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How do: Design Basics

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avatar Fokkusu
Retired Moderator
Level 41 : Master Fox
415
I write this with intentions of educating some of the lesser informed users, not to patronise those who try. Also because I haven't posted anything for awhile. Credit goes to OliverFrenchie for the idea.

Colour:



Colour is essentially, very important. If you use the wrong ones the entire piece can look wrong. This also recalls back to my years in school when designing forms. Do NOT use light on light or dark on dark when using text on a background. It makes it hard to read and can strain the eyes. A common example would be red and either blue or green. Red and green do in fact work well together, but not when they are the same lightness. (That probably isn't the correct term). The idea of using text is normally to get a message across like "Hey, my server is awesome". If the user/audience struggles to read the text then that will reflect upon your product. The more you do for people, the happier they shall be. If you are trying to get a message across you would naturally want the text to stand out from the background. Using light text on a dark background achieves this, or vice versa. It also makes it easier to read, ignoring choice of font and colour.


When choosing colours you should take your target audience into consideration. For example if you were targeting something at a younger audience, using dark and 'gloomy' colours probably isn't your best bet. We'll also use the stereotypical example of using pinks, purples and reds when trying to appeal to females. (Don't hate me for using that example). Though I would be surprised if anyone designing a post on this website would take these things into consideration.


I would like to clearly state that bold, loud and eye catching colours are not always the best choice, personally I appreciate a minimalistic approach to designs. Rather than stating some colours that work well together, I'll leave that to you, to analysis colours you see and how they work or how they do not work.

Font:



Hey, minecraft related submission, why not use the Minecraft font?! In short, it's been done a thousand times before, it's over used, dead, annoying. No. So not that font ok, how about Comic Sans? NO. Comic sans is only suitable for writing invitations for a child's birthday party. While we're here, don't use any tacky fonts, please. They suck.


When picking a font, please think of the audience. Pick something that is clean, easily read and not a pain to try and understand. Some personal favourites of mine:


  • Harabara
  • Bebas
  • Century Gothic
  • Hand of Sean




Those are the main fonts I use for a variety of things, from bold titles to small details on work. For example, Bebas is a large, bold font which I use for titles, Hand of Sean or Century Gothic I would use for noting detail and smaller writings.


Using Blur:





If you so decide to use the blur tool to make something fade into the background or stand out please do not over-do it. Think about why you are using the affect, do you want to make something stand out? or completely distort the backdrop? Sometimes, it is best to just blur the background slightly rather than making it look like a dog just had its way with a glass pane.

Drop Shadow:



You're all guilty of this. Use and abuse. Stop. Does that text really need a shadow? Probably not. Did you know, 500% of drop shadows are not actually needed? Inner shadow has the same affect, spam spam spam. Stop. Again, it's probably not needed. Just because you can give something a shadow and give it another perspective doesn't meant you should.

Fun fact:



I was very upset with anything I made because I felt it was too 'flat' and I needed to launch my designs into the third dimension. After playing with cinema 4D I returned to my 2D ways and continued happily. I like flat. I actually dislike 3D affects most of the time!

Bevel and emboss:



Are you starting to pick up on a theme? Stop using so many effects? Good, you're learning. Yes, this effect is very pretty and can work very well, but overuse makes it just.... not so special any more.


I think by now, you should get the point I'm trying to convey to you. Stop using so many un-needed effects for images. Whereas a 'bad' image says "I didn't try" an overdone one screams "GUESS WHO JUST FOUND PHOTOSHOP". Yeah, other peoples' perspectives are important, pay attention to them.


Now, why should you listen to me? You tell me. Did I make sense? I am an Interactive media student. I am studying a BTEC, which is equivalent to an A level. I get about 3 of them. I haven't studied visual communication or anything to specifically give me an 'edge' in graphic design, but I do pay attention. I also hate all these low quality images!

