visual design

DO'S & DON'TS
contributors
dave baggeroer andreas braendhaugen charlotte burgess-auburn rachelle doorley scott doorley carly geehr bjoern hartmann alex ko tom maiorana maryanna rogers scott withofft

dmediaproject.stanford.edu : 04_21_09 10:48am PT

Do Start on paper.)) but should have enough difference between elements (via variation) to hold a viewer's interest. think about why.a. but it won't get you into trouble. It's much easier to quickly think through concepts before getting on the computer. The purpose of graphic design is to make the message telepathically perceptible. and if that makes sense. Do Design in Black and White.visual design DO's Do Iterate. shapes. without reading the text. Your design should have a coherent overall theme (a. Then do another concept that's as different from that one as possible. make sure 1) it's clear that they aren't supposed to line up. It's a neutral font. Do this three times and see which one is best. use Helvetica. Save it. * sketch layout thumbnails on paper before delving into illustrator/indesign Do Think About Relationships. It's a Graphic Design equivalent of prototyping. You should use a timer and be really strict about the time limits. It'll help you sort out the relationships before you bring color into the situation.k. If edges line up. Try a concept for 5 minute. . If edges of elements don't line up. etc. There's an implicit line between all the elements of the page which gives cues to hierarchy. When prototyping visually (especially for composition). Do Use Helvetica. constrain your variables. If in doubt. 2) the way they don't line up makes sense. Do Consider Theme and Variation. fonts. a limited design vocabulary (colors. No one will know if you know what you are doing or not. Start off with black and white -> shades of grey -> color Do Communicate Clearly Through Visuals.

cad renderings etc. Do Get physical.Do go for big changes. Do/make whatever it is and pause. Do Borrow. . I've used acrylic rectangles to help communicate Graphic design principals. The tool you think in will effect the way you think.A LOT (insert duchamp urinal in Louvre) Do Use the Rule of Thirds.or left.aligned can be very powerful. proofread it. Do Be Conscious of Competing Elements. if it is paper-based. Shoot all your digital photos RAW and white balance in software afterwards.) as a rough sketch or prototype. Layered text and images should be handled accordingly. Read bringhurst's elements of typographic style for any question about typography. 12. This can be used to your advantage or disadvantage. Do Reflect. 16. Perspective: If it looks right it is right. Use more then one tool. most people cannot see digital output (e. 36pt. and right.kickerstudio.com/ blog/2009/02/getting-flexible-and-physical-at-design-workshops/ Do Shoot RAW. return to the rule of thirds. returning to the work after a taking a contextual break. not muddy. If there is any text involved. When all else fails. To most people digital tools give the feeling of completeness. Do Choose Your Presentation Mechanism Thoughtfully. Look at other work you admire and rip it off. get someone else to look it over as well. Do Use Grids. Do The Opposite. Centering isn't always the answer. 24.. print it out and mark on it by hand. Do Pay Attention to Context. http://www. Do Trust Your Eye. Use guides in photoshop/illustrator/indesign to set up your own grid system. The purpose of collage is to clarify. Do Proofread. Do Align Your Text Intentionally.. this has never come off as a "waste of paper" in my opinion. Unless you are designing a web page. use at least 4pts between font sizes.g. Context matters. Most people won't see the difference between 12 and 13 and it'll just look like a mistake. Illustrator. They are standards for a reason. Do Be thoughtful about the tool you use. Invert colors to their complements every once in a while for a fresh perspective. Do Learn From The Masters.

Every element in a design should serve that purpose. Squint. Do Be Economical. "Less is more" . Do Pay Attention to the Details. But they saw them and they contributed to success or failure of the overall piece. Walk away from the design for awhile and then come back to it with fresher eyes. show me something.Ludwig Mies van der Rohe . Small details matter. ideally. That's how your audience is going to see it. "Listen Carefully to What You Can Leave Out" . Every project has a purpose.Do Trace! Tracing is nothing to be ashamed of Do Leave Things Out. persuade me. Audiences/users often can't or don't articulate the details. Hang a copy of the design on the wall and. Step back from your work often and view it from a distance. Your trying to tell me. look at its reflection in the mirror. Do Change Your Perspective.Miles Davis Do Be Purposeful.

Only use narrow versions.visual design DON'Ts Don't try to hard. You should only go for that look if you can pull it off.Just because you can doesn't mean you should (e. Don't go crazy with the animations. Don't Over Do it. use it with clear intent. They look much nicer than cmyk on large flat areas of color. your presentation should be equally as powerful as a . Red is a special color that attracts the eye first. For god's sake.g Photoshop Filters) Don't mix serif and sans-serif fonts. Much better to keep it simple. Don't Forget About Spot Colors. k? transitions are usually just obnoxious. seriously. Don't Overuse Boxes. Don't Overuse Strong Colors.Robert Venturi . Go for fewer. Don't Exercise Economy. more powerful images. ever.pdf Don't use too many graphics. papyrus or any other hokey font unless you are doing it with clear purpose and intent. . don't use comic sans! Don't use comic sans. Throwing dropshadows and all sorts of Photoshop filters on everything is graphic design equivalent of a fat guy in spandex biker shorts and neon. "Less is a bore" . Don't Use Hokey Fonts. Don't use comic sans. Never artificially skinny-up fonts.