Questions tagged [design-principles]

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

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124
votes
9answers
19k views

Why do some logos look dated? How does design age?

What makes a design look old? How subjective is this? Who decides? Look at this Bell logo: It's from 1969. And boy, does it look that way. It's simple and minimal, but.. it looks old. Take a look ...
41
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6answers
5k 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 two-...
35
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6answers
13k views

What methods can I use to create balance and consistency between a group of differing logos?

A regular challenge that I face is balancing two (or more) logos. Whether they need to be equal or one needs to be given priority. Some logos however might be squares, others rectangles, circles, etc.....
34
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4answers
4k 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 ...
32
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4answers
30k views

What are the differences between vector graphics and raster graphics?

I understand from prior knowledge that there are two different image format / composition options available for creating images; raster and vector. I would like to understand more about them, such as ...
30
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4answers
722 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 ...
29
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5answers
6k views

What is meant by “busy”?

What do web developers mean when they think something will make their site look "busy"? What gives this feel of busy-ness?
26
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4answers
3k 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 ...
25
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5answers
14k 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 card/...
25
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4answers
1k 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 ...
22
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8answers
2k 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 "...
22
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3answers
3k views

Typesetting 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 ...
22
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1answer
8k views

How do I choose a good cover photo for my website?

It's been trendy to have large background images with relatively little text over them for headers and intros to web pages including the start of blog posts. I could give countless examples of this, ...
21
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6answers
6k views

Why is the design of haulage companies so “special”?

Background Passing one of Germany’s largest cargo stations on a daily basis, I noticed that the design of lorries is quite different from most regular design. To be frank, it usually strikes me as ...
21
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4answers
8k views

Is it okay to fade a human face just to create some space to place important content over it?

Please see the image. Just to write the copy, I had to place white color over the upper half of the person on the right side. Is it okay to do so in graphic design or is it terribly wrong here? PS: ...
20
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6answers
9k views

Is it essential to type “WWW” when our design contains URL, or is it a matter of taste by now?

I love the appearance of traditional url's, because the www in front of them eases and speeds up my understanding that there's definitely a certain web adress. But is there any established guideline ...
19
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8answers
14k 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?
19
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3answers
42k 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 ...
18
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6answers
9k views

Should a logo always work in black and white?

It's often agreed that logos should always work in black and white... am I right in thinking that doesn't mean greyscale, and literally just means black and white i.e. positive and negative space? It ...
18
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5answers
1k views

Is it appropriate to use lower quality design to make a product look cheap?

In an article I was reading it has this picture: It claims and rightfully so that one looks cheaper than the other. However the explanation says, My old direct-mail client was correct in his ...
17
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6answers
3k 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 ...
15
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3answers
4k 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?
15
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6answers
1k views

How to reinforce intuitive design decisions?

I am not a professional designer, meaning: I have not studied Graphic Design at university or similar. I wanted to, but the numerous clauses didn't allow it. On the other hand, I'm actually doing ...
14
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3answers
6k views

Why are circles used to draw a logo?

Recently, I started taking interest in logo designs and started replicating some famous logos. Soon, I came across this article about twitter's new logo, released somewhere in june '12 . On this ...
14
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4answers
135k 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 ...
13
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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 "...
13
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2answers
3k views

Does optical correction give a more aesthetic look to the SBI logo?

The design in question here is an official variation of the SBI logo: Now, I've always felt that the main circular icon feels a bit smaller, and must be corrected by enlarging it a bit to make it ...
13
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1answer
2k 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' ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Designers response in an adverse situation during the presentation of a project

Hypothetical situation: It is a presentation of a corporate image for a male sports club. The meeting includes the client, the marketing director, the purchasing manager, the client's wife, and two ...
11
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3answers
7k views

Is it obsolete to use a mouse pointer icon in a logo of a company?

Taking into account mobile devices represent a significant part in today's web traffic: Is it obsolete to use a mouse pointer in a logo of a company? Some examples: UPDATE [ADDED REAL EXAMPLE]: ...
11
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9answers
14k views

What are the key principles that effective designs share?

You have arrived on this page because you are clearly curious about underlying fundamentals that you can incorporate into your thought process when designing. According to many that came before us, ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How to avoid making icons and logos too minimal?

When making an icon or a logo it might be very tempting to push and reduce it to the limit to achieve the absolutely minimal symbol. For example: tiny photo of a floppy disk -> cartoonish picture of ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How to create flow and rhythm through composition

Composition is a great tool for creating a visual flow or rhythm to guide the viewers eye and lead them through your content. Thinking about the way you want your users to interact with your content ...
11
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1answer
4k views

What is the purpose of always locating/starting new chapters on odd pages?

I notice that in every book I have always start a new chapter in an odd page and it leads me to wonder why. I have some written work that's about 40 pages long and 7 chapters; should I follow that ...
10
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5answers
3k 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 ...
10
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7answers
1k views

Graphic design beginner: How do you get to the point where a design is in your head?

I know this question might sound stupid but I'm a programmer and I want to learn graphic design. Well, from what I see you have to learn stuff like color theory, composition, spacing, etc. I get that ...
10
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3answers
51k 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 (...
10
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3answers
2k views

How do design trends originate?

In my short experience with graphic design I've seen design go from bevel & emboss to all flat designs. People always hop onto these design trends with no hesitation. Anyways, I have a few ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What are some common mistakes that a designer can make when designing for web, and how can they be avoided?

What are some common mistakes to avoid while designing? I know color, text and images play a major part in designing, but there are so many other things that we need to take care of! I don't know ...
9
votes
3answers
976 views

How do designers choose shapes in a design?

A lot of times, while browsing through sites like Dribbble, one comes across sites that use shapes (see this example). Sorry for being naive, but is there a reason behind choosing a particular shape ...
9
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4answers
2k views

How to identify and understand the principles of a design?

I am having a hard time identifying different principles of design in action. It is hard for me to identify the relationship between different elements on a page and to know what approach was used to ...
9
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3answers
3k views

How could I show hands that are race neutral?

I'm creating a graphic with a hand holding a phone, but I don't want to show any hand of race(black/white). I've seen once google use a a non-realistic hand and gray-scaling a hand looks even more ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
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5answers
602 views

Are there considerable differences when designing for men or women?

(I am aware of the simplified dichotomy, a better term would be gender character but it's a bit too vague/specific for the title of this question.) When creating a web project, are there differences ...
8
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6answers
18k 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 ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How to deal with making design decisions

I'm currently in the process of designing a website, and after spending a few weeks now narrowing down a few combinations of fonts for the site's hero banner, I'm now stuck at the final decision of ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
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3answers
2k 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
8
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2answers
3k views

Why do most of the color palette generating websites generate specifically 5 swatches in a color scheme?

I have used several websites to generate color schemes including Adobe color, coolors.co, etc. All of them generate only 5 swatches per scheme. I want to know exactly, why is the number 5?

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