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I've chosen to use circles as a graphic element because they relate beautifully to the geometric form of Century Gothic.

That could be a justification for a design choice, and it would make sense, I think. I e you are being consistent, basing your design choices on already existing elements.

That's all fine and dandy, right? However, equally often you hear the opposite as a justification:

Here, I've used squares as a graphical element to break the monotony of the rounded Century Gothic.

And that's like yeah, cool, see what you did there.

How come it seems two complete opposites seem to be such great justifications, really?

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Everything depends upon the goals, audience, and mood of any design. –  Scott Aug 6 at 17:00

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I don't believe either of these ideas are justifications for anything on their own. It all comes down to the larger decisions.

For example, the company could be a banking business taking an extremely different approach to the financial sector. Well then maybe breaking the traditional norms is a solid approach.

However, if it's a banking business taking an extremely conservative approach than saying it's going to break traditional design practices wouldn't be a justification at all.

So really what you're looking at is,

I chose to use Circles to reinforce the traditional gothic branding your company is looking to achieve as a way of representing tradition, loyalty, and strength.

vs

I chose to juxtapose the traditional gothic elements with modern elements to reinforce the idea that your company is taking an established idea and implementing it in a new and modern way.

Those are justifications.

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Excellent answer! –  user Aug 7 at 10:00
    
Right. So I guess it doesn't make sense to justify/motivate your choices on the level I was talking about at all really, since they should all fall under the aims of a larger communication goal. I'd hope for some more answers as food for thought, but this is a good answer that makes sense so I'll mark that as answered. Thanks. –  Jan 'Saffi' Stekelgunsson Aug 7 at 16:19

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