10 Rules for Good Design (Part B)

Continuing from our previous post – 10 Rules for Good Design (Part A) ~ “Rules can always be broken, but never ignored” ~

Rules exist to act as guidelines (in design) and are accumulated from multiple sources. They say that if you break the rule, be prepare to face the consequences. This statement is commonly made in a young and conservative Asian society like Singapore. There is always 2 sides to a coin.

True innovation can never be achieved if we are too rule-abiding. When you break a rule, you are helping the reinforcement of another rule, and a new rule might appeared in revelation. So …. Lets be wild and always seek to think of the box and go against conventional wisdom rationally in your design and see what will happen!

Rule #6 Choose colours on purpose

Don’t blindly associate that green is for money and blue for financial services for instance. Colours allow people to make connections from disconnected items, and it affects the visual legibility and hierarchy. A 3 tone colour on a 1D surface might cause it to look like a 3D. Choose them with the right purpose in mind and not because it is what people expect the colour to be.

3D Design

Picture from http://images.says.com/uploads/story_source/source_image/545115/2353.jpg

Rule #7 Distinct your light and dark colour

The usage of gradient tools in graphic softwares is a very common technique to add sophistication to your design. However, the gradient for most designers (including myself haha) are limited to only radial and linear style. As i’m writing this, i read about the 9 tonal-zone system commonly used in landscape photography, and i find that utilising part of the 9 colour tones will add finesse in our work. But make sure the colours are subtly distributed and not create confusion.

Colour Tone

Picture from http://www.institute-of-photography.com/wp-content/uploads/Average_Exposure_Examples_2.jpg

Rule #8 Squeeze and Separate

We are all so used to utilising every single space on the artboard that our spacings all conform to a standard systematic spacing. Squeeze some elements together and separate some by pushing them far apart. Create important contrasts and rhythm in your design by generating loose pulse and tight pulse. Nothing spoils a good design by a dull layout.

Rule #9 Static equals dull

More often because of tight deadlines, we often churn out a simple design off our finger tips. Some design might be considered dull and lifeless after a couple of time looking at them. So what is a design that can keep the attention of people? A truly dynamic one. One of the techniques used are staggering elements and if possible rotate them. It provides a perception of optical movements and spatial interaction.

Dynamic Design

Picture from https://sarahplusdesign.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/screen-shot-2013-11-17-at-2-50-27-pm.png

Rule #10 Don’t overuse symmetry

In photography, its amazing to have that symmetric effect in natural occurrence (shadows, water reflection). So when it comes to digital design, the industry loves to incorporate them as well. Symmetrical arrangements will make asymmetrical objects awkward – thus, limiting little movements of such objects and content which dosen’t quite want to fit.

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