Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design | Ellen Lupton | Skillshare

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Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

teacher avatar Ellen Lupton, Author and educator, MICA

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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.



    • 2.

      Symmetry vs Asymmetry


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Demo: Bringing It All Together


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Learn More with Ellen Lupton


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About This Class

Great graphic design comes from understanding just a few basic principles.

Cracking the code to great design is much easier with a solid foundation of core principles. Join designers Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips for an essential, 35-minute class as they walk through 5 basic principles of graphic design, perfect for use in all projects using images and type — creative design, marketing materials, and even photography!

The lessons include both examples and demonstration, giving you a foundation to create inspired, functional design. You’ll learn to:

  • Identify and define 5 basic design principles
  • Critique your work for effectiveness and balance
  • Apply each core concept in future projects

Ellen and Jennifer are co-directors of the Graphic Design MFA Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). This class is directly inspired by their popular textbook, now in its second edition: Graphic Design: The New Basics, available online as well as through Princeton Architectural Press.

Whether you're new to these principles or are looking for a refresher, you'll gain a solid understanding of the visual language that fuels all great design.

What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips will lay out the 5 basic principles of graphic design — symmetry, scale, framing, hierarchy, and grids — and preview what you’ll learn in the rest of their design course.
  • Symmetry vs. asymmetry. Ellen will expound on her love for symmetry in design, and Jennifer will talk about her passion for asymmetry. You’ll learn how both should employ balance and can be dynamic, especially with the introduction of contrasting colors, shapes, and patterns.
  • Scale. Scale is about size, but more than that, it’s about relationships. Ellen and Jennifer will explain how these relationships can tell a visual story by creating tension and energy on (and with) the page. You’ll discover how to surprise an audience using scale by playing with their expectations, and you’ll learn how scale can take on an especially important role in business logo design.
  • Framing. “Every time you change the cropping in Instagram, you’re framing,” Ellen says, and it’s true — framing is something you already do all the time. In this lesson, you’ll learn how prevalent framing is in the design process and get introduced to the 3 main types of framing: margins, bleeds, and partial bleeds.
  • Hierarchy. The keys to hierarchy are separation and difference. You’ll see how to use the two to order information and direct readers across a text — important lessons to keep in mind when creating logos. Ellen and Jennifer will go over an exercise in which you’ll apply hierarchy to a plain block of text, and you’ll learn the usefulness of color when it comes to textual hierarchy.
  • Grids. A grid is a powerful tool for bringing structure and efficiency to your page design. In exploring different grids, you’ll learn the difference between margins and gutters, how blank space doesn’t have to feel like empty space, and how to make a basic grid in Adobe InDesign. You’ll also examine the difference between web and print grids.
  • Demo: Bringing it all together. In this exercise, you’ll start by choosing 3 to 6 photographs and 1 to 2 typefaces. These will be the basic elements you’ll incorporate into your page layout design. You’ll learn how to create guides in InDesign and use pencil-drawn thumbnails as “mini blueprints” for your design. You’ll then watch as Jennifer defines typographic hierarchy, plays with scale, and anchors text to images.
  • Conclusion. Ultimately, you’ll find that you can design icons, magazines, web pages, and even wedding scrapbooks using the 5 basic graphic design principles Ellen and Jennifer discuss in their class. Beyond the 5 basic principles, students can take their knowledge further by exploring advanced graphic design essentials like layers, transparency, time and motion, and gestalt psychology. The key takeaway from this course? Graphic design is all about relationships — the relationships between one design element and another, that element and the page, and that element and yourself.


This class is presented in collaboration with the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Ellen Lupton is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt. Lupton, a renowned graphic designer, serves as director of the graphic design MFA program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where she has authored numerous books on design processes, including the bestselling Thinking With Type; Graphic Design Thinking; and Graphic Design: The New Basics. She received the AIGA gold medal for lifetime achievement in 2007.

