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 attending)
- 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