Successful design employs solid conceptual ideas, the result of a thorough brief and the initial creative process. It's in the application of these ideas that the design really takes its shape. During this time the designer has a set of guidelines in their toolkit that they consciously use to develop their design.
The five design principles:
Balance provides stability and structure to a design.
Hierarchy creates organisation and direction.
Contrast is the most effective way to emphasise and generate impact with a design.
Repetition unifies and strengthens a design by tying together otherwise separate parts.
Alignment creates a sharper, more unified design.
Good designers can tell you which principles they use in their design, in most cases all of them. Using basic briefs through to complex, multi-layered Photoshop documents that use photographic images, graphics and type, Shillington teaches design principles from the introduction stage.
There are many specialist areas of design that use a variety of tools, however these basic principles are a common foundation on which all great work is produced.
Good design uses type in a constructive and visually effective way. It creates balance and hierarchy to deliver a clear message that has impact. Visual communication has existed for hundreds of thousands of years. Whether it be a coffee table book on gardening, an Art Nouveau sign for the Metro in Paris or an ancient inscription on a column in Rome, typography plays a significant role in getting the message across to its audience.
It requires great typographic skill to design something with type that is clear, simple and visually arresting. Shillington School teaches the basics of technical typography, the correlation of art movements and type, the role of design principles and type, through to its usage with the applications InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Every lesson is another step in understanding that successful design is about good typography.
Visually, the sensation of color affects us more than anything else. It has the remarkable ability to alter our moods and, when used in graphic design, can evoke a range of, often sub-conscious, emotional responses. Color psychology and color trends are important areas of consideration for a graphic designer.
What color would you apply to an annual report for a major financial corporation, a sign that signifies danger or a poster advertising an exhibition for Picasso? How about the menu for a juice bar? Designers are given the responsibility to create and apply a color scheme as a major part of answering a brief.
At Shillington School, all students are taught the analysis and application of color. Whether it's a calendar depicting the seasons, a flyer for an art gallery or a simple press ad, most briefs in the curriculum require the assessment of color.