Design Theory Blitz: Quickly Understand GREAT Design | Derrick Mitchell | Skillshare

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Design Theory Blitz: Quickly Understand GREAT Design

teacher avatar Derrick Mitchell, Designer | Teacher | Artist | Innovator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Blitz intro


    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      Balance v2


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About This Class

This course serves as a bird's-eye-view of Design Theory, including industry standards for alignment, contrast, and color in print and web design. Universities and colleges spend entire semesters teaching this single topic, and the goal of this course is NOT to condense every design theory out there into a quick course - that would be impossible.

The goal of this quick course IS, however, to provide students with a solid baseline so that they can begin designing with confidence, and so that they have the tools and resources necessary to continue learning the theories and principles of graphic design on into the future. 

At its core, graphic design is an art form, and art is always evolving. Design rules are often made to be broken, but a broad understanding of what actually makes a design pleasing to the eye is key to developing relevant, eye-catching, and on-trend design pieces. 

What Students Are Saying About This Course:

  • It was very very good. The resources were awesome. - Nikhil G.

  • I had just used Papyrus within minutes of starting the course. :) I went back and changed it to a free Google font, and it actually suits what I was doing so much better. Instant payoff. - Justin Gramm

  • I started this course with little experience and thankfully I have learnt a lot throughout this course. - Jimmy Clark

I look forward to guiding you through this course, and to giving you the tools necessary to continue learning design principles as your skills grow.


Meet Your Teacher

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Derrick Mitchell

Designer | Teacher | Artist | Innovator


Hello! My name is Derrick, and I’m so stoked to be teaching here on Skillshare!

Are you interested in making a living in the creative arts industry as a graphic designer, freelancer, videographer, photographer, or web developer?

If yes, then be sure to join me in these courses here on Skillshare as I show you what it’s like to be a graphic designer and make a living doing something that you love!

I will help you master the skills you need to become successful. I’ll show all of my processes so you can accelerate your success, while also learning from my mistakes so you don’t have to repeat them yourself and fall into the same traps that I did.

