Graphic designer.

Aspiring author.

Hoarder of books.

S is for Sketching

Sketching is an important step for any design project. It helps you weed out the generic design choices and stretch the limits of your imagination.

I use graphing paper for most of my sketching as this allows me to better gauge the proportions of a design. I also always use mechanical pencils. This is so that I never have to stop to sharpen my pencil — I just have to give it a click — and I can erase mistakes.

A great thing about creating sketches is that you don’t need to be any good at drawing. Most of the time, these sketches are going to just be for you to work out a design before moving to the computer. And really, most people will understand that the sketches are for idea generating and not a statement about your skills!

Here are some examples of sketches I have done for various projects:

  • Business Card Sketches
  • Sketching Bottles
  • Logo Sketches
  • Logo Sketches
  • Logo Sketches

If time permits, do as many sketches as you can before finalizing your idea. Sometimes the hundredth sketch is the perfect choice!

R is for 6 Rules of Good Design

I don’t know if the correct word for these is “rules” but I’m going to go with it…

Here are 6 rules of good design!

Focal Point

Every design should have one focal point. This is where the viewer will look first. Without a focal point, the viewer wouldn’t know where to look first.

To create a focal point, make sure to pay attention to size, extravagance, and position.

Movement

After you’ve created a focal point, you’ll want to control where the viewer looks next. In other words, the movement of a design.

To create a sense of movement, you can use the flow of lines. Whether they be literal lines, or objects that follow invisible lines.

Contrast

Contrast creates visual stimulation. There are many ways of creating contrast. The most obvious is way is to use filled and empty space. Colour, value, patterns; they can each be used to create contrast.

Balance

A design should be visually balanced. This doesn’t always mean having a symmetrical design (although they can look quite nice and formal). Asymmetrical or radial designs also can be created with balance. Play around!

Pattern

A pattern is created by using repetition. By repeating various aspects in a design, one can create a sense of rhythm. This rhythm can create a sense of movement through a design, so pattern brings us back to movement.

Unity

Unity means that all parts of a design must work together. Everything in a design should look like it belongs together. The rules above all play a part in creating a sense of unity.

Don’t forget, rules can be broken when there’s a purpose. 😉

Q is for Pull Quote

A pull quote is a line of text that is taken from the body copy of an article or blog post that is enlarged and placed within the body text to give the eyes a break and bring attention to an important section of the story.

This is what a pull quote can look like in a blog post!

Pull quotes are especially used in magazine articles. They can bring some extra “pop” to the page when an image is unavailable or would not fit.

They can also be called a blockquote!

So rather than just having a full page of body copy, try adding some pull quotes for variety! But don’t add to many or it takes away from the whole. A pull quote should be something exciting and worthwhile for it to really make an impact.

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