Graphic Design

From this week, our class takes up a book called the 7 essentials OF GRAPHIC DESIGN by Allison Goodman. She is Professor in the Graphic Design department at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. The book is for beginners of a graphic design who want to make platforms spectacular. It helps you build a solid foundation and gives practical examples that illustrate each principle at work. This post will be about chapter 2 to 4 from the book.

Ch. 2: Typography

This chapter describes how people are changed the perception by the typography, which is usually considered a hidden art. Your clever creation of a ligature and your subtle shifting of text alignment are crucial to the message.

The Art of Typography

Typography is the artful representation of words and is a fundamental building block of graphic design. According to the author, the most important step to understand it is to make sure type history, design technology, and vocabulary. You can see the difference of typography according to the time in the next section and find the importance of which styles you pick to use.

Type History

Screenshot 2015-03-18 20.29.31

Typographic Personality

Each typographic is generated depending on the time or the situation. A designer should always consider and take advantage of the message that a typeface naturally communicates.

Typeface, Technology & Terms

The size of type is referred to in points. Between the top and bottom of any typeface is the area referred to as the x-height.


Leading is the space between lines.

Screenshot 2015-03-18 20.28.05


To determine the space between letters within a word is known as tracking. Although the computer will do it by default, the skilled designer customizes that decision each time.

Screenshot 2015-03-18 20.28.33


The optimum line length is said to be about an alphabet and a half, or 39 to 45 letters.


There are basically 5 patterns of alignments:
Flush Left edit_alignment,
Flush Right edit_alignment_right,
Centered edit_alignment_center,
Justified edit_alignment_justify, and

Combining Typefaces
[1] Mix obviously different typefaces.
[2] Limit the number of variables used at one time.
[3] Old Style typefaces tend to mix.
[4] Consider all the typesetting specifications.

Ch. 3: Contrast

Impact Through Form

Without visual contrast, you can’t create interesting designs. The moderated use of scale, shape, texture and proportion to create contrast is a fundamental feature of successful designs.

Creating Order

It is essential for a clear design to create hierarchy. In designs, hierarchy is the order in which the viewer receives and makes sense of the information presented. You have to make the viewers navigate the design’s hierarchy in the proper order.

Contrast and Value

Although compositions are identical, the hierarchy of each is changed through value. That is, black and white are the extremes of contrast.

Screenshot 2015-03-18 20.29.10

Contrast via Color

the distinctive characteristics of each and every color


All colors, or hues, exist along the range of white to black. e.g. light green vs. dark green
The lightness or darkness of any color is its value.


the purity or brightness of a color
Any hue can be altered along the chroma axis to make it brighter or more subtle.

Screenshot 2015-03-18 20.28.54
Go Wild! (Within Reason)

Your attempts to create strong contrast could result in visually absurd.

Ch. 4: Layout

A Good Layout Guides the Viewer

A successful layout is very clear about what information is most important and the order in which the viewer should access all the information within the design.

The Elements of a Clear Hierarchy
☆ 7 Sketching Rules
[1] Use a very soft pencil with a thick lead to sketch your ideas.
[2] Don’t try and fit your ideas into rows of predawn squares.
[3] Change the order in which you are sketching the components of your design.
[4] Change the position and size of the elements on the page.
[5] Don’t include an element that you assumed had to be part of the design.
[6] Break up your sketch process.
[7] Never, ever, ever edit yourself while sketching.
Online Design Considerations

The architecture, the logic of a site and how it works, is key to its success. Make sure whether users can go forward, backward, in, out and all around…even jumping from one site to another.


Experienced designers build their sites assuming a variety of circumstances, such as the capabilities of the viewer’s computer.


Programs such as GoLive and DreamWeaver allow designers to convert designs done in familiar layout programs to Web pages. They take the page design as your see it on your computer screen and automatically generate the HTML necessary to make the design work as a Web site.
What You See is What You Get–WYSIWYG editors–pronounced “dizzy-wig”!


One tactic for assessing the readability of a design is to reset the monitor and review a project in black and white. This allows the designer to check that the proper contrast and size have been assigned to the typographic elements.


Sound and motion can enhance the recognition of a visual symbol.


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