I have spent my entire career in the creative arts and marketing sector. I h... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Blitz intro: Hey, guys, my name is Derrick, and I'm excited to welcome you to the design. You might be wondering why I'm holding all these books. Well, my goal is to help you bypass happen to read every one of those and to get you up and running as quickly as possible with design theory, we're gonna talk about the principles and the elements of designed basically the rules and the building blocks that you need to become a great graphic designer. My goal is to give you a broad, you know, sky level overview about all the tips and tricks you're gonna need to know to help understand why some designs are better than others without having to guess. It doesn't matter what software using, whether it's the adobe creative suite or maybe sketch or pixel mater. Or maybe you're using Microsoft Word whatever you're using to create your designs. My goal is that by the end of this course, you'll have a really good understanding of the principles Almas a design as well as a handful of tips and tricks along the way. So I'm really excited to see that you're interested in this course. I hope you buy it and dive in. Really excited to see you on the other side. Uh, well, Hello there. My name is Derrick. 2. Texture: All right, let's talk about textures. Having a good understanding of how to use texture is gonna be a great addition to your design toolbox. And in this lesson, what I want to show you. Ah, a few great resource is defined textures as well as talk about how I implement those textures in my designs, and we'll also talk a little bit about the overall. Um, you know the principle of texture in general as far as how Texas could be both physical and virtual. So let's go out. And I write in Let's talk about first just designed as a hold. I'm sorry. Texture is a hole in your design process so it can be physical if you're printing a, uh, a brochure and you want to talk about the actual thickness of the paper or the finish of it , whether it's matte or glossy or if it even has a secondary finish. On top of that, like some of the magazines now have that almost a sandpaper re um texture that they put down on top of the piece of paper. To really give it a cool feeling in your hand. You can also talk about the virtual connotations of texture. What I mean by that is Ah, right now we're looking at my screen. I've got this wood grain texture here, and that can convey a lot of different feelings virtually. You know, I can't feel that on my screen, but I can see it in it. It gives a certain feeling connotation. Soap. Let's go ahead and look at some great resource is for finding textures. The 1st 1 had pulled up here is Adobe Stock eso stock dot adobe dot com, and I just typed in the word texture, and I can see all kinds of textures that I could download here. Granted, these are a licensed image, so you have to pay per per image download so some other great resource is would be like this one here. Texture king dot com. You can find all kinds of great textures, and they're free to download as well as goto pixels dot com. I like this website, and I refer to it often in my lessons, but you go to pixels dot com, type in texture, and you can see there are a lot of great textures to work with here, and there are also free to use Another one I found is free stock textures dot com. To be honest, I haven't used this, so I don't know how great of a resource it is, but perhaps it's awesome. So check it out and then what I want to talk about next is where and how I implement these textures. So typically, what I'll do is I'll download one of these textures and I'll save them. Either to my project folder or to a resource is folder, and sometimes I'll even go as far as to buy brushes and other things like that. So another resource I want to show you is creative market creative market dot com and then search for retro supply. So this guy here, Retro Supply Co. Just about anything he makes is awesome, and I'm not getting paid to say that I don't really know him, but I've bought a lot of his templates and graphics. Ah, lot of great stuff in here, so definitely check that out. He's got some really, really good some subtle textures and, uh, vector textures and brushes and the machine shop, all kinds of stuff in here. You should definitely check out it will add a lot of depth to your designs now, when it comes time to actually adding texture to my work. Ah, lot of times little do like, for example, this poster I made. I added a texture to the font kind of a distressed grunge concrete effect to match the texture in the background of this image. And then, when I went to display to my portfolio, actually took pictures of pieces on a piece of concrete and that just helped tie it all together. So that's a way to think of. Texture doesn't actually have to be a physical texture in, you know, like a Photoshopped brush or something they used. This was actually the concrete floor, and I actually put the sticker right on the floor and these business cards stuff and took a picture of it that way to help tie this whole portfolio piece together. OK, so that's one thing you could do a texture. Here's another example of texture. This was a CD I designed for my sister in law. Shameless. Plug her, Check it out. It's on Spotify and iTunes and everywhere else. You could buy music anyway when I designed this this graphic. This flower was actually a stock image. But then this hill the start house to random image. I found the Internet. I made a little starburst, and then I used the brush tool and just brushed a bunch of back and forth, um, strokes with a really, really light capacity or transparency, Whatever you want to say to get that really layered effect. So you can see that I've also got, like, this book texture and ah, again some faded landscaping. And so just I worked a lot of layers to get a really deep texture. Just kind of have a really good organic feel to kind of go along with that flower on the cover there. Let's see. Ah, let's look at that. That's not the right one jumping all over the place. Okay, here's another website I designed for a, um, a client of mine, and I used it's 4 a.m. Like a bug out bag situation, right? Ah, and I used kind of a really subtle kind of a concrete grunge texture just to add a little bit more depth to it, rather than having it be a true white background. Okay. And a great website for that is subtle patterns dot com. You can check it out. That's actually the ah, I think it's up here, right, you know, right on top. Anyway, it was called concrete, I think was the name of that pattern. But anyway, you click on this, and you could see all kinds of patterns so you can use a pattern like this to create a texture in your background. Another thing you could do is use your Photoshopped brushes, so go to Google type and free Photoshopped texture brush, and there are all kinds of brushes you can use