LIKE HUMAN BODY LANGUAGE, graphic design expresses similar implied non-verbal attitudes or values. Graphic design is a method of differentiating business or products in the market. Graphic design is considered of equal value to other intangible assets like special customer offerings or an in-house mailing list or goodwill. Design builds a sense of community or habitat for customers and employees. Graphic design really is the body language of business.
THERE ARE TRADITIONAL positions for elements for different format like newsletters, a letterhead, a business card, a catalog, etc. And yes, ebooks, too. It’s best not to deviate from tradition. People search the usual spot for information. If it is not there, it becomes a barrier to understanding. This is where creativity becomes a negative. Examples: Headlines should usually be below a photo not above it. On a brochure, ad, or broadside, the logo and address should occupy the bottom right-hand corner. Place it anywhere else and people can’t seem to find it. (In web page creation, this is called usability.) Are things where people expect them to be? Placement of design elements is also influenced by printability, mailability, and postal codes.
THEMES FOR A BROCHURE, ebook cover, or website grow out of
client communication goals. It affects all design elements. It needs to be appropriate to the audience. It may use a metaphor, a stereotype, or a cliché. These can accelerate understanding. A theme builds upon historical emotional cues to alter the buyers perception of companies and products. Words, color, fonts, images, and symbols all orchestrate to create a unified theme.
Color combinations remind customers of feelings, emotions, and memories they’ve had in the past. They powerfully reinforce a theme (but they are not the entire theme, just a component.) Instead of preoccupation about colors, it’s best to focus on what your client wants their customer to feel when they see the ebook or website. That feeling is easily translated into acceptable color palettes. Colors can also be sampled from photos or generated using Color Harmony Theory with software to select complementary and harmonic color schemes.
ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS can be evaluated, ranked, or scored. There are 3 aspects to any word or symbol.
- Evaluation is the degree of favorableness. How good-bad, fair-unfair, valuable-worthless, honest-dishonest does the word seem.
- Activity is the degree of movement or activity in an object or event. How fast-slow, active-passive, varied-repetitive, vibrant-still, dynamic-static does the word seem.
- Potency is the feeling of strength and weakness. How strong-weak, heavy-light, hard-soft, serious-humorous does the word seem. Sometimes an intensity (or potency) of certain words increases the connotation like the following:
- confused > insane
- trusting > gullible
- thin > skinny
- unattractive > revolting
- sensitive > unpredictable
- provocative > sexy
Can you feel the difference in these words?
Meaning may be derived from an elements position in relationship to other page elements. Two different symbols or images side-by-side can imply a third unspoken meaning. Or something on the page may imply something is happening off the page. The human imagination fills in the blanks. This is called implication. Our imagination is the great special effect method.