First, we need to define the meaning of the term “good design”. So, there are two important aspects. It should attract attention as well as please the eye of the beholder and it must serve a purpose (that is, to convey the message). Nowadays, free design programs can be found online, but to produce a good design it is necessary to know certain rules that every designer uses while designing his visuals.

To improve your design skills, we bring you 8 basic rules for good graphic design.


KISS has become a well-known principle that graphic designers apply to their layouts ever since. Keep it simple, stupid – is a phrase that was coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works, in 1960. The principle’s meaning isn’t difficult to understand and very similar to “less is more”. Don’t overcomplicate your design, keep it simple.

A clean and simple design is focused on the audience. With short attention spans and immense overflow of information, it’s necessary to be clear in your message. With this in mind, go to your layout and eliminate everything that’s not necessary. For example, more than three colors, more than two or three fonts, design elements that don’t transport any message at all or break a long text into paragraphs. Every design element needs to serve a purpose. Ask yourself if you need the element to understand the design.

Further to this, we come to the following rules, which will better explain how and why simplicity is essential.


The most important factor of good design is white space, or also called negative space. White space is the space between the elements in your design. Space that is not filled with text, graphics or photos. White space doesn’t have to be white. It can be a colored background or textured, as long as it doesn’t hold elements of design or content. Almost every designer faces the same problem – disagreement with the client about white space. While a designer knows about the advantages of negative space inside a layout, the client often feels like he’s not getting what he paid for. For the client, white space equals lost space. For the designer, white space is the rule of good design.

Clients usually require that every space is filled with information and elements. That makes it difficult to read, not enough emphasis is placed on what matters, and overcrowded visuals usually result in messages not reaching people. Try to avoid this situation. Suggest creating paragraphs and separating text through headings and subheadings in order to increases the readability of content and makes it easily scannable. The reader doesn’t have to search for important information because it stands out in your design. By leaving space around text and graphic elements, you not only create a hierarchy of those, but you can also put the main focus on the most important.

Below is a good example of a clean and simple design. The main message has been conveyed, and with this approach, people will be intrigued to visit our website to find out all the details.

White space good example

So, don’t be afraid to leave the spaces empty. This doesn’t mean your design is boring or unattractive. Putting too much into your design can confuse the viewer. An overload of information can distract from what is important and makes people turn away. We suggest that once you get the brief from the client, spend a couple of minutes thinking about what the information is essential to provide, and what message is important to send. Make one object of your design stand out from the rest. This is the main focal point, and to make this obvious to the viewer it should be separated into other objects through negative space.


Understanding the rule of thirds in design is relatively simple, and can make you a significantly stronger designer. So, how the rule of thirds works?

Using grid in your layout, divide it into three equally sized horizontal sections and three equally sized vertical sections, the resulting grid provides a sort of “roadmap” that helps you choose where to place your design elements. You will end up with 9 fields, and the spots where the lines intersect indicate the prime focal areas within your design. Bringing an element closer to one of these intersections will allow it to stand out more, while objects that are further away will receive less attention.

In the example below, you can see the orange point that shows where the lines intersect and where is the prime focal areas. We can see the computer screen placed on the left side and aligns with the upper grid. With that, we determined what the focus would be.

Rule of third examples

Audiences tend to follow a capital “F” shaped pattern with their eyes whenever they look at a design. The eye naturally starts at the top left section of the canvas, then moves down to the bottom left, back up to the top right, and then finally the bottom right.

The rule of thirds grid gives you the chance to give your graphic design a perfectly symmetrical appearance—but you’ll want to squash that instinct. The truth is that humans are naturally attracted to symmetry. While symmetry isn’t always necessary for good …

10 Principles Of Good Web Design

Principles Of Good Website Design And Effective Web Design Guidelines

In order to use the principles properly we first need to understand how users interact with websites, how they think and what are the basic patterns of users’ behavior.

How Do Users Think?

Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.

Most users search for something interesting (or useful) and clickable; as soon as some promising candidates are found, users click. If the new page doesn’t meet users’ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.

  • Users appreciate quality and credibility. If a page provides users with high-quality content, they are willing to compromise the content with advertisements and the design of the site. This is the reason why not-that-well-designed websites with high-quality content gain a lot of traffic over years. Content is more important than the design which supports it.
  • Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web-page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.
    Web Design Guidelines
    Users don’t read, they scan. Notice how “hot” areas abrupt in the middle of sentences. This is typical for the scanning process.
  • Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a website isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then designer failed to get his job done properly and the company loses money. The higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the website and search for alternatives. [JN / DWU]
  • Users don’t make optimal choices. Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information they’re looking for. Neither do they scan webpage in a linear fashion, going sequentially from one site section to another one. Instead users satisfice; they choose the first reasonable option. As soon as they find a link that seems like it might lead to the goal, there is a very good chance that it will be immediately clicked. Optimizing is hard, and it takes a long time. Satisficing is more efficient. [video]
    Principles Of Effective Web Design
    Sequential reading flow doesn’t work in the Web. Right screenshot on the image at the bottom describes the scan path of a given page.
  • Users follow their intuition. In most cases users muddle through instead of reading the information a designer has provided. According to Steve Krug, the basic reason for that is that users don’t care. “If we find something that works, we stick to it. It doesn’t matter to us if we understand how things work, as long as we can use them. If your audience is going to act like you’re designing billboard, then design great billboards.”
  • Users want to have control. Users want to be able to control their browser and rely on the consistent data presentation throughout the site. E.g. they don’t want new windows popping up unexpectedly and they want to be able to get back with a “Back”-button to the site they’ve been before: therefore it’s a good practice to never open links in new browser windows.

