10 commandments of graphic design

Although graphic design has not yet been proclaimed as one of the official religions, I know that we as it’s practitioners cannot save or fix the world. But I firmly believe that we as creatives can at least help by enriching it more with an order, ideas, colours and styles.

As part of this community, I believe that practice has many laws and rules that can help you in your daily graphics work.

Even though they are not carved on a stone to lead the world of graphic design forward, I have collected and prepared these ten most essential and sacred laws, in which each one of our colleagues has to believe and follow gratuitously so he can achieve his full aesthetic satisfaction.

always begin with an excellent idea

1. Thou shalt always begin with an excellent idea

An idea is nothing more than just a beginning. Even the smallest ideas can significantly contribute to the development and success of each task. Nothing impresses observers and customers more than a brilliant idea. If you want to stand out and shine in this crowd full of competition and to win the hearts of the people around you, always emphasize the maximum quality and originality of your concept.

2. Thou shalt not steal another colleague’s work

It’s not bad if you get inspiration and knowledge from the people who are better than you. Originality in this industry is highly valued, so you must never build your success and glory by using ideas and projects from others, or at least without referring or asking for permission. There is no point in rediscovering warm water, but always be respectful, honourable, and thankful to the people who have helped you to reach your current skill level and project goal.

always follow a path based on a grid

3. Thou shalt always follow a path based on a grid

A good grid is a foundation for the success of a design. The grid is an invisible network of lines that help professionals determine the proportions, positioning, alignment and organization of all the information in a project. Building such a system at the beginning of the development process contributes to the consistency and faster implementation of a fantastic design.

For this very reason, anyone who believes in the success of his work must utilize it from the start of his efforts.

4. Thou shalt always maintain scaling proportions

This is the rule you can never afford to break! Distorting the original proportions when scaling a shape or a font in your design is a huge mistake. Doing so clearly shows infinite unprofessionalism and lack of knowledge in our industry. Such an undertaking can cause mockery from your colleagues and clients and trigger the beginning of a bad reputation.

always establish a visual hierarchy

5. Thou shalt always establish a visual hierarchy

Every element of design has its role, place, value and it carries a certain amount of information in itself. Defining a clearly-readable visual hierarchy will help you guide the eye of your viewers and speed up the overall readability and perception of your project. This is accomplished by formatting and arranging the information in such a way so specific parts of it can stand out and distinguish themselves by their importance from the other fragments.

6. Thou shalt always balance out all visual elements

Every piece of art has some form of visual balance, and each component of it has a defined visual weight. Balance is a sense of equal weighted clarity between all the elements of the composition you create.

Good professionals always abide this commandment because they manage to achieve a feeling of visual harmony and to generate higher interest into the viewers with every single element of their creation. This way they keep their audiences engaged with their work for a much longer time.

always research and understand every design task

7. Thou shalt always research and understand in details every design task

Researching and analyzing a job can help you ensure your project’s success. It can save your time and reduce costs and losses of investments. Never forget to spend enough time exploring because it will help you reach the goals of your assignment. It will also familiarize you with the competition and can help you take the lead in the race.

8. Thou shalt always keep the targeted audience in mind

Always be entirely focused on the target group of your task. As part of the design guild, most of the time you will have to create content for a specific part of the society which will look at your project. Complying with this commandment will help you to produce more relevant content that will result in exceeding all your expectations and those of your clients.

save often and back up every project

9. Thou shalt save often and back up every project

I learned to obey this commandment by the hard way. Very often and always in the most inappropriate time and place, I have lost my whole progress with projects. Some of the reasons that can put you in a similar situation (of a waste of time and nerves) are computer crashes, virus infections, hard drive failures, physical damages and theft or loss of your device.

I strongly recommend that you keep a few backup copies of your work in several different locations, such as a cloud or other devices, so you can never throw your efforts on away within a short and irreversible moment.

10. Thou shalt take risks and break the rules, but only after mastered them completely

Good artists know how to break the rules so they can achieve a more powerful or unusual result. Experimenting and avoiding some norms and habits is entirely natural for creative people. For this very reason, sacred rules of graphic design strongly support attempts to circumvent standards and templates as long as they are within the bounds of common sense.

Final Thoughts

Evrika! Here you are already familiar with all the sacred principles of graphic design. Apply and follow them in your everyday life, and I assure you that they will give you a lot of confidence and you will never fall into situations where you feel disgraced, ashamed or guilty.

I feel incredibly grateful that you stopped by my website and spent a little of your precious time reading one of my articles. If you somehow find the information here interesting and useful, would you help me spread it by sharing it on your social networks using the buttons below?

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