Author Archives: Mark Chorba

What is good design?

The stock answer is that good design is generally a combination of different qualities — what it does, what it looks like, and so on. But as our expectations of design change, so do those qualities and the relationship between them.

Designs should be complete but not cluttered. Good design should be able to tell a story at a glance without the reader getting lost in the overall look. Some designers like less detail, others like more.

But what really works on a broader scale?

Look at different images of products around you. Most are simple, well thought out designs. They tell a story at a glance or give a feeling with just a look. Simplicity is a great goal to use when trying to create a design. Corporate elements and product icons carry a lot of weight to get their point across easily. For example, everyone knows the Facebook icon, even though it is simple in both detail and its colors.

Some designs can be more complex. A design will be more detailed and complex when designing for a large audience where you need to show many possibilities for a particular product or image. Those designs are usually full of color and ideas but not so much that it overwhelms the viewer.

When designing an icon, use less color and less distraction. Remember the acronym KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you’re designing a poster for an event that has many uses, complementary colors and interesting design elements are the best options to get your ideas across.

In this new digital age of design, everyone has the ability to be a designer if they have a laptop and some software. And while opinions differ on what is good and bad design, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Good design is what looks good today and will still look good in 20 years.

For more information and tips, check out these sources:

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Feeling creatively uninspired? Here are some tips!

Social networks and digital media such as, websites, and films are currently the top sources of inspiration. Traditional media such as magazine and print ads, architecture, and fashion also remain as sources of creative juices.

These are some of the top sources of ideas:

Social media

Creative people see digital sources, such as social media, as a better source of creative sparks compared to traditional sources. This is because of how mobile technology allows for creatives to capture inspiration through their devices. Continue reading

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Graphic design: Designing by the golden rule

With everyone having the desktop computer with various design or page layout apps at their fingertips these days, designing a perfect layout, photograph, webpage or logo should be easy, right?

Good design doesn’t just happen or appear before your eyes when you open up your desktop design application. There is a Golden Rule that should apply to that great design. When you start out with your idea and you apply the Golden Ratio (figure A) or Golden Spiral (figure B) to it and then that the design will begin to unfold like a masterpiece on a canvas.

But what is this Golden Rule? Simply put, it is the Greek letter phi, the ratio that rules the relations between two sections in a design.

By dividing section A by section B, the result should be 1.618033987 (phi) or by adding A+B and dividing it by A you will get the same ratio. This gives you good balance within the layout. Figure A gives you a better idea of this principle.


Figure A

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