Elements Of Graphics Design For Beginners

The elements of graphic design are actually very simple and straightforward. It is something that could have been taught to you in Elementary Art class if you ever listened. However, it is of course different when your older, when your coloring pen is now the mouse, or your pencil is now the digital marker and a computer “tablet”. Your canvass is now on screen, and your limitless imagination is trained under auspicious rules of Adobe Photoshop and CorelDraw.

So for beginners out there in graphics design, or for some experts who want a little refresher course here are the basic elements of art, with a little twist of information that applies to digital graphic design.

Shapes and forms
One of human art's most basic building blocks are the shapes. A shape may tell us what something is. An animal? A hand? Maybe a person? From hieroglyphs to modern cartoons and brand logos a shape makes up the core elements of art. In digital graphic design this is no different. Ever seen the shape tools in most graphic design software? They are there because most graphic designers start out with shapes. Illustrator and other vector based drawing software improve this process to a whole art form unto itself with aid of some algorithms and mathematical calculations that makes shapes symmetrical, orderly and well proportioned. So remember the first element in graphic design is shape. If you are starting out in creating your design, decide on a shape first.

Next, are the lines. Lines are different from shapes since lines don't close up. They are the dividers and organizers of space in a graphic. They move the eye into the different sections of an image and create major forms that span one point to another. Lines can be connecting lines, perspective lines, borders, dividers etc. In digital graphics software today line tools have become even more advanced with features making lines vary in thickness, color and style. They can be simple, broken, dotted, curved and patterned. Use lines in a design to direct the eye and establish a certain kind of perspective.

Of course, color is a given graphic design element. With the eyes of humans capturing several million hues of color it is not hard to imagine why color is such an important tool in graphic design. Colors convey feelings and emotions in people. They can be hot, cold, complimentary are contrasting. Even the absence of color says something about a graphic design. Graphics editing software offer several palette combinations with you being able to actually create your own custom colors with the creative adjustments of the combinations of some other ones. Use colors to solidify the feeling and purpose of your graphic design.

Shadow and lighting effects have become more easier to add to art these days with the use of design software. These effects make shapes and lines stand out from a picture making them look more three dimensional. So if you want you circle to look like a sphere, or your triangle into a pyramid then you should add these elements to your graphic to make them come out.

To add extra realism to your shapes, textures are used as another important design element. Textures basically make a shape look like it is made of some sort of material. The surface of shapes in their raw form in a drawing will always be smooth. Add a brick wall texture or concrete tiled texture to a rectangle shape for example and you give it a new and more realistic look. This is different from just coloring the rectangle in simple red brick as it includes the subtle shadows, lighting and reflections that most real objects display.

A relatively new design element is typography. In the past, artists where limited to their own hands when adding text to their works of art. Now, it is easy enough to add text, with a myriad amount of styles to your artwork. Use text in your design to add actual readable messages to your design. Also, you can use letters and words themselves as actual shapes that you can use for artful effects.

Lastly we have pictures. Integrating some real elements captured from cameras is another relatively new development in terms of art. Pictures captured from reality can be taken, distorted or enhanced to improve the look and feel of your graphic design. Sometimes pictures are edited to add a surreal effect to them as they get integrated into a graphic design.

Now, you know the basic elements. A good graphic designer combines these elements to make a completely convincing graphic design.

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