Questions about conventions of graphic design. Sometimes theoretical, sometimes tangible, sometimes metaphysical.

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30
votes
5answers
2k views

How often is the Golden Ratio actually used in modern design?

The Golden Ratio is the stuff of legend (and I believe some derision if Pepsi's latest logo change is of any indication) and is purported to have been used in many famous projects. My question is ...
28
votes
4answers
2k views

What technical/objective qualities do good logos have?

What objective (that is, not aesthetic) qualities should (almost) every logo have, that should you take into account when designing a logo or ask for when hiring someone to create a logo for you and ...
24
votes
4answers
448 views

Should in-house clients receive native files to make their own changes?

I am the in-house designer for a company that employs 8 marketing managers. These marketing managers are the ones that supply me with the lion-share of my projects. However, more and more, the ...
18
votes
4answers
639 views

How to direct users eyes on a website

There is a common principle in photography that a photo should lead the viewer's eyes. This is frequently accomplished with a line that runs across the photo. Recognizing how the observer will scan ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

What are common mistakes that you see in “professional” designs? [closed]

This might be too subjective but I'm curious about other peoples' experiences. Mods, please close if this is too far into "not a real question" territory. I see many questions on this site about ...
16
votes
4answers
853 views

How or why do your eyes move away from a focal point to other elements?

In studying composition, we're told to pull the viewer's eyes into the frame using a strong focal point, and then lead his/her eyes into moving around inside the frame and hold his interest inside the ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Why all the hate? --Two spaces after the period

The nuns enforced it with a ruler: two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence. I, along with many others do this instinctively. Why is this considered incorrect/improper in printed materials ...
12
votes
1answer
592 views

How can a design be balanced and yet have a focal point?

The concept of a focal point seems to be a fundamental one in web design, yet doesn't a focal point mean a page cannot be balanced? Surely by definition a focal point means that the page's 'weight' ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How would I know how good of a designer I am?

To me my designs looks good, at least for some months. But to others not so much. I want to go freelancing but I don't want to be a bad designer. So how do I find out if my logo/website/business ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

How to balance dignity with a calculated risk of offensiveness / tastelessness?

When designing an advertisement campaign how should one balance dignity and respect for offensiveness? Nobody remembers the latest ad for McDonald's or Foldger's but I can tell you all about the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do newspapers use multiple columns?

This might not be the right place to ask, but I was wondering why newspapers use multiple columns? Does it take up less space, or is there a visual reason?
10
votes
6answers
813 views

Making a business card. Any advice?

I went around the web, reading articles about business card mistakes, and here is a full list of them: Don't use cheap materials/techniques or attempt to print your own. Don't use metal business ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How to draw attention to a specific area of a design?

What are the best practices for drawing attention to specific parts of a design?
10
votes
3answers
314 views

How do I figure out the right size font / text for a given read distance?

To avoid printing single letters at varying sizes and measuring how far away I can see it from a distance is there a formula for determining what size font for a particular read distance? Is it better ...
8
votes
3answers
943 views

Is there a trend away from left aligned web site designs?

Most web sites that I see are centered, and I'm wondering if there's some sort of unwritten (or written) trend away or against left aligned sites?
8
votes
3answers
365 views

Seeking advice to improve the design of my minimalist calculator

A while ago, I built a count down timer app based on a designer's free giveaway. It turns out users like it and it is even mentioned on beautifulpixels. This time I'm building a calculator named ...
8
votes
1answer
518 views

How important is the visual flow of an interface?

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the design of an installer application. I pointed out that its visual flow was confusing. It led my eyes from the left to the right and then up to the ...
8
votes
1answer
78 views

What benefit does proper balance add to a design?

Given multiple designs with the same elements, how does the balance of elements help a design to make it more favorable / effective than the others?
7
votes
4answers
295 views

What are good general typeface principles based on target audience age?

Everyone knows that as people get older their vision deteriorates. At 20 years old, few have trouble seeing and reading 8 or 9pt type in print or 10-11px type on the web. However, the older an ...
6
votes
2answers
384 views

How Should One Modulate White Space?

How should one modulate white space within an image, poster, or a logo? Some people say that there should be a certain amount of white space available within an image to make it appealing, while ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

White and black design style

Recently I noticed a trend in graphic and industrial design that focuses on (usually predominant) white or very light gray and high contrast black or dark gray shapes — which fascinates me because of ...
6
votes
4answers
503 views

Making an Effective Menu

I am making a menu for an indie game and I'm not quite satisfied with my results. The menu itself needs two text fields (one to enter your username and the other for your password) and two buttons. ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

How can graphic design be more accessible for people with disabilities?

I've noticed that, when talking about accessibility, guidelines and articles often refer to web design, but only in rare occasions I've seen graphic design (print in particular) being targeted as ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What makes a design professional?

Can anyone define why something might not look "professional"? What differentiates between professional/unprofessional designs? I have clients who have said my design does not look very ...
5
votes
3answers
444 views

Is there a short authoritative reference of basic design rules and principles?

As a web developer, I often find myself working with different non-professional self-called designers. In such situations, I often have to explain them the most basic rules and principles about the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the traditional rules for drop shadow direction / light source?

When creating a drop shadow for objects, what is the traditional / classic "rule" for the offset direction? I see so many that are down and right, which results in the light source coming from the top ...
5
votes
3answers
394 views

Is there something like smashing magazine.com for the Print Industry?

