Introduction to graphic design

Graphic design is all around us, it make our lives easier by presenting information in a visual and aesthetically pleasing way. However, it is easy to stray from good graphic design principles and to end up with a design that is garish or over elaborate – only serving to confusion the audience.

Good graphic design allows the information to be communicated in a form that makes it easier to understand. Graphic design is used in all industries and disciplines, from the automobile to electronics, and from science to literature. Presenting complex topics such as the double helix structure that allow scientist to understand the nature of DNA to catchy billboards on our streets enticing us to purchase goods.

Often and especially in commerce, when we refer to graphic design, we mean the following:

  • Logo
  • Branding
  • Stationery
  • Flyers and posters
  • Brochures
  • Corporate literatures
  • Website design
  • Banners
  • Cards and ecards
  • Book cover
  • Packaging
  • Multimedia
  • Presentations

These are the sales and marketing tools used to promote companies, services and products. It is essential to ensure that consistent graphic design is used in the application of branding in a professional manner. Most companies have brand guidelines for their designers to follow. These provide guidelines on how to use the logos, the type of typeface, colour palette, and sometimes the acceptable imagery and language to use on websites, brochure and other design media.

The building block for graphic design

There are six basic elements of graphic design:

  • Typography: The letters and arrangement of letters on a medium.
  • Colour: Where graphic design is concerned, colour is the pigment applied to the surface of a medium.
  • Space: The area between the various elements on the medium.
  • Line: A path or imaginary path between two points.
  • Shape: The form each element on a medium takes, based on height and width.
  • Texture: The visual effect of each element.

These elements provide the basic building block for all graphic design projects. Mastering and understanding these will assist you in gaining the skills to become a graphic designer. It is worth mentioning that graphic design is an art and not a science! However we need to know the basic elements of poetry in order to write poetry. We cant all write great poems but we can write good poems if we under the basics.

Once you’ve mastered the basic elements of graphic design, you can move to learn principles of graphic design.

To find out more about how graphic design can make a difference to your company, email us at

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