Jennifer Cole Phillips is director of the Graphic Design MFA Program at MICA. Her work and the work of her graduate students have won numerous awards for design excellence from the AIGA, Adobe, SoTA, Graphis, Print, STA 100, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and most recently, a Sappi Ideas that Matter grant. In 2014 she received the MICA Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has contributed to several books on design and is co-author (with Ellen Lupton) of Graphic Design The New Basics (now in its second edition). Phillips has a MFA and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ellen Lupton

Author and educator, MICA


I'm a writer, curator, educator, and designer. Lupton is the Betty Cooke and William O. Steinmetz Design Chair at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) in Baltimore. I've authored and co-authored many books about design practice, including Thinking with Type, Graphic Design Thinking, Graphic Design: The New Basics, and Design Is Storytelling.

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Related Skills

Design Graphic Design
Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Welcome to our class on graphic design ba sics. I'm Jennifer Cole Phillips. I'm Ellen Lipton. We are directors of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art. This class is drawn from courses that we teach at MICA, and also from our book Graphic Design, The New Basics published by MICA and Princeton Architectural Press. In this class, you will learn some basic principles of graphic design, including symmetry, scale, framing hierarchy, and grids. We will show you examples of graphic design created by our students at MICA, and also work by leading professionals. Then, we will walk you through the process of creating a basic page layout. You will follow a process from beginning to end. You could use anything. You could use Illustrator. You could use PowerPoint. Whatever program you're comfortable in. You will learn ideas and principles that can be applied to any visual layout from a book or magazine spread to a conference poster, webpage or any place where image and text come together to communicate. This class is for anyone who wants to explore and experiment with graphic design. You don't need any past experience, just an interest in communicating with text and images. Please join us for this introduction to graphic design basics. 2. Symmetry vs Asymmetry: One of the designers' most basic visual tools is the distinction between symmetry and asymmetry. You may be surprised to discover how much you can enhance your work by harnessing this powerful distinction Ellen, you love symmetry. Tell us why. Many natural organisms are symmetrical. Look at me, I'm symmetrical. My arms and legs keep me balanced. A leaf grows outward in a symmetrical pattern. The arms of a starfish radiate out from the center. That's called radial symmetry. Symmetrical layouts are inherently stable and balanced and that's why designers, for centuries, have gravitated towards centered layouts. So, in a symmetrical design, I should be able to draw a line top to bottom and it's the same on either side or I could draw a line through the center and it's the same above and below. But Jennifer, I know you love asymmetry. Tell us about that. I think that symmetry is more inherently understandable because we can all relate as human beings that are symmetrical to that principle, but you may be wondering what exactly is asymmetry. Asymmetry in design really is distributing elements so that moving them around until they really do feel balanced. So, that really is a matter somewhat of intuitive perception. Nature's full of asymmetry. A mountain has balance even though it's volumes are irregular. Modern architects unlocked the power of asymmetry. This building was designed by Le Corbusier in 1925. It has a tree growing up through the courtyard. These album cover designs are asymmetrical. The flush left type anchors the compositions toward the left but there's enough activity on the right to keep each design balanced. These layouts by Rick Valicenti feature asymmetrical distribution. The layouts feel alive yet balanced. When we use the term dynamic or dynamic asymmetry, what we're really referring to is design that really moves and changes, design in which the viewer's eye is actively moved around and through a design. Symmetrical layouts can be dynamic, too. You can vary the size of the elements or you can crop them on the page in a way that suggests tension and movement and growth. Centered type seems like a very traditional composition, but here, the designer has created centered type but also introduced drama by shattering the type, by making it large, by pushing it together, compressing the line spacing. So, the composition may be centered, but it's very active. This design consists of a central cross created out of topography and then there's a burst of type, a disruption of type on the left side that upsets that perfect symmetry of the design. A layout and a book or a magazine is always symmetrical because of that strong central spine down the middle. Here, designer Paul Sahre has positioned a series of photographs right through that spine, right through the center of the book and he's also created typography that plays very actively with the spine of the book. So, these are symmetrical designs but they're doing it in a way