In this lively and engaging lecture-based class, we put aside computers and software as we study the essential fundamentals of compelling design—as well as how to apply these principles effectively. It's a perfect class for those without a design background—in this one day jump-start, you'll gain invaluable information and techniques from an expert who has spent decades working in the design field.
who should take this class?
- Students newer to design, re-entering design, or whose jobs require knowledge of design and layout.
- Those interested in expanding their existing skill set (or obtaining advancement in their jobs) with a quick but solid overview of essential design rules and practices.
- Individuals who wish to customize and improve existing templates, but are uncertain where to start, or on what to focus.
- Anyone who wants the inherent confidence from knowing key rules to create fresh, energetic, and more professional compositions.
- Those who need to learn the fundamentals of specific software tools like InDesign, Photoshop and/or Illustrator should look at our Desktop Publishing Overview class.
Those who are ready to tackle more in-depth classes in those tools should look at our "Essentials" classes for InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Flash, or Lightroom.
what we cover—in detail
(always customized for the students in attendance)
- Positive and Negative Space
How to define and recognize positive and negative space and use them effectively in your designs.
- The various ways of relating two squares to each other
- Learning how to see the and create space around elements, and why space is so important to design
- Recognizing the different effects of figures relative to ground
- Why direction is important
- Scale and Proportion
Variations in scale and proportion, and their effects on design
- Reinforcing size and space in a composition with multiple objects, how it creates movement
- Typography as an elementary design element
- Learning what is meant by balance and proportion in a design
- Focus: how to purposefully guide your viewers using hierarchy, dominance and creating a clearly defined flow through your design
Controlling focal point and spatial planes
- Recognizing the role contrast plays in creating spatial relationships
- Understanding how contrast is used to isolate a message and prioritize information
- Creating impact and visual dominance of elements in a design
- Learning to see typography as an area of interest on a page
- Pattern and Texture
- Exploring and understanding the role of texture and pattern in visual design
- Understanding recognition of patterns and how they can support the design
- Discovering the effects of creating a flow using a pattern
- Color Theory
- Understand the subjective nature of color perception
- Knowing the difference between color in printed materials and color on the computer screen
- Understanding why colors are used and what the colors communicate in a design
- Grasping typographic terminology
- Decision-making for appropriate typographic choices for your audience
- Examining how the meaning of a word can be dramatically—and purposefully—changed
- Circumstances affecting the readability and tone of words
- Exploring type as an Image: Letterforms as a graphic element
- Fundamentals of Effective Layout Design
Assessing the relationship between words and visuals
- Styles of layout
- Planning your content
- Tactics to deliberately guide the viewers
- Set the tone and voice of the design
- Keep viewers interested and engaged