Well first you must continue to understand the Grid before you can even fathom breaking it! Don’t forget that grids do not make the design or its final look. It only dictates clarity to the reader, efficiency and continuity. You should never make your grid too obvious. It should be the layout structure without being the center of attention and taking away from the text and images. After all the grid is used to help a reader through the layout, not notice it. Not only that but, the grid allows for you to layout massive amount of design and text since margins, and horizontal and vertical spacing have already been predetermined. There are several parts of the grid. Listing from left to right.
They are vertical containers that hold type of images. The width and number of columns on a page or screen can vary, depending on the content.
They are individual divisions separated by consistent space, providing a repeating, ordered grid. Combining modules can create columns and rows of varying sizes.
They are buffer zones. They represent the amount of space between the trim size, including gutter, and the page content. Margins can also house secondary information, such as notes and captions.
They are alignments that break space into horizontal bands. Not actual lines, flow-lines are a method for using space and elements to guide a reader across a page.
They are groups of modules or columns that can form specific areas for type, ads, images, or other information.
They help a reader navigate a document. Indicating placement for material that appears in the same location, markers include page numbers, running heads and feet (headers and footers), and icons.
This would be the only time I allow you kids to be a smart aleck! -Grin- Working with Smart Objects is probably one of the wisest things you could do. Non-Destructive workflow is becoming very common amongst us. To be able to edit things, and be able to change it back to the original has huge benefits. It allows you to make edits that much more efficient. For example if you were changing the strips on a zebra to red, but now you wanted it to be blue. You would have to go in and redo that. Using Non-Destructive masks and adjustments this task will be as easy as changing the hue (Literally). You never know when you might have to change anything!
Did I jot down any notes? Did I sketch out any concepts? Did I pick a color scheme? Do I have to go to the bathroom? You will eventually be asking yourself similar questions to this when designing. Well maybe not the last one. Preproduction is one of the most important things for us as designers. Not only does it let us scope out what we intend to do with our designs, but it also helps us brainstorm. By mind mapping, sketching, and even bouncing ideas off another colleague has its wonders for us. Never forget about Preproduction and just jump right into it. Mind map a little, sketch some things out, and maybe ask someone else what they think. You’ll be surprised at what you might come up with in the end.
Sketching is a very important part of Designing. It’s good to get your concepts out on paper. It also allows for a quick layout. If you don’t it could be a waste of time. And we all know time is valuable. For example if you are creating a magazine cover, and you decide that some elements don’t work with the hierarchy and you need to trash it. That could of been avoided sketching the idea out. Another reason for sketching is to show your client what’s in your head. It wouldn’t be smart of you to go to a client, look at the design brief and just go “Trust me. I have this all up here” and point to your head. They want to see something physical not your words. There is a vast amount of reasons to sketch. But I find this to be the most important information.
And here we are with the final Principle of Design! Variety! Variety is differences among the elements of a composition. Variety is used in the composition to prevent it from being boring and uninteresting using lines, shapes, color, and textures. An example of Variety could be to just alter a different variation of an already existing element. Such as if you had squares maybe you might just angle one a little bit.
Being Simple can sometimes be very powerful. It can allow you to convey a strong message without other crowded information interfering. This can be done with many elements such as Typography, colors, shapes. I will end it here for the sake of keeping it Simple. -Grin-
Paths are very important for us designers. We use them for a wide range of things. Many people delete them or replace them. But what happens if you need that very same path again? Unless you have the time to spend trying to get it exactly perfect like the first time if you even can. Save your paths! You never know when you are going to need them later on.
It’s a bit harsh I know, but don’t Turd Polish. What does that mean you might ask? Turd Polishing is when you try to keep working something that to begin with didn’t start off too good. For example if you keep trying to push a bad concept. No matter how much time you invest if the concept is not very good from the start it might never be. So why invest all that time in that Turd project when you can be spending that time on a better concept?
The Rule of Thirds! The Rule of Thirds is used to place objects within a composition. It divides the composition in thirds horizontally and vertically. You should then position important objects at or near the intersections because a viewer’s eyes are most likely attracted to these points. Remember that this is not exactly a rule just another guideline.
Here we are with the second to last Principle of Design! Pattern! Pattern is the repetition of the same or similar elements in a regular element. Pattern is used to make the whole composition similar throughout by lines, shapes, color, and textures. An example of this would be to use zigzag lines throughout the composition and not throw in a random curvy lined dog.