that's very active and dynamic. Here's a Web design that has a very strong central axis. It's yellow on one side and white on the other, and the designer has taken his Web design and applied it to a print publication. Inside the book, there's a little half sheet of yellow. That becomes the kind of book within the book. So it's very centered but it's also dynamic and playful. It engages the reader. Symmetry is not always an either/or decision. In this poster series, some solutions are strongly symmetrical and some are asymmetrical. In every case, the designer has introduced tension and movement through contrasting colors, shapes, and patterns. So, here's a tool, symmetry versus asymmetry. It's basic. It's universal. You can look at any piece of design and ask, "Is it the same, left and right, or is it different?" I love symmetry. Symmetry is balanced. It makes sense. It relates to so many things in nature. But as a designer, we have to harness it in a creative and dynamic way, not just the dumb thing right in the middle. I love asymmetry because for me, asymmetry really energizes the page by encouraging the viewer's eye to move all the way organically through the page in a much more exciting way. 3. Scale: So, let's talk about scale. Scale is how big something is but it's a little more complicated than that, isn't it? Jennifer, what do designers mean when they talk about scale? Scale is relative. An element will seem larger or smaller depending on its context. How big is a circle in relation to other circles? How big is it in relation to the page? What's it's relationship to the human body? Scale conveys meaning. Here, large objects appear to be closer and small objects appear to be farther away. Scale relationships can be conceptual. A large element might be more important. In this data visualization, scale is used to represent precise differences and quantity. Scale can tell a visual story. In these layouts, the large-scale letters are so big they don't fit on the page. Cropping enhances their filling of scale. A dramatic contrast in scale can bring life and excitement to a typographic layout. The designers have created tension between small, delicate characters and large, bold ones. Clipping the numerals creates depth. Look at the scale differences in this poster by Designers United, the design inspired by Dada Typography. But Jennifer, is this poster really chaotic and random? No, take a closer look. The typography uses just a few different sizes of type to build tension and surprise. This is a book about digital media and culture. The book itself is really small, it's about this big but the type is unusually large. Designer Mieke Gerritzen chose not to create a lot of contrast in scale with her topography. Instead, she blasts us page after page with unusually big, bold, loud type. So, scale is size but scale is really relationships. How does the size of one thing relate to something else? Scale is an important tool in graphic design because it can often energize the design by changing what we expect. Often, when you take an element and change the scale in a way that your audience doesn't anticipate it can energize the design. You can surprise your audience by making something that's typically really big, really small and something really small really big. So, make your headline a little bit bigger, make your text a little bit smaller and you might have more attention and more interests between those elements. 4. Framing: Graphic design is an art of framing. When creating a layout, designers bring attention to images and text with margins, borders, and cropping. Every photograph is really an act of framing. We use the camera to focus on points of interests. In these pictures, the photographer is finding another frame inside the frame to further direct the eye. Lisa Rienermann created this alphabet by photographing the spaces between buildings. She framed her environment in an unexpected way. Margins and bleeds affect how an image occupies space. So, think of a margin as a kind of protective border around the picture. It's a border that lets us see that picture as an object. It draws attention just by being empty. A bleed is the opposite. A bleed goes right off the edges of the page. It brings us more inside the picture. It makes the picture more immediate. Designers also use partial bleeds, where some of the picture goes off the edge, but there's some white leftover. That's really useful because it creates a space for text or captions. Cropping an image can change its shape and proportions, as well as its sense of drama, or intimacy, or abstraction. Cropping a photograph or making it bleed changes its impact. In this poster by Ragnar Freyr, the figure appears out at us from within at a distance. Here, the photograph is a full-bleed. The character feels like he is directly in our space. These branding pieces for a museum feature a broken frame. Content bleeds beyond the border. Ellen, Why do you think the designer did that? The frame focuses your eye, but it also suggests that the content hasn't been completely tamed. The result is open and dynamic. In these three campaign, simple printed posters have been pasted directly to the wall, but then an image, and headline, and logo have been stenciled right on top of that, in a way that goes beyond that underlying printed sheet. So, here again you have a frame that doesn't quite contain the content that