in photo shop. Teoh create depth and layers in your work. So now we've talked a little bit about where to find textures and kind of how it plays in with your artwork. Let me just show you real quick how I would approach using textures in a design amusing photo shop. You could be using anything you want any design software. It kind of doesn't matter. But the point is, is just, you know, building a little bit of depth to your artwork. So, um, I don't really plan ahead on this, but let's just kind of throw some stuff in here. I'm just gonna fill this with a color and then I'll add a new layer and the reason why I do that it's like control, my texture layer. So let me jump back to one of these websites that I showed you maybe, ah, pixels Because I like that one. And I'll grab this first gray background and I'll go ahead and do the free download. I'll go ahead and right click on the image, and you neither copy it or save it sometimes will save it in my project folder. So I have it later to come back to that. I was gonna copy the image, jump back into photo shop and command V to paste that texture so I could scale it down. I could do a lot of things. So and ah was hit command t control T on the PC just to get my transform handles and just kind of scale it in place where I wanted to be return. And a lot of times it's kind of a simple is addled. I'll bring it in, and then I'll start cycling through my blend modes, and I am currently on my texture layer I just brought in. I have my move tool selected up here, and I'm just hitting shift and plus or minus, and that toggles through this menu right here. So this is my blend mode menu, so it's just a short cut to cycle through these without having to click on them one at a time. So what I do hold on shift, click the plus button, and I just kind of flipped through it real quick to see what I like. So depending on what you're going forward, this could be good. This soft light blend mode is a great one to work with again, you can just kind of cycle through and get the exact effect you want. Maybe something a little more harsh, like this linear light, and you can also tone it back so might grab my opacity and just kind of scrub it down a little bit so it blends a little more naturally. There's a lot of ways you could play with that, but that's one way to bring in a texture into your design. Now I could add some type I could add to some images. I'd be often running and really took almost no time at all to create something with visual interest. The other way, I add texture is by using brushes, and I'm gonna go ahead and add a new layer on top. There, I turned off that texture layer. I had to let her be to get my brush tool. And I was on the mixer brush last. So what? I really wanted this brush tool here, So let's see here. I need to go my window Good on my brushes and open that up over here. So I've already got a lot of these brushes loaded by default. So I have a lot more options in here than what you will have again. I highly suggest going back Teoh, um, creative market, checking out retro supply and finding some of his brushes. That's what I'm using today. And, ah, to be totally honest, I don't even remember what the name of this brushes. But it's awesome. And ah, what I what I would usually do when I'm working with this is I'd get the eyedropper tool and then click on the background color to get the same color. I'd open up my, uh, foreground color here and then just kind of drag it down just a little bit. So I'm in the same color value, but a little bit darker. So now what I do when I get my brush and I start clicking around, um, it it adds that brush. Know something? Be careful of up here in my heads up display my options toolbar here. I had my opacity turned down, so I gotta turn that back up. So now when I click, you can see super subtle MSM in here so I can see that. But it's adding these textures, right? And I just kind of build up Just kinda keep clicking around, keep building it up. I get even change the blend mode of this right now it's on normal. But if I change to multiply, you can see that it makes it much darker. Okay, so that's what I'll do. I'll just go through and add a lot of textures kind of strategically throughout the design that just add a lot more depth to the things that I'm working on. All right. Hope that was helpful. Be sure you check out the resource is on this post. And Ah, good luck 3. Continuity: in this lesson. I want to talk about how to build continuity into your designs and by doing so will make everything feel like it belongs together. So a practical application of where you would actually use this and how this will make your designs look better, would be in something like a product catalog or, in this case, an e commerce website or anything where you're displaying multiple images or multiple items together. So let's take it this. Look at this as a first example. So right now we have a bunch of different Beanies. I'm on the Nike website here and you can see they're all about the same size and all about the same angle, even other different styles and fits. For the most part, they all look like they belong on this website together, and they're all in the same kind of really, really light gray background. We look on the actual true background. We see this is white. We see she got a really, really subtle square box around so you can see that all the images feel like they belong together. Here's another example, and in this case, this is a friend of mine he's local in town, and he makes his really cool custom handbags and backpacks and things and these air ladies handbags. And we have these really cool, vintage military backpacks, and in this case we can see that unlike the Beanies, which are about the same size and you know pretty much the same product in this case, we have handbags. We have backpacks, we have wallets and some key chains really cool items. But the reason why this still feels like it's balanced and has good continuity and everything like that is the multiple products that are the same are, in this case with handbags are all at about the same height, same size, same angle as the other products that are similar, right? All of the backpacks about the same height, about the same angle down here on the key chains, about the same height, about the same angle. So even though you have multiple products on a lay out the ones that are similar by having them match, not be wildly different sizes or shapes or on different colored backgrounds that will help them feel like they belong together as a whole. Now let's just say you're not working for clients, and you're still trying to build up your own personal portfolio. Here's another example. I spent a local lounge dot com real quick, and you can see that they have is grid of logos and all of these air scaled roughly the same size. So just think about that as you begin to lay out your portfolio. Or if you're working on again, like a catalogue or any commerce side or things