Graphic design is the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect. In other words, graphic design is communication design; It’s a way of conveying ideas through visuals and design.

Billboards, logos, magazines, video games, vector graphics, raster graphics: all things that come to mind when I think of graphic design. 

it’s truly an art – an expression of one’s aesthetic

Elements of graphic design

Elements of art are the basic units of any visual design that form the design’s structure and convey its visual messages. The elements of graphic design are:

Line – The most basic of the design elements. Lines can be curved, straight, thick, thin, two-dimensional, three-dimensional – whatever really! A line is simply an element of design that is defined by a point moving in space.

Shape – A shape is a two-dimensional defined area created by lines. Different types of shapes include geometric, abstract, and organic shapes, all of which are basic elements of design.

Color – Color is one element that is especially important in attracting attention because there is psychology behind the feelings that color can evoke. There are three main characteristics to color: hue (the color family), value (how light or dark the color is), and saturation (the purity of the color).

TypographyTypography is the art of arranging type. This one is critically important as it can greatly affect the design’s messaging. Different weights (bold, regular, or light), combined with varied sizing, colors, and spacing, can add power to the concept the designer is trying to communicate.

Texture – Texture in design refers to how things look like they’d feel if they were to be touched. For example, texture can be rough, smooth, glossy, soft, hard, etc. Texture is another element used to draw attention. It can be added to other elements like shapes, colors, images, and type.

Size – Size is simply how small or large something is. In design, size is used as an indication of importance and it can also create visual interest in a design by using contrasting sizes.

Space – Space refers to the areas of the design that are left blank. These areas include any distance or areas between, around, below, or above other design elements. Designers intentionally place spaces in the design to add emphasis to areas of the design.

Principles of graphic design

The principles of design suggest how the designer should best arrange the various components of a page layout to ensure the elements of the overall design are connected to one another. The principles of design include the following:

Balance – Achieving visual balance in graphic design is done by using symmetry and asymmetry. This is achieved by balancing the design in weight – meaning shapes, lines, and other elements are distributed evenly. So even if the two sides of the design aren’t the exact same, they have similar elements. Balance is important because it provides structure and stability to a design.

Alignment – Alignment is about keeping the design organized. All aspects of the design should be aligned with the top, bottom, center, or sides to create a visual connection between the elements.

Proximity – Proximity creates a visual relationship between the elements of the design. It minimizes clutter, increases viewer comprehension, and provides a focal point for viewers. It doesn’t necessarily mean the similar elements need to be put right next to each other, it just means they should be connected visually.

Repetition – Once you’ve chosen how to use your elements, repeat those patterns to establish consistency throughout the design. This repetition ties together individual elements and strengthens the design but creating a feeling of organized movement.

Contrast – Contrasting is used to emphasize certain aspects of the design. Using contrast allows you to stress differences between elements, ultimately highlighting the key elements of your design that you want to stand out.