Gimme all the love pls. lolololol.
CreditOliverFrenchie - Idea, Retrovoxels - spell checker
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  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 72
  • Legendary Fox
  • March 13, 2015, 11:17 pm
So cute fokkusu
  • mrjrbacon
  • Level 40
  • Master Wizard
  • April 17, 2013, 5:58 pm
Great tips. I'll keep them in mind when I use Photoshop.
dude im sorry to say but there is alot easier ways to do all this, your tips kinda suck
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • March 13, 2013, 10:17 am
To do what?
alot of the tips you gave is just your opinion, not what the public like
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • March 13, 2013, 10:36 am
I'm open to peoples' opinion, but in this case yours is wrong. As it a lot of peoples. E.g the people this blog was aimed at.
im telling you all the tips are setting people up for failure.
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • March 13, 2013, 11:23 am
Care to explain why?
His rank is apprentice artist.

Emphasis on apprentice.
  • the3rdnumber
  • Level 65
  • High Grandmaster Artist
  • April 16, 2013, 5:41 am
This guy is random. Nice post and some people really should read it haha
  • RedJohnxS
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Nerd
  • December 4, 2012, 11:57 pm
k kewl.
  • the3rdnumber
  • Level 65
  • High Grandmaster Artist
  • December 3, 2012, 4:05 am
Nice mate, there was need for some education out there... :P
  • peonftw
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Engineer
  • December 2, 2012, 4:16 pm
This is gud.
+ Respect.
  • vandore
  • Level 8
  • Apprentice Ranger
  • December 2, 2012, 3:09 pm
i just went on this cuz of that kitten on the picture
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • December 3, 2012, 12:57 am
That is a fox, sir.
  • vandore
  • Level 8
  • Apprentice Ranger
  • December 3, 2012, 7:37 am
i just went on this cuz of that fox on the picture
  • WaffleChex
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • December 2, 2012, 6:28 am
WTF? Confused I:3
  • scrin445
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Skinner
  • December 2, 2012, 1:28 am
What's this "How Do" for?
The topic picture, or whatever it's called, shouldn't it say 'How To' not 'How Do'? I hate being a Grammar Nazi, but this blog is about graphic design, and you spend a few paragraphs on text, so I thought it should be kind of important...
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • December 1, 2012, 2:34 pm
Hi, again. x3 It's meant to 'How do', sort of a joke with friends and I use it way too often now. :p
:P Oh
  • akashi
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 40
  • Master Grump
  • December 1, 2012, 2:05 pm
Great tutorial. :D
Diamond and favorite. :3

ily2
Diamond!
u r geetng papulr.
ily2
  • OliverFrenchie
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 70
  • Legendary Scribe
  • November 30, 2012, 10:04 pm
ily
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • December 1, 2012, 4:05 am
<3
  • Amaze
  • Level 23
  • Expert Dolphin
  • November 30, 2012, 7:06 pm
This gives a pretty straightforward idea of what to do and not, thanks for this brilliant tutorial my blue fox. :D

This makes me want to create a simplistic wallpaper. :D (Lines, Pictures and Text, all that stuff. :P)
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • December 1, 2012, 4:05 am
Do eeet. My background was just a blue radial gradient with "Wewt" in the middle for awhile. :p
  • Amaze
  • Level 23
  • Expert Dolphin
  • December 1, 2012, 3:18 pm
I deeet it, check them out.
  • +Sheena+
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Vampire
  • November 30, 2012, 6:30 pm
Ily2
  • Beast
  • Level 48
  • Master Pixel Puncher
  • November 30, 2012, 6:30 pm
Great tutorial, Fokkusu. I see all of this being very helpful. Another thing you should add in there that's overused is lens flare on pictures. One mistake I think you missed is in the main picture it says "How do:" I think it's supposed to say "How to:". :3
  • Fokkusu
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Fox
  • November 30, 2012, 6:38 pm
I'll cover Lens flare and some more and update it at a later date. :3 No no, I did mean to put "how do" x3
  • y a n
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Explorer
  • November 30, 2012, 6:29 pm
nice tutuorial
  • Bethamez
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 27
  • Expert Network
  • November 30, 2012, 6:27 pm
:3
  • xBella
  • Level 27
  • Expert Toast
  • November 30, 2012, 6:27 pm
This is a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing this!

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