it brings our attention to. So, framing is part of almost everything graphic designers do. We crop a photograph, we place an image in space, we put a border around a text or around the picture. Every time you change the cropping of the image in Instagram, you are framing. Every time you put a picture in the middle of a page, you are framing. Every time you choose whether to put a border around the image or to leave it clean, you are framing. All those things are ways to call attention to the content, to direct people where to look, to show people what's important. That's something that graphic designers are doing all the time in our work. 5. Hierarchy: Visual hierarchy gives order to information. It allows readers to navigate complex content or to get the big idea quickly. Jennifer, why do these crummy old book pages look so bad? Because they have fussy cluttered clunky hierarchies. Let's take a closer look. So, this table of contents is from an old book about manners. It repeats the word chapter over and over again. Very bad manners. The page numbers are situated far away from the chapter titles so it's not even easy to read. This Paris guidebook uses that old-fashioned method of outlining that you learned in high school, Roman numeral, Arabic numeral, ABC and then indents, lots and lots of indents. Now, this is a contemporary layout designed by Nicholas Blackman. It's succinct and it's dramatic. He put the title of the book right through the center of the table of contents, a billboard for his book. The thing occupies the left and right-hand pages, the whole spread. Check this out, I love this thing. The page numbers are right next to the titles of the chapters so you don't have to number the chapters at all and you can really easily find what page the content is that you're looking for. This classic exercise was pioneered by the Swiss design master Emil Ruder. That exercise begins with no hierarchy, just a block of text. The designer gradually add signals of difference such as weight and color to call out part of the text. As the exercise progresses, the designer begins using spatial cues such as indents, outdents and line spacing. Well, it's really interesting to slow down and add difference step by step. So, you can try this. Take a body of text and it's all plain, it's all the same and start adding difference methodically. Add something bold, pull something out into the margin, create space to separate to draw attention. It's a really great way to experience hierarchy as a system where you only add signals as you need them. What a hierarchy is, is a really signals of difference, signals of separation. Building on basic hierarchy, the designer can become more expressive. A restaurant menu is a surprisingly complex typographic problem. Ellen, let's look more closely and see how the topography is put together. Well, I'm seeing just two sizes of the type but the designer has worked with differences like bold and light, caps and lowercase, Roman and italic, to create a hierarchy. Let's talk about typographic color. We all think of color as red, blue, green, yellow, but in topography, we use the term color to talk about the tone, the shade of gray of a whole block of text. So Jennifer, show me how this works up close. The designer has used different sizes and weights of type as well as varying the line spacing. She has created tension with large thin type and small heavy type. The range of typographic color serves to deepen the compositional space and direct the eye around and through the design. This advanced project explores typographic color in a more abstract way. Here, none of the type is real. It all consists of textures and shapes that remind us of the color and tone of text. The designer has created a sense of news worthy urgency entirely with abstract elements. Even without real language, the visual signals create a clear order of emphasis. Jennifer, tell me about these package designs. How do they use hierarchy? This series is called the architecture of snacks. Each package has a focal diagram of a food product and a very big simple direct product name. In these beautiful tampon boxes, the density of the pattern represents a light or heavy flow. The designer of this packaging system took a different approach. Instead of naming the product, she names it's various uses. Chicken, bread, fish, marinade. The product itself is visible through the transparent glass, so in a sense, you don't have to say what it is we can see it. These variations in type lead the eye in a dynamic way. The key to hierarchy is separation. You have to make marks of difference that are strong enough that people can see them, light and dark, large and small. You want to make this contrast significant so we can pick it up. The most important thing isn't necessarily at the top of the page, it's not necessarily the biggest thing, maybe it's the reddest thing, maybe it's the only thing that has a box around it. So, designers can really express hierarchy in surprising ways not just in obvious ways. 6. Grids: Grids are a powerful tool in page layout. They give structure to the page and they increase the efficiency of the design process. A basic grid has vertical columns and horizontal rows. In graph paper, the divisions are perfectly even. Designers use grids to generate patterns and shapes. The fields of the grid can provide a basic structure for page layouts. A typographic