INFINITUS

The John McCrae Secondary School Yearbook


AWE3M/4M (JMAY)

GRAPHIC DESIGN THEORY

  • VOCABULARY
    • Art
      • Three levels: Skill/Technique, Aesthetics/Beauty, Communication/Emotion
      • Originality - Creativity - inventing what has never existed before
      • Intelligence - Design
      • Tricks: Juxtaposition, Analogy, Metaphor
    • Fine Art
      • Art for Art’s sake - to evoke emotion, inspire, fulfill artistic expression
      • Often in a variety of media - Oil, sculpture, ink, dance, performance
    • Applied (Commercial) Art
      • Art designed for a specific purpose - ie. graphic art, advertising, product design, fashion design
    • Piece
      • A single art project, or work of art
    • Medium (singular) / Media (plural)
      • refers to the material from which you make your artistic piece
    • Design Process
      • A suggested formula or recipe for achieving the desired artistic outcome. The design process that we will follow for consumer graphics and design will be:
        • Concept
        • Research
        • Form
        • Delivery
    • Design Elements
      • Individual components that make up the piece - ie. stroke, fill, weight, colour, image, text, font
    • Design Principles
      • The common shortcuts or “RULES” to good artistic design.



  • The DESIGN PROCESS
    • Concept
      • The Idea, theme or inspiration
      • The most important part of the design process
      • All components of the piece must yield to the concept - it defines the RULES by which the piece will be developed
      • The concept CAN evolve if the design process leads to better ideas
      • Use your sketchbook to flesh out CONCEPTS
    • Research
      • Collecting references - images, samples, WORDS and information
      • DON’T use other peoples art as your references, unless it’s just to find out how it’s done. RESEARCH vs RIPPING OFF
      • Brainstorming possibilities
      • Some revelations in research may take you back to improve the CONCEPT
      • Collect samples from the competition - RESEARCH not RIPPING OFF
    • Form - Developing the media
      • Thumbnail sketch the initial concepts, include alternatives - “fishing” for a winner
      • out the winning concept, include references to details not shown
      • Low Res mockup of the sketch on the computer. List fonts, choose colour schemes, perfect the location of elements. Do not waste time on OVER developing at this stage.
      • High Res RE-render of the piece as defined by the Low Res mockup. This will become the finished piece.
      • HIGH RESOLUTION means that there are enough PIXELS of fine detail to yield a CRISP CLEAN product on the OUTPUT DEVICE ie. a laser printer, colour printer, screen
        • The MORE PIXELS, the BETTER the image, but the LARGER the FILE, and the SLOWER the PROCESSING.
        • RESOLUTION is defined as the SIZE of the image canvas measured in PIXELS, and the LEVEL of detail of the OUTPUT DEVICE measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI)
        • A computer monitor requires only 640 x 480 pixels @ 72 DPI (although most people set their screens to 800 x 600 or 1080 x 720, 1240 x 1080
        • PRINTING
          • Black and White Handouts - you can use 150DPI
          • Newspaper use 170 DPI
          • Laser Printing 300 DPI to 600 DPI
          • Colour printing 300 DPI and goes to 2880 DPI for photorealistic
    • Delivery
      • Handing over the ALL the contracted materials ON DEADLINE
      • Leave yourself a safety margin - ie. one week



  • PRINCIPLES -The RULES or “shortcuts” to good design aesthetics
    • Strive for Originality
      • Be INSPIRED by what you see, don’t simply steal or duplicate it
    • CRAP
      • Consistency
        • Create and enforce “VISUAL RULES” that promote logical patterns. ie. Use consistent Typesize, Fonts, Colours, Perspective and Style.
      • Contrast
        • Varying VALUE, COLOUR, SIZE, and SHAPE, without violating the rules of Consistency
      • Repetition
        • Develop elements that can be reused to help emphasize consistency and concept
      • Alignment
        • Choose deliberate “rulelines” and margins in your composition, and ensure that all elements and objects conform to that alignment.
      • Proximity
        • Use grouping, or isolating of elements to create order and interest
    • Eye Flow
      • Use EMPHASIS and Dominant Elements to Lead the viewer’s eye
    • Choose your Balance
      • Symmetrical / Asymmetrical Balance - Balance in general is seen as equal visual weight. ‘Symmetrical Balance’ would be described as a central axis dividing the composition in the middle, horizontally or vertically, with the same design on both sides, what we would think of as a mirror reflection. Asymmetrical balance is also known as “informal” balance.
      • Radial Balance - ‘Radial Balance’, has a central focal point in a generally square compositional format. Some examples of radial design are, targets, and traffic signs (yield, stop). Radial balance is also used in many culture’s artistic works
      • Crystallographic Balance - Another form of balance we will examine is called ‘Crystallographic Balance’. This kind of balance is also known as "all over" balance. Within a grid-like composition, certain variation is introduced to direct the eye throughout the design, with many focal points. Some familiar examples would be quilt design or a game of checkers in the middle of the game.
    • Unity
      • The elements of the composition must work TOGETHER to make the whole, rather than compete or detract from each other



  • COMMON ELEMENTS -The elements are the building blocks of art. They are present in every artwork, and how they are organised determines the principles that are present in the artwork. Being able to determine which single element is the most important in a piece of art is an important skill to have when doing a critical analysis.
    • Figure
      • The focus of the composition - recognizable objects that do the “work”. “Positive shape” or shapes.
    • Ground
      • All that is not “Figure” - background, for example.
      • Ground shapes can make figure shapes more interesting
    • Format
      • The SIZE and SHAPE of the composition or its canvas.
      • The DIGITAL MEDIUM of a computer composition
    • Line (and Dot)
      • can vary in thickness, direction, colour, texture, placement, kind, and expression
      • may be real/implied, linear/painterly
    • Shape (and Form)
      • can vary in size, colour, texture, placement, direction, geometric/irregular, positive/negative, emphasis, and expression
      • may be real/implied, linear/painterly, 2D/3D
    • Space
      • can vary in size, proximity, shape, colour, real/implied, 2D/3D, closed/open, shallow/deep
      • can express emotion, direction, movement
    • Colour
      • Hue - the spectral colour name
      • Value - lightness or darkness
      • Saturation - brightness or dullness
        • may express emotion, temperature, movement
      • Relationships
        • Monochromatic
        • Complementary
      • Colour schemes:
        • Achromatic - An achromatic colour scheme consists of only neutral colours.
        • Analagous - An analagous colour scheme contains only colours that are very close on the colour wheel.
        • Complementary - A complementary colour scheme contains only colours that are opposite on the colour wheel.
        • Monochromatic - A monochromatic colour scheme consists of colours in the same hue.
        • Polychromatic - A polychromatic colour scheme consists of colours from more than one hue.
        • Primary - A primary colour scheme contains only the three primary colours.
      • Additive vs Subtractive colour theory
    • Texture
      • can vary in size, degree, shape, kind
      • may be real/implied, obvious/subtle
      • can express emotion, movement, dimension
    • Type
      • The textual material, defined by it’s FONT, SIZE and COLOUR
      • Can be made more effective using the skills of typography



  • TECHNIQUES - Technical skills and “tricks” that can enhance your designs
    • Perspective
    • Dropshadow
      • Used to “Fake” a 3Dimensional piece, or to enhance CONTRAST of foreground elements


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