Respect the building blocks of design

Design is a delicate thing, particularly in the realm of branding. The art of positioning various elements together, whether on a printed or digital platform, takes a great deal of care and a firm understanding of the elements and principles of design. Creating an effective branding piece takes much more than just ‘knowing what looks good’ or ‘what one likes’. It takes a well-curated mind with a strong knowledge of these building blocks, a watertight brief and a carefully constructed strategy to create a truly amazing piece of design.

We won’t go into too much detail in this post about the definition of these elements and principles, however below are some simple graphics that accurately summarise both sets.

Elements

Building Blocks Elements

Principles

Building Blocks Principles

More times than we’d like to mention (or recall) a client, or even worse, a committee, will blow in at the eleventh hour wanting changes to a design. Although these alterations might seem minimal at first, they will often damage the structural integrity of the carefully placed building blocks. This can have dire consequences, especially when there is minimal time left before the brand is launched.

Here are a few problematic examples.

A colour change is a simple click of a button, but even a slight hue change can throw off the overall balance of a design. So beware. The research that goes into selecting your brand colours, that best support your business and challenge your competitors, should not go unrecognised. Just because your favourite colour is green, does this work best with your design? Does it compliment your rivals palette? Ask your designer their opinion, they will be able to give you their reasoning behind their colour selection.

The addition of a graphic, or text, to a logo will often be a quick change to the design, but this doesn’t mean it won’t be costly down the track. Squeezing in extra elements can throw off the weight of any artwork. Ask yourself, is this information entirely necessary? If so, it might be better off integrated elsewhere in the brand; like within the imagery or organisation tagline.

Bundling a heap of different text, tables or images into a layout may seem like the most efficient way of distributing information. Alas, it is not. Too much content and not enough space will result in the information appearing squashed and overwhelming. Adding another page or diversifying the appearance of the content is a better option and will help clients absorb the information.

If you’re having thoughts on your brand (as all clients do from time to time), open the lines of communication with your design team. Share these ideas with your designer, rather than demand them. There might be a better solution!

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