Cara St.Hilaire introduces the key components of graphic design in this video: type, color, and layout. She then explains how they contribute together to the overall message of design such as the relation between color and emotion, typography and function, and layout and mood.
- The core elements that make up every design are layout, typography and color. To be a good designer, you have to have a deep understanding of how each of these elements contributes to the overall message. It's like cooking. You need to know each of your ingredients and what they'll go well with before you can combine them successfully. Layout is extremely important because it's the structure or skeleton of the piece and therefore drives the overall design. Layouts can feel peaceful and serene, dynamic and functional or even chaotic. The right mood for the work just depends on the audience and the goal of the piece. Almost anything goes in the right context with one exception, a design that feels dull or lifeless. This is all determined by your choices of color, balance, scale and density of type and image. These are the elements of design that when used correctly will enable you to set the right tone and create a strong composition. The role of type in design is so much more than just communicating a message in words. Type creates an impression before the words are even read. Good typography communicates the message of the design. It should be tailored to the intended audience through the chose typeface and how it sets. For example, the goal for the typography on an Income Tax Return Form is legibility. There is no room for creative expression here and the design is purely functional. On the other hand, if you're designing a poster for an exciting event, the type is critical to create interest and represent the appropriate feel. Typography is complex but once you know the rules, you'll know when you can push the boundaries of it and you'll be able to set beautiful type like a pro. Color plays an important role in every design, both visually and emotionally. Color can be a crucial part of brand identity. Color can make us feel a certain way and because of the cultural connotations associated with color, it also plays a huge role in helping to communicate a message. Think of these three elements: layout, type and color as you building blocks of design. With a solid understanding of how to use all three, you will be on your way to creating designs that your viewers will connect with.