Design Tips

Design Tips that work for me.
1. I try whenever possible to use odd numbers when arranging detail as it makes the design more interesting.
This theory is known as the 'Rule of Odds' which produces dynamics in a design. 
Even numbers create symmetry while odd numbers create interest. An odd number of details is more effective at capturing your gaze. Odd numbers force your eyes to move around the grouping as there is a sense of disorder whereas even numbers give order and comfort. That forced movement is the heart of visual interest. 
Of course odds aren't the only part of a design that makes it interesting.
2. 'The Rule of thirds' which effects the layout is an important consideration so that any focal images are not place in the centre of a design which tends to attract the eye and stop it from moving round the design to look at other elements. Most cameras have a setting for this now.
The Rule of Thirds is a simplified version of the Golden Ratio. The Rule of Third splits an image into thirds vertically and horizontally, as shown in this grid. Artists will often separate the foreground and background content by using the horizontal lines.
 3. Colours of course add lots of interest in a design. A sudden change of colour on an otherwise Monochromatic background can add visual interest. Some colours look peaceful usually those which sit together on the colour wheel while others, usually opposite on the colour wheel can add excitement.
4. The choice of focal image is very important in making the design pleasing to the eye. It is my belief and it works for me that every design I do should have a focal image. Somewhere for the eye to focus on and then the other images will take you round the rest of the design. I like to be messy but I also like some order in my design work.
5. 'White Space' or the 'Rule of Space' in other words all designs need some clean space. This can be a difficult one and I often see designs that have so much on them that they are so over the top full of elements. This helps to create a more balance look to the design.
6. 'Golden Ratio' 'Golden Section'. Many cameras now have a setting for this.
A  tool used in design and composition but also found naturally in nature. This method of composition has been used by many famous artists as it create balance.
If you imagine a rectangle there are points of interest within it.
7. Image relationship is something I look for in my designs.
I don't like elements that seem to be floating without relation to the other parts of a design. It's when an element seems disconnected to everything else. Often it's just a matter of thinking more carefully about where the element is positioned so that they belong or relate to each other.
Sometimes overlapping elements can do the trick to give the effect of them belonging to each other.
Repeating images is another way to build up relationship too.
8. 'Leading lines' which can be straight or curved but does not necessarily mean something like a pencil line it can be geometric or implied leading the viewer where you want them to go.
9. Patterns, often created just by the layout of the elements.
10. Texture goes without saying, we all love peeling paint Lol!
11. Backgrounds need to be chosen carefully to go with the other elements on the design. 
12. Depth is something that can get forgotten but can be done simply by outlining with a pen, black or white or smudging colour around the edge of an image.
13. Framing the design.
It has the effect of making the design look complete.
  • Something that also guides the eye into the design often just a matter of taking a blending tool and running it round the edge.
  • But it can be the card that you choose to back the design with by choosing colours which work with it and again the 'rule of odds' works here too.
  • Often I will stamp around the outside of a card to give the effect of a border. This could be on the design itself or on the background card or card blank.
Back soon with more ideas to make your designs more fun.
Angela x

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