Graphic Design Tips

Graphic Design Tips

September 12, 2019 0 By Bernardo Ryan


Well, we are back and for this little video I will just be a voice recording with me showing some some images, and today we’re gonna be talking about just some basic tips when working with graphic design. And today we’re going to emphasize how to work with text and how to work with different types. And so just going to look at a few quick things. And I know we’ve talked about this before but when it comes to design I think there is such thing as “good design” and “bad design.” I think we can all recognize when things look easier on our eyes and when things look more streamlined and more visually appealing. And we would call the type of designs as being “good” whereas designs that are confusing– that make us take longer to take in information and designs that are not as visually appealing… sometimes we call those “bad” designs. And so let me give you an example– you actually have here at two different designs for for the bus stop. And on the left, you can see this original design. There’s so much visual information to take in, and it’s hard to kind of keep up with– “ok, so that’s when you leave that’s when you arrive…” And so there’s a lot of times to go through and to figure out. Whereas design of the right you can see it’s much more streamlined, and it’s just easier on our eyes, and there’s not as much information to take in that you have to try to follow. I’m actually going to show a clip from this Netflix series called “Abstract” which is a great little series about artists and talks about different types of artists. And this clip comes from the graphic designer Paula Scher who talks about how graphic design actually made a difference in a presidential election and how the way that ballot was was designed– she believes cost the whole election. And I’m gonna show this minute-and-a-half clip, and then we’ll continue on our discussion with with how to actually work with text, and different tips for you to keep in mind when you work with text. An example of terrible design would be the Palm Beach ballad of 2001. I actually did an article in the op-ed page of the New York Times where I made a little diagram that showed why the ballot design was wrong. For the woman who designed Palm Beach County Florida’s election ballot, life has changed. I keep thinking “it’s a nightmare I’m going to wake up one day and it’s all gonna be gone.” It was a butterfly ballot. The list of the names broken into two columns. The designer could not make one long vertical list because the names would be too small and then the area Palm Beach county there are a lot of elderly people and they wouldn’t be able to read the small texts so she thought she was doing a service. In the first column, George Bush was first, and Al Gore was second. And then on the other side was Pat Buchanan. She had the hole that you punched in the center, except that the holes weren’t where you thought they were going to be. You assume that if the first hole belonged to George Bush, that the second hole right below it would belong to Al Gore. But, in fact, it belonged to pat Buchanon because the holes for staggered. So in Palm Beach county, one of the biggest Jewish residences of the world, a big part of the population voted for an anti-Semite. And I can’t go back and say, “Well, you know if I would have done something else, different maybe the election would have been different because you don’t know.” Absolutely graphic design threw an election. Alright so now we’ve kind of established that idea that text makes a difference and that design can can make a big difference in many ways. Ways that you may not even be aware of. And so I wanted to just go ahead and jump into some principles that you can be aware of when you’re trying to create effective designs if you’re putting together the Powerpoint, or a presentation for for any class or business proposal… here are some things that that will help you make a better design and allow it to be more visually appealing. So the first thing I wanted to talk about was the incorporation of text and imagery. We are constantly using text and incorporating text and imagery– whether that be through sending a Snapchat or where we’re creating some type of an image to put on Facebook or social media of some sort. But we’re asked to do this a lot, even when we’re making presentations and things like that. And so just real quickly, one of the first things to be aware of when you are incorporating text into an image is to be aware of the relationship between the image and the caption edge. You can see in this picture here that you’ve got this man on the left and then you’ve got the text on the right, but notice how the text on the right– the left side of the text–that caption edge– is is not straight, it follows this kind of curve, whereas the caption edge on the right is is nice and straight. And you see how the use of that kind of curved edge mimics the curved edge of the man’s face on the left and notice how all also the straight edge of the caption box on the right mimics the straight edge of the the image. And so being aware of the relationship between the image and the caption edge is important with graphic design. Here’s another example. I think it would be typical when, if we were to try to add text to this image, we just automatically think of just doing straight text all across like you see on this image right here. But graphic designers realize that there are these kind of lines that exist in imagery and so using text to harmonize with those lines. And so, as you can see here, the text– the caption edge of the texts harmonizes with the flow of the clouds. And so as a graphic designer, you have to be aware of these types of things and be aware with how your text relates and communicate and harmonizes with the imagery that you’re incorporating. Alright, another little tip here: Place the text where the lines of the image go. And so as we’ve talked about in this class, there are all kinds of lines and leading lines that exist in imagery and so whenever you’re trying to incorporate text into an image, you need to think about: “Okay, well first of all where the lines that exists in this image and where are they going?” And once you’re aware of where these lines are going–go ahead and use those lines and incorporate the text right there on those lines. Look at how the image on the upper left how you’ve got the man that snowmobile and how that text just slices right across the direction of where– where he’s going and how it goes right along with the line of the snow. And it just fills it with energy and we get that kind of momentum. If you would have put that text in the upper right, it would have not existed at all with imagery, and it would have been completely isolated and separated. And so by layering it right on top of the image, and right in the