like that, start building them about the same size and about the same angle. So it feels like it belongs together, and the way I would do that I have is being. He pulled up already. And if I just turned my guides real quick already brought these in it. Just go to view. Turn on your ruler and you can drag down guides to the edges so typically, what I'll do if I'm working on building my portfolio or anything that will make a new document. And right now, if I'm building for the Web, I've found that about 1000 pixels wide and about 1000 pixels tall has worked really well. I used to do it at 72 pixels per inch. But now, as we're getting into more retina displays and four K monitors, and things like that might be a good time to reconsider that setting. So do what works for you. Maybe bump it up to 1 44 Ah, but again, you can always scale it down. It's tough to scale things up, so if you make it big enough to begin with, you'll never run into a problem there. So maybe bumping up to 2000 by 2000. So whatever works for you and then what I would do is I would just save this on command s to save or control less if you're on a PC. Actually, I don't leave anything yet, so it's not gonna have me save so command shift s. And I'll just call this product. Or maybe we'll call it portfolio portfolio items or something like that. I'm just gonna throw this on my desktop real quick, so we'll save that there. And then what I would do is start to flesh out. Let's say all of these different logo's were mine. Um, is gonna take a screen grab, actually, let's see what's the faster it'll work? Well, do the beanie. First we'll bring the Beanie An We'll drop it in here. I'll scale it down a touch just to kind of get it close. And maybe I've got a couple different beings. Was Cologne clone this de saturated command shift you, which seems going to image adjustments? Uh, somewhere in here Anyway, you get the point de saturate. There it is. I was trying to make this look visually different for the sake of running this real quick. So let's say I'm bringing in my products. I might set up a designated grid system in here, so maybe it's grabbed my shape to over here. Hit the letter. You hold on shift and click, and I can just eyeball this if I want. It is not be perfect. It's just whatever looks good. And I'll bring in these guides and they should snap in there. If they don't go to view. Turn on snapping. Okay, now hold down. Click on this ruler. Then hold on my option key or Altana PC, and it will change it from horizontal to vertical. Okay, Now moves down here to the corner, do the same thing. So this might be a lot more space than I want again. This is just personal preference. It has nothing to do with, You know, an exact formula is just whatever you think looks good for whatever you're working on. So I'll scale this down toe where my, you know, in this case isn't truly a square product. So now you've got to make some decisions. Do I want it to land on the you know where Where am I gonna bleed past my guide to fall short? So in this case, and I put them on the same base, it's still going to feel the same. So let's just pretend like this Bini was a different size. I'm just going to skew it a little bit, just as an example. Okay, let's I wanted to fall within those guides. Still, So in this case, I'll bring it into the left and right in the center from the top bottom, all kind of stuff. And in this case, I still have it pretty much falling right on the bottom guide on the left and the right, left, right and left. Whatever. It's pretty much perfect. But now you'll see with this one because I crunched it a little bit. It sticks past that guide, but as a whole. So we've got to difference to different sizes. Now as a whole, it still will feel like it belongs with itself or with the other pieces on the page. So that's my approach to building continuity into my brands into my portfolio or into anything else that I do. So I hope you learned something valuable there and just pay attention that when you're if you're the one that's taking the photos or if you're asking client for the photos, make sure that they gave you some different options. So it may be straight on. Or maybe profile or maybe a 3/4 angle view so that we have options. But then also, so that way you have all of them matching when you go to put them on your design project. 4. Typography: All right, let's talk about typography now unless you're like me and you can't order a meal at a restaurant without first completely analyzing the fonts on the menu, I realized, understand the difference between a Sarah font and the San Serif font and all of the vocabulary that comes with studying typography is most likely boring to you. I also realized trying to sum up the entirety of typography in one short video is completely impractical. So let me give you the Bloods version of typography, and then we'll provide some Resource is attached to this lecture for those of you who would like to learn more. But the goal here is to give you a quick and dirty overview of typography. Typography is one of the most important subjects for you to understand. As a graphic designer, and I realized, I think I've said that about a dozen other topics of the most important. But really, typography is critical, and like all disciplines within art and design, it has a broad vocabulary associated with it. So because this list is so broad, we're gonna touch on the main points of interest, introduce you to some key terms and then give a few examples of effective ways to use fonts . Let's just dive in with some key terms to get started. It's about to get real nerdy, so just hang on and stick with me, Okay, first up, let's take a look at the definition of a font. It font is a specific set of typographic characters that are designed to work together. So by characters, I mean the letters A through Z zero through nine and all of the other punctuation marks and even special characters like the copyright symbol and the ampersand the dollar sign just to name a few fonts are also called typefaces. Individual fonts are usually part of a font family, which contained variations of that fund, such as bold metallic condensed and regular phones could be separated into many different categories, or classifications such as San serif, serif slab, serif script, black letter, mano hand and decorative. Now most fonts can be separated into one of those two categories. Either serif or sans serif serifis are literally the little strokes or the decorations that flourishes at the, uh, at the ends of the strokes of each letter. An example of a serif font could be something like Times new Roman San Serif does not have those details or flourishes there, much more modern font. An example of that would be something like Ariel or Helvetica. All right, let's take a step back. Why is this important? How does this matter? Why do you even care about this? Well, coming back to your job or our job as a graphic designer, it's important to