Elements of design are techniques that a designer uses to give meaning to his ideas. Before learning about the elements of design we have to know what design is all about and how the process of design starts.
What is the Process Of Design?
Design Process can be defined as the execution of problem-solving techniques. Design results in the form of a product. There are many products all around us which are the results of a design process. These products include chairs, televisions, mobile phones, airplanes to name a few.
The person who makes a design is called a designer such as a fashion designer, graphic designer, etc.
What is Graphic Designing?
The art of combining text and visuals in order to convey a message is called graphic designing. Graphic designing includes websites designs, logos, brochures, leaflets, letterheads, posters, business cards, etc.
Graphic design is in high demand due to its vast applications. Graphic design enables us to communicate with the society through our ideas.
Process of Design
6 basic steps are involved in the process of designing. These are as follows:
Define the problem
In order to find a solution to a problem, first, we need to clearly understand what the problem is. Without knowing the problem we will not be able to devise a solution for it.
- Collect Information/Empathize
In this step, we collect information about our target audience. We collect sketches, data, and photographs for gaining insight and to know the current trends in our field.
We produce ideas in this step. We have already understood our audience and their preferences and also understood the problem clearly, now with this information we can start identifying the solutions.
We will start sketching so that we can understand how the collected information will influence our design.
- Making prototype/ Developing solutions
We make a model which is an inexpensive version of our final design. The aim of making a model is to identify if some changes are required or not. If the prototype requires some changes then we can include them in our final design.
- Collecting Feedback
We present our ideas to our friends, family members, colleagues, and others to get feedback about our design.
- Improving our design
On the basis of all the feedback we collected earlier, we can refine our design by making improvements in it.
8 Basic Elements Of Design
Elements of design include 8 basic steps which are as follows:
If we notice, everything starts with a dot. It is one of the most important elements of design. Every drawing and painting starts with a dot. A photograph is also a combination of dots.
In painting, pointillism was a movement based upon the usage of colorful dots to make a shape. In graphic design, we can create a wide variety of effects by using dots of different sizes and colors.
Two important Concepts regarding dots are symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions. When dots are combined together in a particular sequence it is called symmetrical composition. In asymmetrical composition, dots are combined in a random manner
The line is also one of the most important basic elements of design. It can be defined as the distance between two points or we can say that it is used to connect two points. We use lines to divide shapes into the designing process.
In newspapers and magazines, lines are used to divide the written content. A line that ends in an arrow draws attention towards a certain direction. These lines are used in traffic signs. Lines can be straight or curved, two dimensional and three dimensional, thick and thin, and also zigzag. Lines can be dotted too.
Lines can also be parallel, perpendicular, horizontal, or diagonal. Vertical lines are used to show strength in design. Tall buildings are examples of vertical lines.
Horizontal lines are used to convey a message of relaxation in a design. Imagine seeing the horizon.
Diagonal lines show movement in a design. They are also used to connect two corners of a shape. Diagonal lines are straight lines and are drawn at some angle such as 45 or 60 degrees.
Shapes occupy a critical space in the elements of design. Shapes are closely related to Dots and lines. Basically, a shape is a combination of lines joined together. We use Shapes to produce an interest in design. Everything we see around us represents some kind of shape.
Shapes drawn on flat surfaces are two-dimensional shapes while a shape that can be observed from every side is called a three-dimensional shape. Shapes such as icons are used to decorate a design.
Types of shapes
- Geometric shapes: Basic geometric shapes include triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, pentagons, etc. These shapes can be drawn on a flat surface.
- Organic shapes: Organic shapes include shapes from nature such as trees, plants, flowers, animals, birds, etc.
- Abstract shapes: Abstract shapes are the result of the combination of geometric and organic shapes. Abstract shapes can be used as a symbol in a design.
Different shapes convey different messages in design. Round shapes are used to design things that move such as tires. Triangular shapes point towards a direction and are widely used in drawing traffic signs. Rectangular shapes represent the length and square shapes are used to include a feeling of strength and weight in a design.
Size is also one of the most important elements of design and is used to make a comparison between different shapes and attracts attention in design. A large size directs the attention of viewers towards itself e.g. headlines in a newspaper. We are attracted to large and tall buildings. As graphic designers, we have to decide how to use shapes of various sizes to create depth and attraction in a design.
Space is the blank area in a design. When shapes combine together space is created. Space can be negative and positive. When a shape is drawn on a surface it creates another shape. When we add a shape to an area we are also subtracting some area of the design too.
The area we add is called positive space and the area which is subtracted represents negative space. By using illusion and perspective techniques we can create 3D shapes on a flat surface.
Space adds prominence to an area in design because people are attracted towards the area which is not empty. But remember, negative space is as important as the positive space and can also be used to create shapes.
Graphic designers have to take care of both the negative and positive space.
Color is a very important element of design and is used to attract viewers’ attention. Graphic design is nothing without color. Each color conveys a different message so it is necessary to be very careful when using color in a design. For example, red represents passion excitement and danger while yellow represents happiness and friendship.
The lightness or darkness in design is called value. Value creates depth and dimension in design. We can attract viewers’ attention by placing a lighted object against a dark object. Value includes highlights, mid-tones, and shadows.
The texture is another very important element of design. The texture is defined as the nature or feel of a surface. Texture can be rough or smooth. In graphic designing texture is used as a background to attract attention.
There are two types of textures, organic and non-organic. Organic textures include natural things such as stone, leaves, soil, etc. Non-organic textures consist of man-made things such as steel, concrete, cement, etc. In graphic designing, pattern textures, and image textures are used. When a shape is repeated in a design we get pattern texture. Pattern texture is highly famous among fashion designers. The texture we get from images is called image texture. Image texture can be natural as well as man-made.