1. Don’t Make Users Think

According to Krug’s first law of usability, the web-page should be obvious and self-explanatory. When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks — the decisions users need to make consciously, considering pros, cons and alternatives.

If the navigation and site architecture aren’t intuitive, the number of question marks grows and makes it harder for users to comprehend how the system works and how to get from point A to point B. A clear structure, moderate visual clues and easily recognizable links can help users to find their path to their aim.

good website design sample

Let’s take a look at an example. Beyondis.co.uk claims to be “beyond channels, beyond products, beyond distribution”. What does it mean? Since users tend to explore websites according to the “F”-pattern, these three statements would be the first elements users will see on the page once it is loaded.

Although the design itself is simple and intuitive, to understand what the page is about the user needs to search for the answer. This is what an unnecessary question mark is. It’s designer’s task to make sure that the number of question marks is close to 0. The visual explanation is placed on the right hand side. Just exchanging both blocks would increase usability.

Web Design Guidelines

ExpressionEngine uses the very same structure like Beyondis, but avoids unnecessary question marks. Furthermore, the slogan becomes functional as users are provided with options to try the service and download the free version.

By reducing cognitive load you make it easier for visitors to grasp the idea behind the system. Once you’ve achieved this, you can communicate why the system is useful and how users can benefit from it. People won’t use your web site if they can’t find their way around it.

2. Don’t Squander Users’ Patience

    Work remotely? Make a virtual office so your team can hang out. Trusted by millions worldwide.


In every project when you are going to offer your visitors some …

Graphic design history: 25 landmark design events

Graphic design history

The past 25 years have been rich in terms of graphic design history. We’ve seen monumental changes, and our sister magazine Computer Arts has been there to bring you the lowdown on everything that’s happened in graphic design and illustration. The magazine hit the newsstands in 1995, meaning a quarter of a century has passed, so it seems like the perfect time to take a look at how exactly the industry has evolved in that time.

In this article, we look back at some of the biggest moments, milestones, trends, and developments over the last 25 years, and to provide a broad perspective, we’ve asked the opinion of some well-known industry names.

For further exploration of what’s happening in graphic design, see our post on the hottest graphic design trends, and put them to use with our pick of the best tools for graphic designers.

What has changed since 1995?

“So much has changed since 1995!” says Neville Brody, one of the 20th century’s most famous graphic designers. “While the main changes have been technological – fast and large data transmission, video conferencing, actual-time responses, mass storage, processing capabilities, and portable computing power – the more invisible changes have come through cultural responses, leading to greater empowerment. We have a major self-publishing world now, on every level, and distribution models that allow greater scaling and fundraising.”

In his eyes, though, it’s not all been positive. “Brands have increasingly become homogenous storytellers, competing usually for the same demographic and market using the same tools, mechanisms, and content,” he says. “Media has at the same time become relatively utilitarian and homogenized. Ultimately, creative choices have been reduced to simple patterns and restrictive palettes.” (We explore this further in our post has branding become boring?)

For these reasons, Brody believes that “after 25 years, what’s really needed now is some new break-out thinking and creativity – real risk-taking and rule-challenging”.

01. Computer Arts launches

Graphic design events: computer arts first cover

Computer Arts were launched in 1995 (Image credit: Future)

The fashion world had Vogue. Advertising had Campaigned. Then in 1995, graphic designers and illustrators got their own, must-read ‘Bible’, as issue one of Computer Arts hit the shelves.

“I was a reader right from the start, as there was nothing else like it,” recalls artist and designer Brendan Dawes. Those early issues now provide a snapshot of the time, packed with advice on how to use exotic new tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator. As artist Jon Burgerman puts it: “It was there for professionals and students alike, offering insight and cover discs… like a friendly tutor who’s a bit too cool for college.”

The print magazine is now more geared towards idea generation, conceptual thinking, and design process. As Jamie Ellul, founder of Supple Studio, describes it, “Computer Arts today is a really good resource for reading in-depth project case studies, and hearing opinions from other designers and creatives.”

Marie Claire, FHM, Loaded and NME have closed, but Computer Arts are still going strong, and as influential as ever. As creative director Kyle Wilkinson says: “The number of young designers that Computer Arts has helped develop through advice, tutorials, and exposure must be countless.”