master the art of communication and typefaces literally give voice to our words. And again, who cares? Well, if you can understand the different feelings and connotations of each font, you'll be able to select the appropriate font and give the right voice to your project. You can evoke different emotions simply with the font you choose. For example, a Serra font again, something like Times New Roman. However, I wouldn't use times New Roman because it's overused. But again, just something that you're probably familiar with it felt like times. New Roman, which is a Serra font, has been around nearly since the beginning of time, Even back when tablets were literally carved out of stone, right, they used more of a serif font. San Serif fonts give a much more modern feeling. One of youth. If you want to have a feeling of being reliable or trusted or well established, then use a good Sara font. Consider something like Baskerville, old face or similar. If you want to give the feeling of being modern, clean or trendy, then you could use fonts such as Calibri or Century Gothic or a handful of other sans serif fonts. We've only scratched the surface with typography, but in the interest of keeping this lesson and blitz format, I'm gonna wrap it up. I realized that some of you might go on to learn a lot more, and for others, this might be all you learned. So let me just leave you with a few rules to follow. That will help you as you continue to study graphic design. All right, so in no particular order, number one never use more than three fonts in your design. Ideally, keep it just to to by limiting your design to two fonts no more than three. You'll be able tohave a more cohesive design. Because of this limitation, pick a font that has a deep font family with weights such as regular bold light maybe a talic or condensed. This will help give you options as you design your layout, but everything will still feel like it belongs together without having too much noise. Number two always have a distinct hierarchy of text in your design. Make sure your headlines stand out from your subheds and that your subheds different size from your body copy. You're designed to have a clear structure and a clear flow from beginning to end. Number three. Your font size for general body copy should typically be between 8 to 12 points if it's in print in 14 to 24 pixels if you're on the Web. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, when I designed business cards, the addresses and phone numbers can be a smallest six point fun. But again, that really depends on what font you're using, whether it prints well and again what each piece needs. So we're talking just your typical body copy. We want to make sure it's ledge herbal and that people can read it. Number four never used these fonts. Piras Impact Courier, Bradley Hand comic Sands trade In times New Roman Mistral or stencil, there are a handful of other fonts you probably shouldn't use, either. But the reason why I've appointed these fonts out is not because they're bad, but because they're so overused and misused that it will immediately give you away. As a rookie designer, they become more and more popular because of their availability. Operating systems like Windows have divided default fonts for the user, which is great because it removes the hassle of choosing and downloading your fonts. But it's also bad, because now these funds have been over used. Everywhere you look, especially papyrus. Look at nearly any organic grocery store, massage therapist or church, and you'll probably see papyrus and use again. These funds are bad. It's just that they've been so overused that it will make your design look very cliche. Hence they are to be avoided. So you might be thinking, Well, great. Now what fonts am I supposed to use? Well, I'm glad you asked. Don't be satisfied with fonts currently on your computer. There are a ton of resource is so look and look and look until you find the right font that suits your project. I realize that some of you are starting out. You won't be able to afford purchasing a font. So there are some great resource is and freebies such as de font dot com, Google fonts, Lost type and font. Squirrel is also a handful of markets where you can actually pay to use their fonts, such as creative market dot com. I hope you've learned a lot in this lesson, and I realized it was just a short overview. There's so much more to learn about typography, and I really do hope you take advantage of the resource is attached to this lecture, so be sure to download those and bookmark those for later, and then we'll dive into the next section. 5. Alignment: All right, let's take a look at alignment real quick. What I want to show you is just some simple things to pay attention to in your designs that will help them be more cohesive. And to, um, just go a long way in making your whole design feel like it belongs together. So the first thing I want to show you is flush left. If we were to take a look at this design here, you'll notice the left edge of the elements on the page All line up. So if I bring this guy down, you see about this left edge of this tire, the text is left. This left edges lined up, and it's also aligned left. If you come up here, I'm an illustrator. Currently, the textile lines left here and then the logo. Right. So it feels pretty good. And without that guide sitting there, um, you know, just looking at it, it feels like it belongs there. Another example would be flush, right? It's a little more of a modern layout. Um, but same thing. We better text align right and flush right here with the tire and the logo as well. Okay. Same thing applies, it feels good and the negative space between the elements and the edge of the page. It's all balanced and feels like it belongs that way. Now, here's an example of something you shouldn't do that will give some visual disagreement. And that would be, you know, having one element, Ellen Page, kind of wherever. And then, you know, these elements here either lined up on the left you have left and right alignment, or even worse, would be more like a stair step effect. You know, don't ever do that. It just it visually can cause, um ah, a lot of visual noise and clutter, right? So one way where I would say, you know, maybe you could deviate from that would be, Let's say I just draw a rectangle right here just to show you, um, you know, let's say we're about that same distance apart from here as well as from here. If I'm reading this tire kind of, you know, equal distance. So the margins around my page are balanced, you know, sometimes you can get away with that, especially here. This tire kind of drops down and, you know, maybe it feels like it belongs right there, but it's still pushing it. Ah, and still can add mawr noise to your design than you. Then you want to just pay attention to that with that visual disagreement. All right, here's another, uh, sample of centered text, and so one thing I want to