Friday 22 March 2013

10 Things You Need To Know About Graphic Design

Initial research;
When looking into 10 things you need to know about graphic design I started by going on google and seeing what came up when I typed it in. This allowed me to find different websites about what people think you should know as a graphic designer.
These are some of the websites which I found, and they weren't very useful and I didn't agree with them. Therefore I decided to go through my blog and find the things which I have learnt throughout being on this course and throughout design principles.

1. Typography

Fonts fall into a range of catagories; Block, Gothic, Roman, Script.

Gothic - Standard simple sans serif.
Bookman Old Style
Roman - Standard serif.
Hobo Std
Block - Display and header fonts.
Lucinda Handwriting
Script - Hand drawn like sable.

2. Colour Theory
The colour mode CMYK prints with physical inks, cyan, magenta, yellow and black, whereas the colour mode RGB is the projection of light, red, green and blue.

CMYK is subtractive colour, therefore when you subtract cyan, megenta and yellow, it gives you the key(black). RGB is additive colour, and adding red, green and blue together gives you white.

CMYK is used for printing design and RGB is used for web and screen based design, although you can work with RGB colour mode when you are designing something for screen and print, just remember to change the colour mode to CMYK before printing.

3. Legible/Readable
Legibility - Is the degree to which glyphs (individual characters) in text are understandable or recognizable based on appearance. It is the clarity of the individual letters.

Readability - Is the ease in which text can be read and understood. It is influenced by line length, primary and secondary leading, justification, typestyle, kerning, tracking, point size, etc.

4. Optical mixing and Physical mixing
- optical mixing: Layering colours (CMYK) to create a desired colour.
- Physical mixing: flat colour. 
In order to create a lighter or darker version of the colour, the dots would be moved further apart, infusing more white space and creating a lighter shade. and then minimising the white space in-between the dots to create a darker shade. 
when colours are dense we cannot see the dots, in less dense colours the dots are further apart. 
In YCMB/K optical printing  each of the 4 plates are rotated out of sync so they are offset and you can see the existence of each plate. 
  • There are two different processes of colour, optical and physical;
  • Optical - is made up of dots of colours to make that colour you perceive.
  • Physical - it is a flat colour and is mixed so there is no dots.
  • When looking at pantone books, formula is physical and CMYK is optical.
  • One colour plate is cheaper.
  • Greyscale mode has only one plate.
  • CMYK mode has three plates.
  • You can usually go up to 7 plates
  • Work in constant lighting, this is so that the way you perceive the colour doesn't change.
  • The tints pantone book - the colour gets more saturated as the dots get closer together. It is not physically getting more saturated, it is just changing the tint. Optically giving you different tints, this is done by adjusting the dot pitch. (which is not the same as DPI, Dots Per Inch)
5. Semiotics

All that is necessary for any language to exist amongst a group of people is the concept that one thing will stand for another.
Symbol- What the image represents.
Sign - The brand/ company in which it is representing.
Signifies - What it suggests and implies.

Semiotics is one that is frequently encountered and must be understood in the world of graphic design, visual communication design in particular. The word semiotics derived from Greek words: 'semeion' meaning 'sign' which is a lesson about the system of signs such as languages​​, codes, signals, and so forth.
Semiotics, meaning the use of communication through signs and symbols, is used for many different things. A good example of this would be traffic signs. There are often symbols for pedestrians crossings made with silhouettes or simple stick figures. The purpose is usually to warn people of what to expect, and provide helpful information. By this I mean that signs will usually have written directions, or symbols of arrows to show a certain way. These images show examples of the written communication.
Semiotics has a meaning which the object not only contains the information, but also carry an emotional impact for the audience. Human senses will catch the signal and then pull the impression to the brain which leads to a conclusion subjective meanings depending on the perspective of each audience.

6. Difference between Typeface and Font
Most people think that a font and a typeface are the same thing, and they are easily mistakable, but they are different.
Typeface - A collection of characters, letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation etc. which have the same distinct design. Different weights of the same font are all the same typeface. Could be up to 15 fonts in 1 typeface. Regular is the initial design for a font, its just the starting point for a typeface.

Font - The physical means used to create a typeface, be it computer code, lithographic film, metal or woodcut. One width, one weight, one style of a typeface with a constant stroke and weight.
For example, Gill Sans is a typeface and it has 7 fonts within it;
Light. Regular, Itlaic, Light Italic, Ultra Bold Condensed, Bold and Bold Italic. 

7. Never Kern a font
When dealing with tracking and kerning, you can never kern a font but you can track a font. 

Tracking - Is about adding lead to create a bigger space between the letters in a word or sentence. It is extending.

Kerning - Is bringing the letterforms closer together. It is condensing.