direction of where the lines were automatically going, you get a stronger sense of energy and this relationship. And here, just a few other examples. You see how this text was placed at the end of a line. I know it seems kinda like an obvious thing– with that line leading straight to the text– but it’s amazing how I see people not utilizing the lines that exists within an image. And they’ll place the text in a completely unrelated spot. So, just– main idea here is: pay attention to where the lines are leading in an image and place your text in a place that would go along with that. And last example of this important concept– look at this image of this man who’s kind of doing something here with this rope. And look at how his head is looking directly down at the rope and you get this kind of invisible leading line from his head down to the rope. And look at that just wonderful placement of that text just directly in line with that directional glance there. And so that’s what I’m talking about that’s graphic designers using these effective ways of of a kind of harmonizing the text with the images. So now we’re going to look at more specifics of working with type and type face. And you guys are probably familiar with how fonts work and how you can select different fonts. Maybe some of you like to mess around with that whenever you’re making presentation. And so we’re going to go over some basic guidelines for you to create more effective designs when you are working with text and type. And so the first thing is that when you’re selecting a font, it’s very important that you are aware and you are considering the fonts’ personality. Everything has a different personality, and you can see some of these examples how different things are communicated through the font. And I think that’s kind of–we’re all aware of that–but we’re not, a lot of times, people don’t really stop and really consider what they’re communicating. When you’re selecting fonts, especially with if you’re considering some kind of design, be aware to avoid the default fones. Ok, so if you’re making some kind of big poster or advertisement, stay away from Times New Roman and Arial–like those types of default fonts that automatically come out. Those are not going to make your your design be distinguished and stand out, so try to be aware and avoid some of those just basic default fonts. But also, at the same time, in efforts to avoid those default fonts, people go crazy and they sometimes pick up on these fonts that end up becoming cliche and they’re considered “ugly” in the graphic design world. And so maybe some of you are aware of this, but there are certain fonts that pretty much hands- down, all graphic designers are against the use of because people have used them and so much and you see amateurs using these fonts so much, it’s pretty much hands-off in graphic design. So I wanted you to be aware of that, and so for example, Papyrus– while, you know maybe that font might work well with certain things, because it has been abused so much by amateurs, pretty much graphic designers don’t use the Papyrus anymore. The same goes with Comics Sans. That’s probably the most hated font in the graphic design world. And that Curlz kind of font–people are really kind of trying to avoid that. But really, the Comic Sans would have to be the most hated. And they even have groups out to petition its ban, and there’s kind of a funny history to some of that, so if any of you are interested, you might want to look up why people hate that font so much. But it has been utilized so much, it’s become so cliche and people have abused this kind of innocent comics font. And so here are some funny things you can read. And so I would ask that when you’re practicing some of your graphic designs for this class, avoid those types of cliche type of fonts: Comic Sans, Papyrus, Curlz… those types of things. Try to avoid that at least for the work that you do in my class. Another thing that is recommended when working with text and type is: you might consider using two different fonts and so if you choose to use two different fonts, that will allow you to have a design that kind of pops. But when you choose two different fonts, make sure they’re not– they don’t look at the exact same or that they’re so similar that it’s hard to distinguish. Like you see in this example and down there. So make a use of of maybe one or two different fonts– three at the most. You don’t want to run into the problem where you’ve got tons of fonts all-in-one design. There’s not a lot of harmony and unity to that so try to limit it to two or three at the most. When you’re working with type and when you are working with different fonts, it’s important to use fonts that contrast. And so when you have fonts that are clearly different, that’s where you can probably have the most effective type of design. And some more tips that people– the graphic designers try to push is: don’t use all caps. We all know that we’re using all caps that’s the equivalent of shouting, and so when you’re writing a long body or a paragraph of text, don’t be using all caps. Try to reserve all-caps for some kind of title or something like that. Also, be aware of your line spacin. There are ways to adjust your line spacing so that the text is closer together, and that sometimes makes it easier on the eyes when reading lengthy paragraphs and things like that. Also, sometimes at default settings include these line breaks where you get these kind of words that are hyphenated. Try to get rid of those and take this out of your default settings if you’re seeing that come up– because that’s very difficult for readability and to read words when it’s broken up like that. The last thing I just wanted to go and over and mention is: when you are working with text, don’t leave what they call “orphans” –these one words that are hanging out by themselves at the end. They’re always try to include all of the words within a text, and you’ll see that that makes it easier on the eyes, as well. So I know we kinda went through some of that quickly but those are just some basic things to think about when working with text. Number one: you know be aware of how the text relates to the imagery if you are incorporating text and imagery. And then number two, be aware of what type you’re using or what type of font you’re using and if those have, you know, and what kind of personalities those have and avoiding those default, avoiding those clichéd font types and fonts, and also being aware of how your text looks when being presented. So is it broken up? Do you have some nice contrast there? Do you have too many fonts all within one design? Those are all just some basic ideas and basic tips when you’re working with type and when you’re working digitally and considering design when it comes to the graphic world. Alright so that’s it with the tips! Happy designing in the future!