Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Four Principles of Good Design

Something I will never forget learning as an undergrad design student: C.R.A.P.

1. Contrast
The idea behind contrast is to avoid elements that are similar. If the elements (type, color, size, line thickness, shape, space, etc.) are not the same, then make them very different. Contrast is often the most important visual attraction in design.

2. Repetition
Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece. You can repeat color, shape, texture, spatial relationships, line thicknesses, sizes, etc. This helps develop the organization and strengthens the unity.

3. Alignment
Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every element should have some visual connection with another element on the page. This creates a clean, sophisticated, fresh look.

4. Proximity
Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. This helps organize information and reduces clutter.

Always remember good design is CRAP.

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