grid has more than just columns and rows. It also has margins and gutters. A margin is the space around the edge of the layout and gutters are the space between blocks of content. So, Jennifer, why are grids so important in layout design? The grid helps the designer place in size elements and the grid creates consistency over many pages. Note how the designer has left some places blank, creating dynamic layouts. The grid is invisible yet present. So, the white space has structure. It doesn't feel empty. It feels supported by the grid. It's easy to make a grid in InDesign. When you open a new document, you'll be asked to choose how many columns and to set the size of the margins and gutters. Here's a basic eight-column grid. Working with eight or more columns gives you more freedom than working with just two or three. You're going create content elements that usually span multiple columns. So, a picture might be three columns wide, a block of text might be two columns wide, or sometimes a caption might be just one column wide. These posters by Wagner Frayer use grids to organize content. They also use it to generate and place abstract lines and shapes, bringing life to the design. Note the strong vertical divisions. Type aligns to the left edge of the implied columns. Horizontal divisions provide invisible lines for anchoring elements in a rhythmic way. The grid also has gutters and margins. Remember, these provide space between and around elements. To create these series of posters, the designer produced a basic layout with a strong grid, and you can see that at the left, and then he shared his initial layout with his friends who use the grid to add color and shapes to the design. Is really fun to try this with your friends or try it on your own. So, it's one basic design, and then he's created this depth and these color fields by simply activating the units in the grid. Grids can unify the many pages of a publication. Note the strong horizontal band that runs through this multi-page program guide. Everything we've talked about comes together in this complex layout system. I'm seeing scale, cropping, typographic color, dynamic asymmetry, and of course a very strong typographic grid. Here's another series of powerful layouts. All the pages are different, but they are unified by a common grid hierarchy and approach to presenting the images. Notice the beautiful use of white space and the delicate way elements pass through one another. Also note the varied scale, pace, and distribution of elements. Grids created for the web and digital media tend to be more uniform than print grids. Responsive design creates layouts that work on different devices. So, here you see a desktop design and a mobile design. They have the same content and a similar grid, but a different number of images, a different number of columns. A Google Image Search builds automatic grids on the fly and to account for the different shapes of the images, Google lines up the heights but not the width, and it creates a kind of funky slightly skewed grid that's fun to look at. We're seeing the aesthetic of automated web pages applied to print layouts, as in this book designed by the Dutch Design Master, Irma Boom. She has fit many images into a very tight space in a functional matter-of-fact way. A similar concept appears in these layouts by Benedikt Reichenbach. His pages have a cool deadpan air as if they were made by a machine. Page layouts can be basic or rigorous, loose or tight, hot or cool. The choices you make about symmetry, scale, cropping, hierarchy, and grids will affect the voice of your final piece. So, try it yourself and have fun. In our final lesson, you can follow along while we build a page layout from the bottom-up. 7. Demo: Bringing It All Together: So, now we're going to create a basic visual layout together, and we're going to be considering some of the basic principles that we just reviewed in the lesson. The first step is to choose and crop three to six photographs. You guys could choose anything you want, it could be photographs of food that you've created, something from your Instagram account. I chose photographs from a trip that I took in China last summer, I thought these photographs were colorful, they had strong graphic lines, and so I felt that they were a great reservoir of raw material to work from. You can see here I've pulled a bunch of them together and from these, I called out six of them and those are the ones that we're going to work with. Now, pick one or two typefaces to work with. I picked Lava and National, one is a Serif and one is Sans Serif. Now, we're going to build a basic format and a grid. So, here we are again at the dialog box in InDesign to begin and create a new document. So, here I've got the choice to keep everything standard but no I'm not going to do that, I encourage you guys to experiment with non-standard options. So, for me, I kept some things standard eight and a half and I change the height instead of 11 which is obviously an American standard; eight and a half by 11 to eight and a half by 10. Per our lesson earlier, lots of columns, why? Because they give us options. So, in my case I chose 12. Why 12? Well, 12 is divisible and all kinds of ways. I can combine two three four six. Awesome! Then with the margins, you can see it gives you a default of 0.5 all the way around 0.5 inches half an inch all the way around. I simply