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Design Fundamentals: Layout and Composition

Lesson 1 of 5

Class Introduction & Principles of Layout and Composition

Justin Seeley

Design Fundamentals: Layout and Composition

Justin Seeley

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction & Principles of Layout and Composition

Lesson Info

Class Introduction & Principles of Layout and Composition

Hey, I'm Justin Seeley, and I wanna welcome you to this course on layout and composition, part of my graphic design fundamentals course here, creative life. And in this section, we're gonna be talking about the principles of lay on composition. So we'll be discussing things like balance, how to use symmetrical and asymmetrical balance. How toe use contrast in your designs to ensure readability and all that kind of stuff. We'll also talk about using grids in your design. I personally have my own grid system. I'll talk about how you can develop your own and the reasons why you might want to use grid based designs. Then we're gonna transition into something that a lot of people have heard about but maybe don't know how to use. And that's something called the golden ratio. And I'll discuss the ends announce of how to create your own golden ratio template, the different types of images that you can create using golden ratio and how you can continue to use that in multiple projects, not just...

logos. And then finally, we're going to wrap things up in in design by talking about something that you like to call spatial relationships. So how to evenly spaced objects on the page to ensure maximum readability and make sure that everything is in relationship with one another, so that you have a nice, harmonious vibe going on in whatever it is that you're working on. So let's start off by talking about the principles of layout and composition and number one. I want to talk about using a thematic approach to your designs and what I mean when I say thematic approach. That means that when you're designing something, you have an idea in mind off what that particular piece is going to embody. And so I'm gonna show you a couple examples of my work and give you a little bit of thought into it, a little bit of insight, rather as to the thought process that I was using when I created it. So first off, let's take a look at this. This is the happy bulldog dot com, and I have bulldogs myself. So this was a fun project for me to work on and the happy Bulldog. It was basically a bakery for dogs, and the bakery is very fun, lighthearted, and they wanted to sort of convey the idea that there humanizing the dog a little bit because humans obviously have bakeries. But why can't dogs? And so when I was approaching this, I wanted it to be happy. But I also wanted to sort of emphasize the words Happy Bulldog, because that's the main portion of the logo that I was creating. And then also, I wanted to make sure that there was some good contrast between the foreground and background because we're putting this on a big red sign outside of the building. And so I designed it, knowing that that was the final destination that it was going to. And they also have business cards, another collateral that followed the same idea. So for the happy bulldog itself, I started off. I wanted the bulldog to be very geometric. I wanted it to still be playful, but also be easily recreate herbal with basic shapes. And so that's why I chose the look that I did for the Bulldog. I also made him a little bit more human than maybe a regular dog would look. You can see in the eyes and the mouth kind of playful, but very also a little bit of elements of humanization there. And then, of course, the little chef's hat, which indicates, you know, that he's in the he's in the bakery and he's doing it. You can also see that the image itself is very symmetrical. So basically what I did is I drew half the Bulldogs head and then just reflected it and joined everything together so that everything was nice and even across the board. The rest of it was just a choice of typography. This is actually hand drawn text. I didn't think that the typography needed to follow a traditional typeface, so I just went ahead and used my pin inside of Illustrator and drew out the letters just like you see here. Want to make sure it followed the contour of the bone and also fit nicely inside of the corners of the bone for the in the dot com down there at the bottom. So the theme here is very, even, very symmetrical on both sides. It's very playful, humanizes the brand a little bit and then also creates a very good amount of contrast in the foreground in the background. To see that background is really that dark red, and then The bone, of course, is the stark White Got some accents in there to make a look a little three D. And then otherwise you got a lot of, Ah, a lot of good use of white space in there. I think the 2nd 1 here is something called Nerd Camp. This is actually something that I was trying to start up myself a summer camp for Children where they could come and they could learn things like coding and Web design and graphic design and all that kind of stuff. And so I wanted to call it Nerd Camp. And the idea here