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Notice: The WebPlatform project, supported by various stewards between 2012 and 2015, has been discontinued. This site is now available on github.

Introduction to Graphic Design & Art


This article will introduce you to graphic design in broad strokes and more in depth discussion on designing for web, as well as some graphic design tools and concept to consider.

What is beauty depends on many things, one being the observer. However, there is commonness in what we like as human beings and dislike, genetics? Perhaps. When it comes to Graphic Design not only the object/concept has to look cute but also serve its purpose. This is referred to as functionality vs aesthetics. Creativity lies in finding the best and better technique that requires the minimum compromise.

In short Graphic Design looks beautiful and serve a function. While Art is meant to be expression of feelings,or to convey feeling and to be extraordinary, it may or may not serve any other function.

Graphic Design is meant to communicate the experience/message. Experience include many things which are beyond the scope of this article such as smartness of app, customization, and more. But one rule of thumb is this. Don’t make user work hard. Be a source of aid not obstacles. When designing the whole experience think of your app as a person who wants to help the user, have common sense and understand what the user meant.

In General, Graphic Design can be broken down into these elements:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Negative space
  • Mass
  • Contrast
  • proportion
  • Proximity
  • Spacing
  • Balance
  • Photography
  • Positioning
  • variety/richness
  • Consistency
  • Movement
  • rhythm/tone Of message/Theme
  • Typography

Your job as a graphic designer is to manipulate & add/remove these elements to deliver a message, an experience, and functionality.

NOTE: This is meant to be step toward explaining design and art. Not UI, not App Design, not Web Design…all that comes later. Step by step is the best approach. Otherwise learner will be always half baked. Keep all that separate. Gradual progress is better.

See also

External resources