1. Use two typeface families maximum.

Typeface always serves a specific purpose. In order to make my message clear and understandable to the viewer, I need to decide what purpose I want the type to serve and then choose the most effective option.

2. Use the one-two punch.

This is a principle which is familiar to me from photography; whatever is the biggest or brightest object inside the frame will draw the viewers’ eyes first. So in design, I can intentionally place elements that will capture the viewers’ eyes, and then follow up with details that complete the message.

3. Pick colors on purpose.

I am excited to start learning more about the significance of colors and their impact on visual hierarchy. I know what colors I personally like, but I don’t know WHY yet, and that intrigues me.

4. Treat the type as image, as though it’s just as important.

Everything within the frame of a designed image has been placed their for a specific reason. I never thought about the fact that type is as much a vital element as everything else. This encourages me to get more creative with my manipulation and integration of text and typeface.

5. Be universal; remember that it’s not about you.

This is an important concept–design is created with an audience in mind. It is not just about self-expression and messing around in Photoshop, but it is about communicating with people and achieving a goal. This mentality will add a fun aspect of problem solving as I figure out┬ánew ways to effectively reach the viewers.

6. Measure with your eyes: design is visual.

I never would have guessed that this is a rule, but it makes complete sense. Shapes create optical illusions sometimes, even if they are mathematically aligned, so it is better to trust my own eyes than the ruler.

7. Create images–don’t scavenge.

I’m really excited to incorporate some of my own photography in this class and try executing designs from scratch.

8. Ignore fashion. Seriously.

My temptation this year will be to go out and copy things floating around on the internet on cute Pinterest pages. Instead, I would like to develop the skill of targeting the meaning behind a project, and then finding the right visual vocabulary to express it.

9. Squish and separate.

Not only does contrast need to occur between light and dark, big and small, but also between an interplay of density and rhythm. The language of a “pulse” or a “rhythm” to image is a little foreign to me, but I’m trying to figure it out. How does this work exactly?

10. Symmetry is the ultimate evil.

I love this rule, but it also scares the heck out of me because it means I can’t just rely on the center axis anymore. Asymmetry, as I learned in a class last year, is actually a characteristic of beauty. For example, no human face is perfectly symmetrical–we all have a tiny quirk or a “flaw” that throws off the balance and affirms our realness. Perfect symmetry creates a feeling of falseness because it is too robotic. Anyway, I am looking forward to learning how to craft asymmetrical images in an aesthetically pleasing way.


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