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6 Graphic Design Basics That Will Stand the Test of Time

6 Graphic Design Basics That Will Stand the Test of Time

It’s no secret that design elements change over time. Think of how far we’ve come from the green shag carpeting of the 1970’s, to the sleek and modern designs you see in houses today. Graphic design is the same way. In an ever-changing industry, it’s comforting to know that there are a few graphic design basics that stand the test of time.


1. Simplicity

One area in which you can never go wrong is sticking with a simple design. Whether it be your website layout, content or logo, a little goes a long way. Over-cluttering and trying to convey too much information in your design are mistakes many people make when creating content.

simple portfolio website design inspiration


2. Classic color combos

Proper use of color is very important as well. Color conveys messages to the viewer whether you realize it or not. Using certain bright colors convey a message of optimism and positivity, and warm colors convey a message of creativity. Use the color wheel to your advantage when designing. Look at some of these color principles and examples to see what messages you want to get across with your color theory. Making the right color choices early on helps you become recognizable as a brand.


3. Proper Layout

When designing a piece, pay close attention to layout at the start to save time and additional updates down the line. If you choose a layout design that is clean, classic and visually appealing the first time around, you won’t have to worry about going back to fix it.


Using fads and popular designs when laying out a website might initially attract people to your site. However, it will require constant updating, and doesn’t always encourage returning viewers.


4. Unique/Recognizable

When it comes to long-lasting design, being unique is definitely a perk. Think of Coca-Cola’s logo design—it has stayed so consistent for over one hundred years. Just about anyone can recognize brands like Coca-Cola, Campbell’s Soup or Nike. When creating a design, try your best to be unique, and create an individual brand that doesn’t mimic other companies. This gives you a better chance at being remembered and recognized down the line.




5. Contrast

There are some aspects of design that always remain constant. No matter what may come in and out of style, it is true that there will always be a great deal of importance in the contrast of your design. This is one of the most important things when it comes to relaying the message you’re trying to convey. Without contrast, the message you are trying to get across to your audience can be lost.


To implement contrast, try:

  • Using dark text on light backgrounds, or vice versa in order to make your message stand out
  • Using large typeface, and colors on opposite sides of the color wheel.
  • Avoiding images that are too loud, font that is too distracting or colors that are too similar to distinguish


Once again, simplicity is one of the best routes you can take your design down.  


6. Balance

Maintaining proper balance in your work is one more concept of consistent design. An occasional use of imbalance in design may be eye-catching, and a smart thing to use in design sparingly. But when talking about consistent, reliable and functional design that projects trust to the viewer, a balanced piece is the way to go. You can make your work balanced by using various colors, lines, images or placement of text.  

Apply these graphic design basics to your own work and save yourself time in the long run. What graphic design standards do you adhere to? Let me know in the comments below! Want more design trends that stand the test of time? Watch the below video.






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