show you here is technically, you know, this is all centered and it looks good. And that would work well if I were to select all of these elements here and then use illustrators align tools up here, you'll see that they are in fact lined up centered. But it just doesn't feel quite right. And and the reason why is because, visually, it doesn't feel balanced, even though it's actually aligned. But it's because this this whole dark area on this UTV, this tire and everything, it just feels like this is the center of the image, even though truly, it's not. If we look at the bounding box of my image here, you can see it's the same distance from the left on the right. So sometimes what I'll do is all nudge things a little bit, just kind of cheating it over a little bit, and you'll see, the roll cage now feels a little more centered, and so does this tire. You know, even though this right tire here, I guess technically the driver's side left. But anyway, even though it's it's to its further right. You know, we see this space here between here and this edge versus here in this edge, it obviously is. Scoot, scoot over to the right. But the point is that visually, it feels centered. So even though you know the rule here would be Senate alignment, feel free to kind of deviate from that. A little bit tell. It feels like it's, you know, aligned correctly. All right, so another sample would be this justified text. So while the whole the whole elements on the page or justified So if I bring down some guides here, turn those guides on, you can see that the left and right edges of all of the elements line up. However, what we've done here in this text, we have a center justified. Cem's gonna open in my paragraph options and illustrator, and you can see I've got a justified. And then any leftover tax just get centered. So is one way to do it, or we could actually, you know, track out these letters here. And I was using a shortcut command shift in the right or left arrow. Um, Anyway, just if you look here, just updating these numbers just a little bit right here and Ah, we're setting the tracking so that we everything hard, um, matches up on the left on the right edge here. So that's another way we could do that. It center justified, and then the last thing would be a subtle violation. And so here we have the element centred. But the center paragraph hoops isn't actually center justified or center align. It's got a left edge. But then the right edge kind of breaks that. So this is something where you know, visually it doesn't quite look right. So, you know, we might want to center that text as well. So just little things to pay attention, attention to and again these air these air general rules, but you're you're obviously welcome to break them as necessary. However, if you pay attention to your spacing in your elements and how they land on a page, your designs will feel a lot more cohesive and tend to work a lot better 6. Contrast: all right, let's talk a little bit about contrast. Contrast is simply the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association. So a really easy way to just get a firm grasp of a contrast is just jump into Google type. In contrast, let's look at some images, and you can see right away lets you know what contrast is and how you can see. Like the zebra stripes here, the highest contrast between black and white right, the furthest apart on that spectrum. But we can also talk about the juxtaposition of a San Sarah Fontana Sarah font and how those play together or different colors here, like we got the One Apple That's Red and the others that agreeing here. So another way that you can see contrast is to jump into say something like Be Hands, go to be hand start net and go to a peer group to discover, search and explore. We'll jump into the graphic design section, and I have to look at the most, appreciated our work just to kind of see what's the most popular and what other people are looking at and when you do that and just scroll through. And I've just opened a few here and one that I found. Here's another one with a great example of really high contrast. We've got red with, you know, a bright white, you know, white being the lightest we can get to hear, uh, font or, um, text on the front, and it just adds really stark contrast. And, of course, uh, we learn in the color section of this that red is already a very dominant color. It's one of the most impacting colors you can use in your design. So that combination with black I mean, this is about the most contrast highest punch designed and come up with this faras red, black and white. Um, I just wanted to show you that real quick, just kind of really quick get an idea of contrast and what that might look like in your design. So creating contrast is a skill that often develops over time. It takes a long time toe master it, but the fastest way to get a firm handle on using contrast would be to decide in advance the relative importance of each element in your design. So what I mean by that is what part should be highlighted. You know, if you know in advance what parts need contrast with its logo or the text or an image, This can help you make a decision and improve your design process and know that that's something you want a feature, right? Everything can't be the same volume on the page. You can't all have the same, you know, amount of, um, I guess you could say contrast, right. There's got to be some things that are more important than the others. In contrast, is a tool we can use to help make that happen. Keep in mind that the major contrast in anything you do should always be located at the center of interest. So whatever you want people to be the most cute into on your work should have the most contrast right? For example, let's say you're on a Web design. We could jump on Amazon and you see on the top right, you've got the shopping cart. They typically feature that more than they wouldn't on other websites because that is all about shopping, or you want to make it easy to find, so there's more contrast there. Another example would be, you know, headlines in the newspaper, right? Especially anything above the fold. They've got the biggest font there is in the highest amount of contrast, because that's the most important thing. They're trying to grab your attention, and and they use that with contrast other ways you can work. With contrast, you could do things like, Ah, hard edge or soft edge, you know, organic shapes paired with more, uh, hard firm, crisp lines. You could choose harmonious font pairings like a serif with sand surf. We talked about that just a second ago. You could even pair textures and patterns with smooth services that create contrast and set areas of interest in your design. So with the right amount of contrast, you can guide the viewer by creating specific areas of interest to draw them in and to keep them engaged. 