described in the text Evoke emotion Communicate subtle themes by diverse styling Visualize, step-by-step, a set of instructions Clarify complex ideas that are difficult to describe Support a narrative through artistic expression Stress the subject matter Expand on linguistic concepts Give characters a face or likeness Link brands to ideas Set a tone from whimsical to serious Enhance the text Bring color and life to any layout

Social Media

Perhaps the best thing about using social media is that it allows you to communicate with all of your contacts at once through status updates. Building meaningful relationships in social media can take more effort than meeting people face-to-face. Some strategists suggest that it really takes as many as 21 before the typical online relationship turns transactional. Excerpted from the NY Times. Read the full article.

What to do when your client asks you to copy a design

Commend the client for researching a style they like. Explain the copyright laws and the problems associated with violating them. Explain that you cannot explicitly steal elements of the design. Have a conversation about what they like about the design. The colors? The arrangement of elements? The typography? The white space? Make a list of their reasons. Review the points made about the design – likes and dislikes. Describe how you intend to achieve a similar result without copying. After completing the design, review with the client the elements that they liked and how you incorporated them into a new design that is fresh, appealing, and uniquely theirs.

Design Princple #2

Designing Intervals Organizational principles, in any art, are based on control of the intervals between elements. For the visual artist, such as the graphic designer, intervals exist in a spatial dimension: between shapes, sizes, colors, etc. The fundamental methods for organizing intervals are largely the same from art to art, and across dimensions.  Here are three of the  most basic organizing principles for intervals. Repetition: Uses a one-dimensional arrangement of identical intervals between elements to create predictable, reassuring patterns. Harmony: Uses rhythm to emphasize a particular “beat” within an arrangement of intervals. Discord: Uses large, contrasting intervals between elements to maximize tensions and heighten recognition.

Web images don’t work in print projects. Why?

The images used on the web have been compressed so that the web pages load quickly. As a result, much of the detail has been lost. In fact, web images default to only 72 dpi.  I am often faced with the challenge explaining to clients why web images won’t work for their print projects. I illustrate it this way:  If you squeeze all of the toothpaste out of the tube and then try to put it back in again, what will it look like? Pretty bad. It is the same with web imagery. All of the details have been “squeezed out” and cannot be put in again. Thus they cannot be used in print work which requires 300 dpi images to be successful. Remember this the next…

Vector art defined

Vector art is any digital artwork in which the shapes in the art are represented by mathematical equations within a computer. Geometric shapes like lines, waves, single points and curves are placed together by the artist to create an illustration while the computer keeps track of each item’s location, curve and relative proportion to the other shapes. Advantages The biggest advantage of vector art is that it is infinitely scalable. Unlike raster art, which uses pixels to create digital illustrations, vector-based artwork can be enlarged over and over again without losing any of the picture’s quality. Another advantage of vector art is that, unlike raster art, the work created always takes up the same amount of memory in your computer. This means that you can…

Graphic Design Principle #1

Design: Organizing Elements There are only a very few “elements” of design, and the graphic design process can be thought of as the meaningful organization of these elements. The elements of design, and their interactions, determine the visual character of every part of a design: type, text, graphics, backgrounds, etc. Good design begins, simply, with an awareness of these elements. They include: Line Direction Shape Size Texture Value Color

1 2