Let's talk about Composition and Typography. These are skills that Graphic Designers definitely need, today we are going to explore these topics  and how you can improve your eye for design! Ready to dive in?

Composition

When thinking about the composition of a poster, website, magazine spread or even logo it's important to think about, the balance within the design, use of white/negative space, scale of your assets etc. There is a lot to consider so how do you get more confident with composition and layout?

This is one of those skills which will keep developing as you keep creating more work, you can never really say you have mastered composition here's some tips for when you are starting out:

Consider White/Negative Space 

This term refers to the part of the composition you leave blank and this is incredibly important. Filling up your negative space too much can make work feel crowded. While leaving too much space can make elements look as if they are just floating around. Try to strike a balance. 

Test your skills in InDesign by creating a page layout, just use whatever images and text you like. 

When you are first starting out you can use grids in InDesign to help structure your work.

The best thing to do is to look at others work and just start creating simple compositions.

Don't be too strict, relax, have fun and you will see what compositions are working. 

Doing simple one page compositions will also help when it comes to posters, logos etc it's a transferable skill!

To learn even more about this topic check out the full Podcast here & the tutorials below.

Experiment with Grids

Once you start experimenting with Negative Space and composition you might want to try setting up a simple grid which acts as a guide in which you can place work. These don't work for everyone and you shouldn't feel restricted by one. They are just one available tool to help you create pleasing compositions.

Check out the tutorial below which will teach you to set up a simple 2 column grid! 

Typography 

Like most areas of design this is a big topic and can lead you down a rabbit hole if you are not careful but don't panic! You don't need to know everything about type to be a really successful designer. 

Graphic Designers will benefit from knowing:

  • How to ensure type is easy to read on and off screen.
  • How to format text so it looks visually appealing. 
  •  A few terms like Leading & Kerning
  • The different type classifications i.e Serif, San Serif etc.
  • How to pair typefaces.

This list might initially sound intimidating but we promise these are straight forward skills to learn and can actually be found in our 365 Days of Creativity Playlist. Start with the videos above then head here for more! 

Illustrators who create hand-lettering will benefit from knowing:

  • The shapes of letter forms.
  • Classifications such as Script and Slab Serif.
  • How to pair typefaces.
  • How to use type playfully in a composition.

These are skills you can also learn through our 365 Days of Creativity project and by looking at what other designers are creating on Pinterest, Behance & Dribbble. 


If you are ready to start learning about Typography right now check out this blog post we created or head over to Adobe Fonts.

Thanks for reading and we hope you guys had a chance to listen to the entire Podcast here where
we discus these topics in more depth!

As well as share our own experiences and opinions.

About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator. In 2012, she took an entire year off to study Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just 6 months, she started freelancing and became a Certified Photoshop Expert. She has worked as an in-house graphic designer for brands such as Toni&Guy, Renaissance Learning and Baker Ross.

She also owned a physical stationery shop selling her art prints and now focuses on selling digital art prints online under the name HerDesignWorld

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