7. Color: All right, let's talk about color in this lesson. Color is one of the most important tools as a designer that you have in your toolbox toe work with that, along with great images and the right fonts help you create stunning and compelling designs . So what we're gonna talk about a little bit in this video is how to work with color, how I work with color when I'm designing a new project specifically how I You know how I find my color palettes and how I make it work together and also talk a little bit about the connotations of color, the emotions that you get with certain colors, for example, red compared to purple compared to blue. All of those have different feelings and different emotions that they evoke. So we're gonna go ahead and dive in, and first I want to talk about is a little bit how I would work with color, no matter what software I'm using, whether it's Photoshopped or pages or keynote or word or any program, it doesn't matter what you're using. We can use these techniques the same. So the first thing I want to talk about is how I sample colors, so there's a lot of great tools out there because I'm in the Adobe Creative suite. Most of the time. I typically use the eyedropper tool that is already within photo shop or in design or illustrator any of the others eso Right now I'm in photo shop, so if I wanted to sample a color, I would just the letter I, which is my eyedropper tool. And then no matter what color I pick, you can see it changes my little icon down there to show what's watch that I have case. So the next thing is, well, what happens if you don't use Photoshop and you're on, You know, just your default programs like word or you know, something else like that. How do you sample those colors? Well, uh, first, let's look at a couple options you might have. The first would be if you're in chrome or any really Firefox or in any browsers now have extensions. Um, you could do a search for eyedropper, and they are for this example. There's this eyedropper tool you can install, and you can sample any color from anywhere on the screen for websites that you're looking at which is a great tool, helps you see what color cells are, and you can use those hex values, um, to to use that color in your design. There's also this image color picker dot com. I just found its pretty handy. You can upload an image and then click anywhere on that image and you'll see it updates over here with your hex value, the RGB colors and the hue, saturation and value, um, percentages there Typically, what I would do is I would grab these six characters right here that's called your hex value. I'd copy it, and then you could jump over into whatever software using. So right now, I'm in a photo shop. I could double click here, and right there, I got that hex value a command V to paste that. And now I've got that same color that I sampled. If you're in another program like pages or something like that, make any document real quick and you have the color sample here. So let's say we want to make that text for my heading that color. I could come over here, highlight that text, opened this box and paste that value in here and now I've got that same color that I just sampled. So that's how I would pull those values to match my design with an image. The next thing you could do Ah, this program called Sip or this application, I guess, for the Mac, I don't know if they have it on Windows or not. It's awesome. I love it. In fact, you can see it up here in my, um, task bar up top so I can click on this and Aiken, sample any color from anywhere on my screen. It will copy it to my clipboard, will copy that hex value. And I can see the name of the color as well as all the other colors that I've sampled previously. So why is this important? Well, let's go back, Teoh. I'm just gonna dump into Photoshopped because that's what I'm comfortable with. But this Ah, this obviously applies to know no matter what you're using. So when you're working with color and you want things to feel like they belong together, one of the best ways to do that is the sample colors from whatever image you're using. So, for example, I've got a new document here. I've started and let me just pull in this image right here, and I kind of scooted to the side. Now, if if you were working and say word or something else, you wouldn't have some of these tools available, but you could use the same principles I'm gonna do is just apply a little mask Here, have the letter g to get my Grady int tool. And up here, I'm gonna be painting with a foreground to transparent, radiant. I'm gonna click and drag this way. And now I've got a nice blend, but I want this background to feel like it belongs with this image. So I'm gonna sample this color, and I'm gonna use the eyedropper tool directly in photo shop here. But I could also use sip if I wanted to to get that color and then let me click on this background layer and I'll double click on this foreground color and paste that color that I got from sip, okay. And I'm gonna hit all delete to fill my background. And I know this is a lot of shortcuts and things. And again, this is just to show you the principle of how I would use these colors. But now right away you can see that even though my image wasn't as wide as this canvas was , I have canvas that feels like it belongs. And I could take us another step further by starting to add type to this. So maybe I will sample a little bit of color from her skin. But the letter t to get my type tool and I will just type in my heading here and now. Obviously, this is a bad example, because I can't really see it very well in that light blue background, So let's make it a little bit darker. What I'm gonna do is highlight that text, grab my text color, and I'm gonna sample the darker blue from this. Looks like it's a computer monitor back there. And I could even take it a little bit further still in the same family. But I can kind of dark in that up. Just a touch. I'll click. OK, and now my heading feels like it belongs that right as far as the color. And I could do the same thing with the body copy and maybe you make it a step darker. So that's how I would approach this of ours in photo shop. But what about something else? Like, let's just jump in the pages real quick. You can see this if I make a new document pages. Let's go ahead and look at some of these templates. I have, like this modern report, and I'll double click there. You can see that they've got this orange in this image here, and that's the same color they sampled for this heading here, which, you can see adds a lot of unity and cohesive. Look to this flyer as I've done this. But if you want to say swap his image out and do something a little bit different, we'll just use the same example Here. I'll click on this image and replace. And, uh, here's another one from actually a recent client. Um, let's say we wanted you know, this orange is pretty close, but let's say I wanted to make it match. I'll just come over here and built in two pages. Is this eyedropper tool? And let's say I