Best 3 Graphic Design Principles Changed My Designs

All design principles are useful in the right situation. But three of them stand out for me. Because they really changed how I look at graphic design my work and how I approach projects. Let’s take a look at those three principles and some real-life examples too.

graphic design best practices

Principle 01: Repetition

Repetition is simply repeating a single element many times in a design. That sounds really basic and it might even sound trivial or pointless to some of you. But let me tell you Repetition it’s one of the strongest secret weapons of any designer. It isn’t so important that you understand it from an academic point of view. More than you realize it in real-life application. It’s the thing I always talk about when I say that you should have a running theme throughout your portfolio.

Using repetition is like tying together a home with a good interior designer. An interior designer will use a similar style of furniture, use similar materials and use a color scheme throughout the entire house. Take a look at some pages from my logo design E-guide. You can see I’ve used the Same Fonts – Same Color Scheme – Same Shapes – Same Layout and so on. This ties the design together it makes the viewer feel comfortable and it just solidifies competence as a graphic designer.

Principle 02: Simplicity

You might know about this, but do you get the importance and power of it. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for keep it simple stupid and it serves as a reminder to find the simplest solution.

Simplicity Makes Design

  • Timeless
  • Attractive
  • Engaging
  • Consumable

This is especially important for logo design. Which is where most of my clients and my career can call home. It reminds me to add design elements purposely. In the sense that each design element should have a purpose in the composition. Designers shouldn’t try to insert excruciating and unnecessary detail that clutters their design.

Unless of course, it’s done on purpose for the sake of a specific brief. The primary task of designers is to organize graphics shapes and texts to effectively communicate a message. And keeping things as simple as possible will best help that message be delivered to the target audience. This works across the board when considering graphic design.

But an example here is that most of my successful YouTube videos use simple thumbnails. Cluttering video thumbnails with too many design objects makes the viewer disengage and just scroll over the video moving on to something else. In a fast-paced world simplicity triumphs and is the king or at least that’s what I found in my working career.

Principle 03: Hierarchy

Of course, this had to be on the list. Hierarchy combines two aspects Dominance and Priority giving extra weight to certain elements of a design over others. It helps brands convey their message to the audience by focusing on particular elements of a design. It also can allow readers to navigate in editorial design with ease. Like with repetition, I feel that hierarchy is another hallmark of a professional and competent designer. The three-stage process of marketing hierarchy is as follows.

  1. Attract which is bringing in the viewer.
  2. Intrigue which is spiking the interest.
  3. And then delivering the message.

how to use design principles

These are the three steps a viewer will go through when viewing an effective design. That viewers probably won’t even be aware that it’s happening.

But let’s take a look at an example that explains this process. This Adidas poster is a prime example of this triad of marketing hierarchy. The shoe and the paint splash across the shoe is the initial aspect that will grab the attention of most viewers. This is the thing that will draw them into the design.

graphic design principle

Secondly, the quoted time to change up. Will create some kind of intriguing interest in that person. And this is going to hold them long enough so they want to read on in the design.

design principle

And then below we have the message delivery. The design is literally a visual trap in some aspects. Because it draws you in makes you interested. Then you’ve read the message the designer wanted you to read all because of hierarchy.

graphic design principles for beginners

If you look at a piece of graphic design and it uses hierarchy or repetition correctly. You can be safe with the assumption that the designer knew what they were doing.

Hierarchy isn’t so important in logo design. It does exist but it’s more prevalent in Website DesignEditorial Design and also Layout Design.

These three principles have been some of the most important to master in my career. They’ve taken my work to new heights and they changed the way I look at graphic design. And I hope they can do the same for you too.

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