The Fundamentals of Graphic Design for Beginner - Learn Graphic Design

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The Fundamentals of Graphic Design for Beginner - Learn Graphic Design

Graphic design is a visual communication technique that uses a well-balanced combination of typography (word) and imagery (photographs, drawings, and symbols) to convey a message. Graphic designers use visual-thinking techniques to address and simplify communication issues based on this.

A graphic designer's main job is to graphically express concepts in engaging, immediately recognized, understandable, and legible ways. The art of graphic design is to make the unseen apparent. In this lesson on studying graphic design, we'll go through the fundamentals, concepts, and tools that can help you successfully communicate your ideas.


What is Graphic Design?

To address visual challenges, graphic designers use a wide range of tools, skills, methods, and expertise. A graphic designer may catch and maintain the attention of their intended audience while celebrating a range of mediums by relying on a repertoire of creative and technical abilities.

A skilled designer can express messages effectively and flare whether they are printed or displayed on the screen. Not every profession, though, need a sense of adventure and flare. A designer can sometimes produce subtle yet trustworthy visual messages.



While graphic designers possess a vast and ever-expanding set of talents and characteristics, there are five essential competencies that they must include:


  • Creativity: You must be creative. A graphic designer must be able to produce one-of-a-kind artwork and graphics. Graphic design is about addressing visual and communication issues. Therefore creativity is also a problem-solving ability.
  • Communicative: Graphic designers must negotiate and interact with clients and visually and clearly express ideas.
  • Technology Skills: Technological abilities must combine creativity and IT skills to create various mediums.
  • Typographic Skills: Typographic abilities are required to incorporate typographic shapes into images conveying a message. Learn what typography is with our beginner's guide.
  • Management: Time and resource management and balancing various projects and deadlines necessitate management abilities.


This list is by no means complete, but certain elements will be highlighted throughout this course. Consider these broad guidelines for effective graphic design and communication. These are also crucial issues that should be included in good graphic design schools.


Principles and Theory of Graphic Design

The visual arts and architecture are the origins of design theory. While the graphic design does not have a cohesive approach, graphic designers may find it beneficial to draw on design theory and concepts used in other creative fields that deal with visual communication.

Design theory aims to identify a project's purpose and use a set of visual principles to attain that goal or address an issue. These concepts can assist us in comprehending and resolving an issue.

There are between six and twelve design principles, depending on who you talk to. Because this is a beginner's lesson, we'll start with the seven essential concepts. Again, there isn't much agreement on how many principles there are, but these six will get you started.


Theory of Graphic Design


1. Harmony

Harmony is frequently mentioned as a complement to unity. Likeness and the recurrence of specific design elements such as colour and form show harmony.

The term "unity" refers to a sense of balance between all of a design's components or parts, which gives the viewer a sense of spatial satisfaction. When we achieve harmony and unity, we feel that everything in the plan is proper.


2. Stability

Balance is linked to harmony and unity, but it focuses on the visual weight of a design. Certain aspects are more visually appealing, giving them a more significant visual weight, while others are lighter. The goal is to achieve a harmonic balance between the different weighted parts' layouts.

It is accomplished through the use of symmetrical and asymmetrical design methods. Asymmetrical components supply variously weighted or non-centred elements, whereas balanced elements provide equal weight on both sides of an imagined centre line.


3. Organizational Structure

An overarching design pattern for logically arranging material is referred to as hierarchy. The most significant parts should be the first to be noticed or stand out the most.

A magazine article may be thought of as having a title divided into sections by headers and subheadings. Pull quotes and font differences, such as italics or bold, can attract attention to significant elements of the content.


4. Rhythm

Rhythm is frequently produced by repeating components and altering their spacing or time (e.g. intervals). Regular, random, alternate flowing or progressive rhythms are all possible.

Regular rhythms feature equidistant intervals or spacing. Random beats don't have a defined spacing or interval structure. Alternating rhythms are based on patterns with variations in specific components. Flowing rhythms provide wave-like element formations. Iterations of equal parts evolve and modify progressive beats.


5. Make Contrast

Contrast refers to design components that are opposed, such as weights, colours, textures, and forms. The aim is to leverage the differences to draw attention to specific aspects of a design.


6. Variety

The variety allows for the difference between aspects, which helps to maintain attention. It may be accomplished by combining various forms, colours, weights, pictures, and other elements. However, a designer must be cautious about the amount of variation used.

They must nevertheless create a feeling of balance, unity, and harmony. Too much diversity may be perplexing, while too little can lead to monotony. Variety should complement rather than detract from the content being delivered.


7. White Space

The empty or hostile area considered to be free of design features is referred to as white space. White space may be used to provide texture, emphasize or frame specific components, improve readability and legibility, and enhance a design's overall look.


Graphic Design Tools to Help You Learn

We may learn all the theories we want, but we can't perform graphic design until we have the right tools. Doing is the most excellent method to learn graphic design. The following is a list of essential graphic design tools. It is critical to have a range of devices, whether hardware or software, to assist you in addressing any design challenge that arises.


Hardware Tools

The cost of hardware is one of the most expensive expenditures of graphic design. Finding trustworthy and high-performing instruments might be costly, but, as a novice, you can begin with what you already have and can afford. May use even the most basic hardware may be used to create stunning designs.