I know the print industry isn't probably changing as much as the web stuff nowadays but Im just wondering were do print graphic designers get their inspiration, latest news and that kind of stuff. ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

What factors make a campaign go viral?

I've been tasked with designing a viral campaign with limited budget. I've not worked on such things before, so I don't really have any idea on how to handle this task. What exactly makes a campaign ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Adobe Illustrator vs Adobe Indesign for brochures

You may know me (not that I am worth knowing) from my first question. I am a noob in web design, graphic desgin, font theroy, color theory, guess all of the mixes that are crucial. My expertise ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

Studies about people's reactions to fonts and color schemes?

I'm a pianist, composer, and teacher, and I'm building a website to promote myself. I want the site to convey both a sense of elegance and old-world discipline, but also sleek modernity. I was going ...
5
votes
3answers
419 views

How do you call “Charte Graphique” in English?

This is not really a translation question - more of a designer vocabulary. How do you call the set of visuals, logos, designs, colors, fonts... that make a whole design project? In French we would ...
5
votes
2answers
313 views

Infographics smoothing and shadows : background or ressources ?

i'd like to know if there are resources or background knowledge on the new tendency to smooth the lines/outlines and add gradients and shadows to information graphics. For example, on the new version ...
5
votes
4answers
157 views

How to make clickable areas stand out?

I'm working on a calendar app that lets you toggle your vacation days. There's a feature for choosing which of those days count only half. Usage: The user toggles some days, those days turn orange. ...
5
votes
1answer
381 views

What should graphic designers consider when designing tattoos?

I searched the site but couldn't find anything relating to tattoo design, I believe it's a relevant GD form and would like to cover some of the basics here. What are necessary considerations a ...
5
votes
3answers
277 views

What are the web application design standards for for mobile phones?

When designing a UI for a mobile web application (non native) that is expected to run on iPhone, Android and possibly more platforms, what should be the baseline? Would you design it based on iPhone ...
5
votes
4answers
490 views

Designing and prototyping for iPad

I have to do some prototyping for an iPad app, and just realized why I was having so much trouble: this is an iPad app. I am used to design website pages/templates, computer interfaces, etc.. I have ...
4
votes
3answers
591 views

Need help with logo design and its transparency

I have given money to a company to design a logo. The designer will be using Corel Draw, and he was saying that he will give me the cdr file. Now I am confused about how many files he should give me. ...
4
votes
6answers
7k views

how to add one smart object in multiple files in photoshop?

I know I can do multiple iterations of the same Smart Object within the SAME document and have it change all instances, but what about Smart Objects placed across DIFFERENT documents? That would be ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the best resolution to work at for Android devices?

I am trying to design an app for Android devices, but they come in all sizes and stuff... with different resolutions and its a bit confusing. What is the best way to do it? Work at the biggest ...
4
votes
3answers
464 views

How to improve my timeline graphic ?

so I'm making this graphic to explain a game mechanic and my problem (middle example) is that Aiming and especially Firing do not clearly appear as being main timespans (yellow and orange) but subsets ...
4
votes
1answer
235 views

Graphic design/color compositions for waveform presentation

I have a dashboard of data, on which one of most important elements is a waveform of medical data (a real-time stream, in most cases it would be ECG waveform). I am looking for a way to present this ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

What special requirements need to be considered for outdoor banners?

I am wondering where to even begin to find a place that could print something durable like a 13' x 30' banner to go on the side of a building. Is this even possible? Is a vinyl banner the best option? ...
4
votes
2answers
452 views

What does an artist who wants to learn graphic design need to know?

There's a (very popular) question that discusses tips and resources for learning graphic design already, but it's from the perspective of programmers who want to get in the game. I have a friend of ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

How can I use design to teach history to 8th graders?

I want to use graphic design and website design to teach history to 8th graders, so kids can express what they have learned about history and use their knowledge to teach others. I also want to use ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

What to consider when choosing the print size of promotional materials?

When it comes to creating a promotional leaflet/brochure, what should the person deciding on the size consider, and why? The few considerations I can think of are: Price - Custom sizes are without ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

What are the correct set of principles of Design ?

I have started the design learning road from scratch using Teach Yourself Graphic Design: A Self-Study Course Outline. In the first section it mentions design principles. The first link : Principles ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Icon design etymology?

Is anyone aware of any resources for Icon design etymology, or the history of icon design? I'm talking about icons like Wi-Fi/Ethernet/Bluetooth status indicators, add, save, and similar simple images ...
3
votes
2answers
364 views

What should be taken into consideration when designing a logo?

This is my first try designing a logo. Firstly, I do not like the geometry, it seems like it's out of shape a little bit. Also, whenever I try to scale, everything just collapses. Can anybody inspect ...
3
votes
3answers
26k views

Can you convert a neon RGB color to CMYK for printing?

I have a logo that was done with RGB colors, now I have to work with this logo to do something for printing purpuses, the problem is that in the RGB version of the logo I have a shade of green I ...
3
votes
3answers
471 views

which is the most smallest character or image which can represent coding

I am designing a logo and i almost filled all space because i want to keep it very simple. Now i want to put something in there which can represent that we do coding or atleasy signifies coding or ...