Planned Graphic Design
So you are about to create your next masterpiece, but are unsure of what features you should embrace and which to hinder? Well, now in our modern world, you want to avoid creating a design that is plain, old, and boring. The main elements in most designs are the shape, color, and theme. Once you have your shape, color, and theme planned you should sketch out a "look" for your design. Shall we get started?
Let's first start with the theme as it will define your shape and color more in depth. Your theme should relate to your purpose. Now, when picking a theme, try to relate the theme to story you want to tell; like a book. You don't want your theme to alert your audience so you want to pick something that will flow with your purpose.
Now let's talk about shape, which can either make or break your design. If you picked a theme that us mild and calm you want to go gentle on the shape; soft curves will often do the trick. If you picked a more rigid theme; jagged lines may suit your well. You have to think from a viewer's perspective, and place all your personal opinions aside. Ask yourself "Is this design suitable and presentable for my audience?" Now, don't clutter your work with a bunch of circles or jagged lines to make it look like a graph; that is not what I am saying. You should base any details you put into your design on that shape. Here is one example; I am making a banner for an orchard, and to produce a welcoming effect I place a smooth round peach into the design. An example of a more rigid theme would be for a World War II gaming clan, metal spikes would fit the design quite well.
Color may be the easiest element at times, but sometimes it can be complicated. You want your color to match any other designs you may have incorporated with this piece. If you don't have any designs that are incorporated then you may start out with a new fresh look. You want your color scheme to match any ideas expressed in your title. If you own a website called Think Bright, a yellow might be due in the design. You don't want to choose colors that clash, but on the same tone you don't want your colors to blend together too much. Your audience once again plays a role in another design element; you don't want to use colors that are not attractive to your audience. If you are creating a website for people who are color blind; make sure that the colors have don't have a light saturation as they won't be visible. For designs that will be seen by older folks; make sure nothing is too bright or flashy.
Remember to get second and third opinions from peers, and if you can let another graphic designer review your piece so you can receive feedback from a designer perspective. The best type of graphic design is a planned graphic design.