change the bottom margin, very simple but thought we give it a little bit of a special look. So, here we have our grid, you can see 12 columns per page. That may seem like a lot, but actually you'll find when you begin working with a multi column grids such as this one, that it really is phonic, it sets you free by giving you so many more options. Now, we've added the Create Guides. If you remember, it's a pull-down menu from the Layout at the top of the InDesign prompt and it gives us our horizontal rows, very important. I just picked randomly 10. Next, I encourage you to begin to create some thumbnails. So, how do you make thumbnails? What are thumbnail? So, thumbnails are essentially a little mini blueprint to what you're going to be attempting to accomplish and design. So, you can see here in my drawings, you don't have to draw well, you really just want to indicate some various techniques for how large photographs will be, where they will appear in the compositional space and some thoughts about how you're going to approach your typographic hierarchy. So, you can see with a closer look that I've used a pencil and what that's allowing is to, it's allowing me to push and pull the lead so that it makes some areas of the type are darker and some lighter. So, I'm beginning to just play and get a sense of how I'm creating some separation between the elements. If you remember, the basic principle of hierarchy are marks of separation, so finding ways to create distinction from what between one item and the next. So, here it's really just a bunch of scribbles but you can see if you look at it, you can sense how things are separating also how I'm beginning to move elements through the page. So, with this field, I've got a range of options that I can explore. Next, I'm going to begin to build them out into some layouts. So, now we're going to define a clear typographic hierarchy. The first step to building your layout is to bring in all of your assets. So, we already asked you to select three to six photographs, we also want you to choose some text to create a headline, a subhead, possibly captions and if you really want to go hog wild, you can also add things like page numbers and maybe you invent a title for your magazine. So, if you don't have copy for your layouts, use Wikipedia, anything open source that isn't copyrighted, it's absolutely fine. For a headline and a subhead or a deck, I think you could be creative and come up with your own, why not? So, you can see here I've made the headline very large and bold in this beautiful typeface Lava. I've taken a subhead and I've made it in all capital letters, I felt that it made a nice clean simple line, I like that. Then in the text, you can see I took a portion of the texts that I thought it's about design of the Forbidden City which is in particular the subject Beijing that I'm focusing on, and I made it a little bolder so that it would stand out as a subtext, another level of complexity. So, you can see that in the layout that I created, it's a two page spread and a hypothetical magazine, but your layout could be anything. It could be a poster, it could be anything that you want, whatever you're comfortable in. You can also see that I played with scale and the photographs. The photograph on the right I've made much much larger and left the other two small at this point. You can also notice that the photographs bleed to the edge of the page on the left, the bottom, and the right. Coming off of the photographs, you can see the captions, they are anchored to the grid. However, also on the right, you can see that that caption is anchored to the edge of the image. In our form or an edge of an image or form inside of your layout, is often a very good place to anchor text or topography. So, I'd just like to point out another thing about alignment that we're using our grid, we're also wanting to be aware of alignments that we're creating through placement of images and texts. So, here what I'm talking about is when you look at the alignment for example of the little girl and how she's aligned with a text really cleanly, it creates a beautiful crisp line across that entire page. Similarly, when you look at the headline, all of the letters sit on a baseline and you can see that the baseline of that title follow that over and it aligns with that big chunky focal image. Beautiful, creates lovely structure. So, looking at it now, I'm thinking I don't want all of the images to bleed. So, here you can see I've left the image on the left to bleed to the edge but the other two I pulled in. I still have the dramatic scale change and variation happening in the three photographs, but now you can see that there's a little bit more energy going on because some of them don't bleed and one of them does. Also notice that in making the photograph on the right much larger, it creates a dynamic asymmetry. So, here's our final step. Now, we're going to explore some alternate layouts using our already established typographic hierarchy. So, I had an idea with this beautiful little girl and it appears in the first layouts that I've done as a small jewel like little image to make her huge and to change the framing and the cropping of that particular image and make her really large. So, here I simply imported the topography from the last layout into this layout and what you can notice is it's too dark, it's hard to read, you could never