wanted to make it match this painting in the background. I could sample any of these colors and you can see that it still feels like it belongs together. So that's how I work with color in a practical application My day today designs and how you can help, um, make your whole brand feel like it belongs to get instead of randomly selecting colors. All right, the next thing I want to talk a little bit about is the actual emotions and connotations of color. So if we look at this, uh, image here of all these vegetables, you know, looks really happy and and and, um organic. And it's got the greens and the vibrant red and oranges and all the colors right there. So that's something to consider. Ah, think about just the color red in its connotation, right back in the day. You know, red was a well, because it still is a very, very high contrast color that is very strong. So if you have read on your design anywhere, it's gonna really overpower everything else. Um, you know, we're trained in our ancestry, right? Red is the color of blood, right? So fight or flight, and it can bring up those emotions as well as passion and a lot of other things, like that the color purple is another color that has a very strong connotation of royalty. And the reason why is, you know, again, back in the day the color purple was made with dies. It was very hard to find and was very expensive, so only the elite and the Royals could have access to purple. So that's why that connotation of royalty comes into play. When you think of the color purple, there's other things to think about, like cultural differences and how that affects the color. So, for example, the color white and some cultures white is the color of purity. And in other cultures, white is the color of death, like in, ah, you know, Asian culture right where we have, um, white being the color of of death in the afterlife. Another color to think of it would be, um, like blue and green and browns and all those earth tones together give the feeling of, you know, whether it's an organic grocery store kind of a situation or, um, maybe it's business in You've got the blue color. So now I'm kind of rambling, but the point is, as you're designing, think about the color you're using and why you're using it. And at the end of this lesson, I'll get you a link to a really great book that helps spell it out and helps give a much more in depth understanding of colors and their connotations, all right and enclosing one last tool I want to show you that is a great help as you're trying to learn how to build color schemes. At work in that flow together would be the adobe color tools. So if we come up here, if you're in photo shop, come up here to window down to extensions to adobe color themes. It will open this adobe color themes box here, and it lets you go through and you can. You can do a lot of great things as faras. Just grab one of these Dragon Drop, and it helps create a color theme for you. Whether it's a now analogous, I can never say that word. Ah, color or monochromatic or triad. There's all these different color rules in or complementary color schemes, like everything you could think of to kind of help guide you as you're learning more about color and how to use it You can also explore other colors that are or themes that other people have made, and you can easily save them to your own color library. Now, if you don't have access to the Adobe Creative Suite Creative Cloud, you can also use their online tool. Go to color dot adobe dot com and you can create your own color themes just by simply clicking on these different color rules, and they will automatically pull that up. You can click and drag these handles to get something that's a little more you know, closer to what you're looking for. You can see the hex values down here can. You can also upload your own images. So if I click on this camera up on the top, right, you grab any image you want. And I'll just opened this guy up here, and it automatically find colors in that photo based on whatever color moon you're going for. So right now we've got colorful. Maybe you want more of a muted paddle palate, Um, or maybe deep right, dark. And look at this and it immediately shows you what those color schemes could be so way you could use this way that I would use this. I mean, I'm usually signed in when I do it so I can save this to my library and do some other great things like that. But if I don't have access to that, you can just take a picture of your screen to a screenshot on a Mac. It's command shift for, and I was clicking dragged those right there and all, um, let go. It will save that picture to my desktop on a PC can hit that print screen button. I think it's control print screen. It'll take a picture of the entire thing. Um, or you could use again. I've got the sip tool up here, and I could sample that right away. Or because we're working right inside of this, you should be able to grab that hex value. Ah, didn't plan ahead on that. I'm sorry, but the point is that you can copy these colors, use them in your design, and then use, you know, maybe the same color for all your headings, maybe the similar color for all your subheadings. And all of a sudden your design is going to go much further in having a cohesive feeling all right? Hopefully, that clears it up for you again. Be sure to check out the resource attached to this video for that book on color and a few other resource is as well hope you enjoyed, and we'll see in the next lesson. 8. Balance v2: All right, let's talk about balance. Balance as it pertains to graphic design, is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture and space. And it's a visual weight because you're looking at a two D object. There obviously isn't any weight associated with that, but the object itself can have weight in the design. And if it was a scale, these elements should be balanced to make the design feel stable, we had a couple kinds of balance we can work with. We have symmetrical balance and asymmetrical balance in symmetrical balance. The elements used on one side of the design are similar to those on the other side. An asymmetrical balance. The sides are different but still look balanced, so you might have on one side a whole bunch of, say, rocks that add up to the same weight as one rock on the other side. So the design visually is different, but the weight feels the same. You could also the same with maybe a stack of feathers and a small stack of rocks. I don't know. I'm on the rocks, kick butt, rocks and feathers. There you go, in asymmetrical balance, your sides air pretty much visually different. But again, the weight is gonna be the same. We also have radio balance. The elements are arranged around a central point and maybe similar. They can also be different, but taking the whole composition a za whole. When you look at it, they're all basically placed around one central point. So they go asymmetrical balance, symmetrical balance and radio balance.