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Did you know that we publish useful books and run
friendly conferences — crafted for pros like
yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona,
dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
Carolyn Knight and Jessica Glaser are academics from the University of Wolverhampton in the UK, graphic designers, and prolific design writers. Their numerous books focus on topics including the use of space in graphic design, mnemonics and memory devices and the understanding and creation of visual hierarchy. Their latest book is the best selling ‘Graphic Design Exercise Book’, published in English by RotoVision and in Spanish by Editorial Gustavo Gili.
Their company Bright Pink Communication Design, works in such areas as healthcare, construction, education, financial services and the public sector.
Layout, for both print and screen, is one of the most important aspects of graphic design. Designs that extend across multiple pages or screens, whether containing large or small amounts of type, must be carefully controlled in a way that is enticing and is easy for all to access.
Careful control of visual hierarchy is a key aspect of the design decisions we have to consider. In this article, we will look at how frequently type needs to be broken down into different levels, such as topic, importance and tone of voice.
As with most designers, being sure that we explore and select the most successful, memorable and stimulating designs is a vital aspect that underpins every project we undertake. For us, the beginning of a new challenge has never been as simple as asking ourselves what might be the best avenue to take and then sitting down at a computer and attempting to fulfill that idea.
After researching the subject matter, we will almost always begin with a sheet of paper and pencil and draw out a variety of design options to help bring together and develop the breadth of ideas that are maturing in our minds. In this article, we will explore the use of drawing and mark-making as an integral part of the creative process.
We can all agree that the work we do should inform, be appropriate to the client and their audience, and, of course, look good. But there’s a bonus third attribute worth aiming for—creating a lasting impression.
Visual memory is fascinating; we use it often without realizing. If for example you ask someone how many rooms they have in their home, before answering, most will in their minds eye (possibly even with their eyes closed to aid concentration) walk through each room, adding up as they go. If graphic designers can tap into the benefits of this phenomenon, providing visual triggers to keep the subject matter of their work fresh in audiences’ memories, this has to be advantageous.
A strong understanding of how designers control meaning is essential for anyone interested in graphic design or typography. In a previous article, we discussed how sophisticated and complex visual and verbal language can get, examining instances that show how type can be used to effectively take control of meaning.
In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why subtle typographic changes can create considerable effect. We’ll refer to one or two linguistic and semiotic examples, as well as design case studies, to get to grips with why subtle changes can make all the difference.
Clever graphic designers love to use typography to explore the interaction between the look of type and what type actually says. In communicating a message, a balance has to be achieved between the visual and the verbal aspects of a design.
Sometimes, however, designers explore the visual aspect of type to a much greater extent than the verbal. In these cases, the visual language does all the talking. This article explores when the visual elements of typography speak louder than words.