read it. So, what I've done is change it to weigh, all of the typography that existed in black before is simply reversed out to white. But there's something missing I feel. I feel that the right side needs something, so I'm going to add a photograph, it's still asymmetrical but I feel it's a little more balanced with this photograph on the right. So, here's a whole another layout with a completely different photograph. My thinking with this was for the subject Forbidden City, that this giant iron gate would be a perfect focal point for this news spread that I'm designing. See the topography is still pretty much the same; same sizes and weights and distribution. I've just brought them in with a new photograph full bleed. What I'm noticing now, now that I look at it though, is that the right side of this image has got an awkward little gap on the right, I don't like that. Boom! Taking care of, can you see, I'll taking out that little gap, it makes it easier to look at, or I just doesn't get stuck on it which is important, I call that a visual irritant. So, to support this new photograph I brought him with this iron gate that's got all of these circular elements inside of it, I decided to change the headline type to be more reflective of that architecture. So, you can see I'm now using National in a really chunky bold weight. You can see the dots of the I the J and the I are just a beautiful little sequence of giant heavy dots. Also, to add some richness to this layout, I've decided to choose photographs that I thought worked with this big gate image in interesting and different ways. The concrete chunks at the bottom, I felt also had the circles that we are trying to pick up one but then the other images is much more organic and natural and I thought that provided a beautiful counterpoint to the rigidity of the gate. Still there's something that bothers me about this layout, and this is it. What I wanted to do, is have the gate begin on the left because it just makes sense that, well, the gate keeps you out of the Forbidden City and it yields to all of the information on the inside. So, by moving into the left, very simply moving it, it's a really nice introduction to the chapter I thought. Here and finally, I've flipped the secondary images so that the cool concrete is next to the hot heavy iron gate and I think they work better together. Also by pulling it off of the bleed in the margin, it gives it a little bit more space and it's just nicer compositionally. So, here you can see the final versions of three layouts that I explored. You can see in each of them the topography is fairly similar, but each of them has a very different feel based on how I worked with the images and the principles of framing, scale, symmetry, cropping, and hierarchy. So, you may be wondering how do you do this if you don't know InDesign? Well, of course you can use any program as long as you're harnessing the same principles and you're really thinking about the lessons we just gave you, you could use anything. You could use Illustrator, you could use PowerPoint, whatever program you're comfortable in. As you're browsing the gallery of other people's work, I encourage you to be specific in your comments about the principles that we've just gone through so that instead of just saying that you like it or you don't like it, think about why, think about the principles and what you might say that might be helpful to the person that's uploaded their work. I'm so excited to see your layouts and your process in the class. 8. Conclusion: Thank you for joining us in our class. It's been so much fun to go through the basics of graphic design and share with you principles that you can apply to your next publication, magazine, PowerPoint, a scrapbook for your wedding, anything that uses type and image to communicate ideas. What did we talk about? What have we covered? Oh, my gosh! We covered the basic principles of graphic design. Not all of them, but some of the really most important ones. We covered framing. We covered scale. We covered hierarchy, cropping, symmetry, and asymmetry. Those are principles that you can bring to bear in all kinds of projects that are quick and useful and they're in the background really of any piece of graphic design are these fundamental principles. If you want to take this deeper, check out our other courses on Skillshare. I have a course on typography and I have a course on poster design. Or check out our book co-authored, Graphic Design The New Basics, now in its second edition. Here you can look in more detail at the ideas we talked about today as well as more advanced principles like layers and transparency, time and motion, Gestalt psychology. Great ideas to bring your graphic design to the next level. If there's one thing you can take away from this class that ties together everything we've talked about is that graphic design is all about relationships, symmetry, and asymmetry, cropping, scale, the grid. It's all about how elements relate to other elements on the page, how they relate to the overall frame, how they relate to us the viewer. Scale, how big is it to me? We're excited to see your layouts. You can build them in InDesign or Illustrator or PowerPoint or any program you like to work in. Put together some images that you love with some text and see how you can get those pieces to fit together to communicate. 9. Learn More with Ellen Lupton: