TASTY TIDBITS [MAY 2020]

WHAT IS HEALTHY DESIGN?

Now, more than ever, we are forced to focus on our health and well-being during this international pandemic. Every day we are encouraged to establish how important our personal health truly is, both physically and mentally, to help handle this unfamiliar territory.

In order to boost our health, we must nurture the core components that lead to a higher state of well-being. This includes everything from food and activity, to sleep and social connection. Each of these things need careful consideration and attention for success and ultimately, survival. Just as diet and movement help shape our overall health, the principles of design guide the core elements of “healthy” and effective design.

So what is healthy design?

Like all disciplines, graphic design has its own set of rules and guidelines to adhere to. These fundamental principles are there to help us create successful, compelling and captivating designs. Something important to remember… design must always have a purpose. This purpose drives the creative process, attention to detail and overall functionality. The following principles aid in building healthy, strong designs.

Emphasis

This is the center of interest or focal point. What is the most important thing the viewer needs to know or understand? Cultivate this emphasis through the strategic use of color, space, size, etc.

Balance

Each element whether it’s type, shape, or even texture, holds its own visual “weight”. Both symmetrical and asymmetrical compositions must evoke a sense of balance. Without balance, the viewer will feel lost.

Movement

This is the task of controlling how the eye travels from one element to another. It allows you to create a visual narrative and lead the viewer through the design.

Proportion

Proportion refers to how the visual elements relate to one another within a piece of work. Thoughtful sizing and placement can help give your layout a sense of hierarchy and organization.

Contrast

This is simply how visual elements differ from each other within a composition. These differences allow for ease in comprehension and help make a design “POP”.

Repetition

Repetition is one of the most efficient ways to create consistency and strengthen a layout. It helps reinforce and unify a design and most importantly, ensures a strong brand identity.

Unity

This of course refers to how well each element of a design works together. These successful relationships establish clear communication and make the design appear more thoughtful and high-quality.

Even though these principles are often considered laws of design, they are merely a set of guidelines that can catapult your work to a whole other level. Like with your health, focusing on your overall goal greatly influences the steps you take in accomplishing your desired outcome. Implementing these principles of design in your next project will significantly improve the “health” of your design.

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