I was afraid of designing, I didn’t know what to think when asked to design, my design vocabulary was too small. After this course I think I’m still naive in designing, but at least I’d be a less scared designer and really I’ve grabbed some small tricks.

This is still an incomplete lecture note, only records what I feel quite new.

Week 1: Getting Started

Hue, Saturation, Lightness

  • Hue: what color is it?
  • Saturation: how vivid is the color?
  • Lightness: how light or dark is the color?

Hue, Saturation, Lightness

Unexpected places yield unexpected results.

When preparing presentation about muddy waters, look for “Rolling Stone magazines” instead of search “PowerPoint templates”.

When creating a flyer for music camp, look for “movie posters” instead of search “flyer templates”.

When doing a Information Security poster, look for “Chinese propaganda posters” instead of search “computer safety posters”.

Other forms like Retro travel posters, Highway signs, etc.

Week 2: The Blank Canvas

Rule of thirds

The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.

Rule of thirds

Roughly typefaces can be divided into these 6 categories:

Six kinds of typefaces

Negative space

Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space occasionally is used to artistic effect as the “real” subject of an image. - Wikipedia

Some examples

Limit yourself to two typefaces

In any design project, limit yourself to two typefaces and make certain the two typefaces contrast obviously.

Color and its meaning

Color and its meaning

Image treatment

Tinting, grayscaling, sublimation, cropping and more.

10 Best Design Practice

Not all detailed explanation is included here, so go back to course materials.

  1. You can’t create in a vacuum

    Look how good designs work and bad designs don’t work

  2. A good project should always starts with a grid

  3. Negative space is just as important as content

  4. In any design project, limit yourself to two typefaces and make certain the two typefaces contrast obviously

  5. Use color with intention, don’t just guess

  6. Design, don’t decorate

  7. Contrast commands attention

  8. Use tension and movement to give your work live

  9. Your audience should be given an obvious portal into your composition

  10. Always get as much distance and time as possible in accessing your work