This entry is the first one to enter fully into the theoretical one on the foundations of graphic design, pillars base for this profession so there are enough theoretical details and therefore, I have decided to divide it into different entries in a summary way for each element in order to make it lighter possible. Little by little, the points that have more information I will delve into future entries individually, such as color, typography, etc.
As you can imagine, the knowledge of these design elements will help you to be a better designer, since you will finally have control of the graphics resources you have as a designer and above all, it will help you, the desire to learn, improve and overcome attitudes that surely brim over all the pores of your skin! Am I wrong?
In this particular entry we will talk about the basic elements with which you can head your fantastic designs. You can also start with the first design process where you enter the detective aspect of the designer: observe, investigate and analyze the different designs in an analysis in which you can identify the design forms of your competition in simpler pieces within your perception. Why?
Because these elements will help you to create, organize, conceive and project your future designs into graphics editing programs, so if you haven’t done the challenge I now you have another chance to do it once you’ve finished reading this first part about the basics of graphic design. There will be no excuses for not knowing how to do it! Since you have acquired a greater knowledge of how to perform that first design analysis.
Introduction to fundamentals of graphic design
As I have already told you in previous entries, graphic design is in constant evolution, as a means of communication that is in our word-based social system, the design adapts to it over time, it is refined and expanding its focus. In order for you to understand this evolution a little better, I will transport you to the 1920s, with the gangsters, the Charleston. The place where the design was standardized and consolidated based on a universal “vision language” that was understandable to all, analyzing the forms in basic geometric elements with which it could be designed, rationally and with different points of view. Was its main purpose.
But graphic design is transformed with every human advance that exists, it is reconstructed with technological evolution and with the appearance of different materials where art and design (photography, cinema, mass production), is in constant ideological rethinking. It also joins to the change of thought and social change, therefore, all the technology of the world and intelligent systems or methods can already exist, that their ideas cannot cease to be linked to humanism or be reduced to their function or a physical description. This thought is what led to different educators of the years 40, in the New Bauhaus of Chicago among other schools of Germany and Switzerland, to broaden the focus with original perspectives structural design to that in the ’60s with the theorists of postmodernism discredited formal experimentation as a component of the universal thought, and the realization of the visual arts, already in the works it is necessary to distinguish between description and interpretation, the cause is universal and the universality of the meaning.
Therefore, the foundations of the design were included:
The recipient’s own interpretation according to its cultural conditions and experiences. What in the 1980s and 1990s was the dominant thinking because of the increase in the number of cultural styles and messages aimed at increasingly defined communities. But although this kind of Bauhaus language is not enough for graphic design, thanks to the technology and software created, the goal of this school in the 1920s has been achieved, in which it universally describes the visual language with basic elements. One example, if you go to Illustrator and want to make a house, you will take a square, a triangle, and a rectangle, do you remember lesson 2 of analyzing and breaking up? It doesn’t take more to create a little house, you can create it with twice as many elements and make it more complex and decorated, but they won’t stop being squares, triangles and circles if you look creative that day. In short, thanks to the software and the technological advance it has been given the capacity to create forms utilizing absolute simplicity to any amateur or sloppy, but instead, not to interpret that is where the designer has to work and where lies the essence of good design.
Being a designer doesn’t mean knowing how to use programs and do nice things; it goes beyond that. To know how to fit the pieces correctly, to give it the interpretation, the sense, and the right communicative message, as well as rich for the solution of the problem for who is creating such design. And that’s what I want you to get for yourself. Because let’s be honest between you and me, managing you on programs with practice and following some tutorials everyone is capable. But designing, you know, requires not only practice and experience but also common sense, visual culture, and theory. If you are alone, it costs more to know if you are applying the knowledge correctly with the different graphical resources, but when you get to it, the satisfaction will be greater, although you can always ask for personalized consulting if you want to learn faster and efficiently. Above all, when you are your own customer, it is often more difficult to carry out the different designs and a large-scale challenge, with which we will attack! The sooner you know the basics of the Bauhaus in the 1920s to master software and shapes, the sooner you can practice and create everything you want.