  • Notebook & Sketchbooks: Designers need notebooks and sketchbooks to sketch ideas and take notes for future designs and design solutions. Digital notebooks are available, but nothing beats a paper notepad that can be safely taken around and used at any time.
  • Laptop: Laptops are necessary since they are both portable and reliable. It's crucial to consider processing power and speed and memory (RAM), and display (type, size, colour accuracy).
  • Desktop: While not portable, desktop computers have superior processing power and speeds, more memory, and a range of more extensive and high-quality display configurations. They also provide extra connectivity options for numerous peripherals.
  • Monitor: Monitor calibrators guarantee that the colours on your screen are correct. As a novice, you don't need one of these, but if you're serious about graphic design, especially for print, they are essential tools.
  • Portable Hard Drives: You may safely keep your work on portable hard drives while travelling. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are the most dependable and high-performing portable hard drives, and they are the safest option to back up your design work.
  • Graphics Device: Graphics tablets are available in both screenless and screened versions. A graphic designer may digitally sketch, draw, or paint with ease using Wacom drawing tablets with the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro.
  • DSLR Camera: Graphic designers can utilize DSLR cameras to collect pictures and visuals in their designs. Cameras can also assist designers in documenting their ideas. It's also thought that improving your photography abilities would help you enhance your graphic design skills.


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Graphic Software

Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign make up the graphic design software trinity. These programs, like professional-level hardware, are expensive. In each piece of software's description, we'll point out a free and open-source alternative that's ideal for novices (and even sometimes preferable to some professionals).

  • Photoshop: Photographers and graphic designers use Photoshop to alter images and raster graphics. Raster graphics are pictures made up of dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI) pixels (PPI). Raster graphics are difficult to scale without distorting. It includes a variety of picture editing tools and functions but just a few text editing choices. GIMP is the most significant open-source and free alternative. It has similar tools and extensions but isn't nearly as strong.
  • Illustrator: Illustrator is a vector graphics and image editor. A vector image is a scalable path-based picture. Illustrator is a valuable design tool for combining drawings, shapes, colour, and typography. An excellent free and open-source option is Inkscape or Graphic.
  • InDesign: InDesign is a desktop publishing and typesetting software. Print media such as posters, brochures, newspapers, and books are frequently produced using it. Scribus is the most acceptable free and open-source alternative, with similar tools and choices.
  • Bottom line: We recognize that these instruments might be expensive. We all desire the best, just like any other trade that demands tools. It's preferable to start learning graphic design with the devices within your current budget and work your way up as your abilities develop. It isn't something to be ashamed of.


Tips & Tricks for Learning Graphic Design

Graphic design is a broad term that includes a wide range of abilities. Different forms of graphic design need various skills. Below are five universal design tips and tactics based on the seven concepts we reviewed above, whether these talents are used for marketing, branding, UI/UX, online design, print design, or anything else.

1. Do Planning

While improvisation is an admirable quality, the ability to improvise design takes years of practice. Great improvisation, like everything else, is built on a solid foundation. Planning is the most crucial element of design work before we can improvise.

Everyone's planning process is different, but it usually begins with collecting notes and drawings. A strategy does not have to be concrete, but it should provide you with a strong starting point.


2. Color Selection or Picking

Whether you want to go for a basic black and white design or make a neon statement, you should constantly think about your colour choices.

Colours can influence mood and evoke emotions. Should study A colour theory to understand better cultural variances in colour responses and the meanings inherent in and connected with various hues.


3. White Space

The absence of white space does not imply that the place is white. It's the area around your design components that aren't being utilized—the concept of negative space. Allow your pieces to breathe, and use white space to bring attention to aspects you wish to accentuate.


4. Reliability

Make sure your design elements are consistent. If you're going to utilize type, stick to a small number of fonts and make sure that the ones you use to complement or create an intriguing contrast.

To make the overall design visually attractive, cohesive, legible, and readable, the colour scheme, textures, forms, and weights of elements should be consistent.


5. Simplicity

We tend to overcomplicate things, especially when we are unfamiliar with them. This issue affects even the most seasoned experts. We should strive to keep things basic in design unless otherwise indicated or intended. Too many elements and too much variation between them might be confusing and unappealing.


Conclusion for Learning Graphic Design

Graphic design is a broad discipline with a straightforward goal: to make visual communication more engaging and attractive. The purpose of this lesson on how to study graphic design is to introduce you to some of the discipline's theories and practices.

But more than that, it was created to provide you with an overview to pique your interest in graphic design and inspire you to pursue it. We urge you to begin creating at this time.

Home and put your new talents and expertise to the test. We hope they bring you as much delight as your creations do for the people who see them. We hope you like this lesson on how to study graphic design fundamentals and principles and that it inspires you to take the next step toward becoming a graphic designer. Designers, best of luck.

It is a beginner's graphic design instruction. We've tried to cover the essential visual design concepts and fundamentals, but this book doesn't claim to cover everything. Through time, we'll publish more tutorials that go over specific ideas in greater depth. We value your constructive criticism, but we also welcome suggestions for improving this article.


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About author
I am a professional web developer. I love programming and coding, and reading books. I am the founder and CEO of StorialTech.