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John Doe
John Doe

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Design theory

Design Theory

Design is everywhere around us whether we notice it or not. When making a design we are trying to bring a message or an emotion to a user/viewer. Great designs are clean, well-structured layouts that help the users to guide through its content in a comfortable way. Without design, life would be dull.

Design theory based on a few design principles which are contrast, colour, alignment, Hierarchy, repetition and balance. If we apply these principles we are able to create a design that is visually appealing, well organized and hopefully user friendly which is our goal.

Aligning graphics, paragraphs and other elements can be very important as it helps and guides the viewer where to look after each line, not to be confused where to look. This creates a visual connection between elements and simplifies the layout.

With contrast, you are able to control the eye, define the hierarchy, movement and meaning. Contrast can be created with colour, texture, size, value, etc.
With contrast, you are also able to tell better stories within your frame.

Hierarchy adds structure to design so it can help the user, what to look and in what order. It creates a visual organisation, direction and can add emphasis on what´s important and what´s less important. It basically helps the viewer navigate through its content.

Repetition sounds boring but it’s not in design it can empower designs if used in the right way. It is a way of capturing your user attention. There are three methods of repetition: repetition, patterns and rhythm.

Balance in art is exactly what is sounds like, for example its way of ensuring one colour, size, shape or element doesn´t over power all the other ones.
We have symmetrical balance as well as balance by tension.

Colour theory:
Colours have the power to affect our moods and provoke emotions. 😊

Orange is refreshing and energetic and evokes creativity while blue is the colour of peace calm and serenity, as for elements in nature like ocean and sky they trigger a sense of tranquillity. Green is a lot in nature and symbolizes vitality, life and personal growth.
Purple is rare in nature and people with more money used to wear as a sign of wealth.
Same goes with all the other colours they can evoke a sense of feeling or emotion from a viewer.

Colour theory based on three primary colours red, blue and yellow

Secondary colours are purple, green and orange are created by mixing primary colours.
Purple is made by red and blue, green is made by blue and yellow and orange is made by yellow and red.

Then we have Tertiary colours which are made by mixing primary colours with secondary colours. By mixing: Red-Orange, Red-purple, Blue-purple, Blue-green, Yellow-green, yellow-orange.

With all those colours and mixes they make the colour wheel. (see image).

Complementary colours sit across from each other on the colour wheel. By putting two of these colours together create a great contrast and visual interest.

Hue is the name of a colour red, blue, green, yellow and orange.
Saturation is the intensity or purity of a hue. With higher saturation the brighter the colour is with less saturation the colour looks washed out of grey.
Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of a hue. Values are divided into Shades, Tints and Tones.
Shade is hue produced by adding black to a colour.
Tint is hue produced by adding white to a colour and Tone is hue produced by adding grey to a colour.

Colours can also have temperature: Warm colours are red, orange and yellow while purple, blue and green are cool colours.

So, with all those colours we make the exact same design from really boring design to very impressive design. Can make us feel happy, sad or get excited, so it´s very important we get some colour in our lives because they move us in a way.

Design is something we create from the heart, so these principles are no more of guideline then a rule, that can help a designer make their work more effective.

“Design is intelligence made visible.” - Alina Wheeler
“Make it simple but significant.” – Don Drap

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