was that in Tennessee, of course, we have, you know, a lot of a lot of farmland. We have a lot of forests and trails, and we even have some caves and things like that. And so I wanted this to sort of have the theme of being out in the wilderness. And so I chose a color palette that was very earthy. So you can see here I use the dark green. I also use some of the tan and brown colors, and I incorporated those colors into the icon that you see over to the left as well. I call him the Explorer, and he's got, you know, some glasses on that kind of give it a quote unquote nerdy feel, and then he just kind of goes right into the nerd camp logo, looking like part of it. I used the same type of contrast for him as I did the words nerd camp to create a consistency across the board. So he's got the really white eyes. He's got the tan outline around his face and you see the brown that's incorporated into his hat. Same thing with the words nerd and camp. I had the white creating contrast with the word camp. And then the idea was to put this on a T shirt and the T shirt was gonna be dark green, almost like a military green. And so, after I developed the original concept for the logo, I put it against this dark green background so that I could make sure that the contrast was there. And then I also stayed true to the theme, and I will say, and I'm my own worst critic and so I can bring up here that one of the mistakes that I made here. And this is why I included this as an example, is the fact that there's not enough contrast. In my opinion, between the brownish yellow color and the background, you can see that camp sort of is muddy against that background, kind of bleeds into it a little bit, making it a little harder to read. Same with the outline around him, the little Explorer guy. So chances are, if I were to redo this, I would make sure that those colors were a little lighter in nature. Maybe even just changed this to a tent of that color to sort of brighten it up a little bit. I also feel like it's a little dark kids summer camp. Things like that should be fun. Should be lighthearted. This looks a little too military for my taste, so I might want to spruce it up a little bit. And so that's what I'm talking about. When I'm talking about a thematic approach to design, I want you to think about the the overall emotion you want to convey through the piece, and also I want you to think about how you can make sure that everything is cohesive throughout the piece as well. Here's something that I did just as a ah fun little thing for the state of Utah. Um, I was working in the state of Utah at the time, and I noticed that a lot of snow and things like that. So I wanted to create basically my own postcard that I was going to send to friends and family while I was there. And this logo here that I created is just very basic, but makes use of, I think, a couple of different elements that make it work. So the mountains at the top, obviously indicative of the mountains of Utah. You chose a very dark color for the mountains because, you know, that's a big, shadowy object. And then I accented that with white snow, I did the exact same thing for the word Utah. Underneath. I used a distressed font that I thought actually showed off the little flakes almost like there was snow coming down on those letters. So maybe the snow is falling down off the mountain onto the letters. And then I created the sort of wave across the letters, which creates rhythm alongside that we'll talk about rhythm and repetition a little bit later, and it also makes the letters look as though they're snowcapped mountains. So it continues with that theme of snow and mountains and the stark contrast between the two. I said it on the background of light blue here because light blue, it's kind of a cooler color, maybe the color of the sky in the background behind the mountains. And ultimately what I was going to do is create a six by nine postcard and leave this in the center. Maybe add some old school like Welcome to Utah in the back, or even ghost out some images of maybe the town that I was staying in, maybe some skiers or something like that. And so I wanted to make sure I tested this out on the light blue background. It looks very good. The contrast is solid, and I really liked the color theme that I chose for this as well

Class Description

The final layout is the culmination of all of your hard work. In Graphic Design: Layout, Justin Seeley will teach you the skills you need to ensure your design looks awesome. Justin will help you understand symmetry and asymmetry, negative space as a design element, and harnessing the power of minimalism.

You’ll learn about:

  • Principles of Layout and Composition
  • Balancing Design
  • Grid-based design
  • The Golden Ratio

Justin will help you make good design decisions about breaking and activating space. He’ll also teach you about accounting for spatial impact.You’ll walk away with the understanding of how to incorporate a thematic approach to your layouts.

Every design has a whole array of essential components – learn how to bring them together in Graphic Design: Layout with Justin Seeley.

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