The secret of great design lies in following the rules and the famous 6 principles of design, and great design masters know how to break or bend those rules to inspire new style, and a new age of amazing combination of shape, color, and composition.
How far is too far? A good designer has a sense of proximity, the distance between elements, but a great designer pushes these limits until something beautiful emerges. Harmony also means recognizing a similarity and creating a repetition of elements alike, giving the design rhythm and extending the pattern continuously.
Having a good balance in design is the key to evoke a visual experience among the audience. More than just a golden ratio, a master of design know when to use symmetry or asymmetry, and to keep a good balance in the design when using elements which are different from each other. Depending on what the design represents, many choose circular form to distribute different sections.
Designs are visual storytellers, a shortcut for pitching a product or an idea. Different patterns are telling different stories, which is why a hierarchy matters when arranging your graphic elements - whether you implement an order of a tree or nest, or you distribute your factors according to their class and give them adequate weight.
Every factor of your design has to be in a relationship with others. You can express this relationship by scaling the elements by size, harmonically distribute it in a ratio, according to laws of geometry, or choose the main focus and explain the connection of other elements using division.
An element that stands out can be highlighted with its size, but there are other ways to create beauty without making something bigger (or something else smaller). Your focus can stand out with its shape - a unique shape surrounded with others which are similar, and also color, which is more frequent in colorful designs nowadays - in other words, if you want an object to stand out, let it shine.
Do you know that drawing where all the lines are straight, but one of them is freely wiggling around? When working on a new project, think about that special focus of the design and make it be the first thing someone sees. Practically used in advertising, a visual add in a campaign could look like "Everybody does this, but we do it this special way", so this contrast will make a design appealing and also serve a purpose of selling the product. Another common technique to achieve contrast is to use color and particularly contrast between light and dark shade.
As it said at the beginning of the text, a great designer is not only a master of these principles and techniques but is also not afraid to think out of the box and use the rules to create outstanding designs to remember.
Author: Nina Petrov