8. Colour Wheel
  • Primary colours, red yellow and blue, because you can't make those colour by mixing other colours. 
  • Secondary colours, violet green and orange, because they are made up from mixing the primary colours. Mixing only two of the Primary colours.
  • Tertiarys are the colours made up of the primary and secondary colours, the intermediate colour.
9. GridsDPS;
DPS means double page spread in this context. It has two pages treated as one in a publication, with images or text extending across the binding.
Something resembling a framework of crisscrossed parallel bars, as in rigidity or organization: The city's streets form a grid.
Printing One of two or more vertical sections of typed lines lying side by side on a page and separated by a rule or a blank space. A feature artile that appears regularly in a publication, such as a newspaper.
The blank space between facing pages of a book or between adjacent columns of type or stamps in a sheet.
Any deliberately unprinted space on a page, especially surrounding a block of text. Margins are used not only to aid in the aesthetics and the readability of a page, but also to provide allowances for trimming, binding, and other post-press operations.
In typography, a secondary heading, often in a smaller point size and set below the primary head.
A distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme and indicated by a new line, indentation, or numbering.
A title or brief explanation appended to an article, illustration, or poster.
In typography, two or more characters designed as a distinct unit and commonly available as a single character. Examples are ae, ce, etc.
Refers to numbering pages in a document. Refers to dividing a document into pages. Most word processors automatically paginate documents based on a page size that you specify. Some word processors enable you to avoid widows and orphans during pagination.
Golden Section;
GoldenNumber.Net explores the appearance of Phi, 1.618 (also known as the Golden Ratio, Golden Mean, Golden Section or Divine Proportion, in mathematicsgeometrylife and the universe and shows you how to apply it, and its applications are limitless.
Folio number;
In typography, a page number, commonly placed outside the running head at the top of the page. Folios are also commonly set flush left on verso pages and flush right on recto pages. They can also be centered at the top of the page. A folio that appears at the bottom of a page is called a drop folio.
Drop caps;
In a written work, an initial is a letter at the beginning of a work, a chapter or a paragraph that is larger than the rest.
A basic unit of measurement in typography. One pica equals 12 points, and 6 picas equal approximately 1 inch.
Unit of measurement commonly used to specify type size. There are twelve points in a pica and 72 points in an inch.
Shorthand term for picture element, or the smallest point or dot on a computer monitor.
In computing, a means of speeding up the display redraw rate of a computer monitor by representing text characters below a certain size as gray lines, boxes, or illegible dummy type.

10. Points in a Pica 

A point size measures the height of a font, it is a subdivision of a pica which is larger than a point. There are 12 points in one pica. 


Pica’s are used for measuring lines of type. There are three types of picas, French Pica, Traditional British and American Pica and the Post Script Pica.


A pixel is a sample of an original image. Each pixel is made of three dots, red, blue and green. They are the smallest controllable device in an image.
The short answer is, a pixel — the basic dot in a TV screen — is the same thing as a point, the printer’s smallest measure. That one fact dictates all the relationships in online design, from why it is online images are always set to 72 dpi (dots per inch) to how to convert back and forth between inches and pixels.
A pixel is a dot is a point. Remember that and everything else falls into place: Points, pixels and dots are all the same thing.

12 points = 1 pica
1 point = .013837 inches
72 points (6 picas) = .996264 inches (not 1 inch)
It explains that the actual difference between 72 points or 6 picas to 1 inch is actually 1/268 . Crazy huh?
Now, let's throw the pixel and computer graphics into the midst:
16 pixels  = 1 picas
1 pixel = .75 points
So a 12 point font equivalent is 16 pixels
1 pixel = .010416667 inches, therefore 96 pixels = 1 inch

11. Negative Space
Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, and not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space is occasionally used to artistic effect as the "real" subject of an image. The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition.
The use of equal negative space, as a balance to positive space, in a composition is considered by many as good design. This basic and often overlooked principle of design gives the eye a "place to rest," increasing the appeal of a composition through subtle means. The term is also used by musicians to indicate silence within a piece.
Usage of negative space will produce a silhouette of the subject. Most often, though, negative space is used as a neutral or contrasting background to draw attention to the main subject which is then referred to as the positive space. 

12. The anatomy of type.
The lowercase character stroke which extends above the x-height.

The horizontal stroke on the characters ‘A’, ‘H’, ‘T’, ‘e’, ‘f’, ‘t’.

The imaginary horizontal line to which the body, or main component, of characters are aligned.

The curved stroke which surrounds a counter.

A curved line connecting the serif to the stroke.

The amount of variation in between thick and thin strokes.

The empty space inside the body stroke.

The lowercase character stroke which extends below the baseline.

The bottom part of the lowercase roman ‘g’.

Sans serif
From the French, meaning “without serif”. A typeface which has no serifs.
Sans serif typefaces are typically uniform in stroke width.
Tapered corners on the ends of the main stroke. Serifs originated with the chiseled guides made by ancient stonecutters as they lettered monuments. Some serif designs may also be traced back to characteristics of hand calligraphy. Note that serif type is typically thick and thin in stroke weight.

The part of a curved stroke coming from the stem.

A stroke which is vertical or diagonal.

The direction in which a curved stroke changes weight.

The end of a stroke which does not terminate in a serif.

The height of the body, minus ascenders and descenders, which is equal to the height of the lowercase ‘x’.

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