02. The web

Although the internet had existed in some form since the early 1970s, virtually no one outside of computer scientists and serious nerds had heard of it. But in the mid-1990s, a program called Netscape came to prominence and started to turn web browsing from a bafflingly complex task into something that was relatively achievable.

“In terms of design moments, there’s been nothing more impactful for me than the birth of Netscape,” recalls Laura Jordan Bambach, creative director and former president of D&AD. “It turned to play on MOSAIC and working in Hyper Card and Director into something that had a potentially unlimited audience. A space to create art, and a community in cyberfeminism that’s had a massive impact on my life. It also gave me my career – starting a business at university, designing and coding when it was still all done in Notepad.”

Bambach was very much ahead of the game here: most graphic designers wouldn’t be designing for the web for at least another decade. But Netscape, on which the modern browser Firefox is based, remains a key moment in an internet age that’s changed pretty much everything.

03. UX Design

Today, user experience, aka UX, is one of the most in-demand services from graphic designers. But back in the mid-nineties, it was something early pioneers were only just inventing, usually in total isolation from each other.

Graphic designer and professor Louise Sandhaus offers a typical example. In the 90s, she was hired as an art director on a project for Taco Bell, which wanted to electronically run all of its store ordering through a single touch-screen system, to make life easier for employees. “But the methodologies didn’t really exist,” she recalls. “User experience and user interface design had yet to go mainstream. It was the Wild West.”

User experience and user interface design had yet to go mainstream. It was the Wild West.

Louise Sandhaus

Initially, the visual design of the interface and the writing of the software were going to be conducted separately, but to Sandhaus, that seemed all wrong. “So I developed a methodology of sketched storyboards running through various tasks that allowed myself and the software engineers to develop the project together,” she …

Eco-friendly and Sustainable Fashionable Bags – City Kitty Design

Looking for that chic new bag, but want something a bit, well, greener? City Kitty has you covered, in style. From handbags, totes and messenger bags, all six styles are made from reclaimed materials, making each one unique with a clean modern design. Express your individual personality and go green with a Recycled Belt Bag

I happened upon one of these bags from an acquaintance who was very excited about the find, and had received multiple compliments on it. They are very well constructed, and i would have believed it to have come from a high end designer, imagine my surprise to find out it was made from repurposed vintage blankets, curtains, coats and belts! I had to find out more, so I went directly to the source, Sabrena Wright, the designer and creator of City Kitty Design.

How did it all begin?
About 8 years ago I started designing and making handbags for fun. About three years ago I started using old wool blankets and tooled leather belts to make handbags, a shop owner asked if I would be interested in making bags for her shop – this was the start of City Kitty.
Eco-friendly was paramount when I decided to start the company. I wanted to prove that reclaimed and recycled materials do not have to be made from plastic and do not have to look ‘trashy’.
The great thing about using reclaimed materials is that they have been used – there is history woven in the fibers. Every handbag looks new and modern yet each has its own bit of history.

What do you see for City Kitty’s future?
The main future goals for the business besides increasing distribution is to continue improving the handbag designs so that the bags are 100% eco-friendly – eliminating the use of metal fasteners and grommets and looking for new eco-friendly/sustainable materials. Next year I will be transitioning the brand from ‘City Kitty’ to ‘Sabrena Wright’ to best reflect the evolving quality and design. I have a few new designs that are not on the website yet, I just finished them this week. These are new designs for 2009 – a lot more hand-sewn leather details and the designs are more refined.

Where do you get your design ideas and inspirations?
I find inspiration everywhere and usually when I least expect it – from walking the dogs to looking at Indian artifacts in a museum – I don’t leave the house without my sketchbook. I am influenced by Le Corbusier – very much a form follows function kind of girl. In the world of handbags, I admire the third read – the design details – of Hermes and Henry Cuir.

What makes your bags eco-friendly?
The wool, cotton, linen, and leather used to make my handbags are a mix of pre and post-consumer waste and sustainable fibers (wool, linen, hemp). Larger scraps of leather are given to another artist to use for leather jewelry. I use refurbished vintage sewing machines to sew all of the fabric portions of the handbags, most of the leather is hand sewn using waxed linen thread. All of the paper marketing materials and product tags are printed on 100% recycled paper.

Website Design Companies In London Uk

Website Design Companies In London Uk
Get 4 Custom Web Design Quotes In Less Than An Hour At http://quoteseal.com/website-design-quotes/

Fundamental Web page Factors and Expenses
On typical, the following figures is usually applied to estimating the price of the smaller small business web page
Domain Title – /year
Internet hosting – to 0 a yr (based on visitors & hosting services)
Net planning, design and development time – 60 hours and up
Continued web site Maintenance – 0 a yr and up (depending on number/type of updates required)
Marketing your web-site online – 0 a month and up
Important Factors that Contribute to Web page Expense
When trying to budget world-wide-web design costs there are a number of aspects to consider:

Is this a brand new site or a redesign?
How prepared are you – do you have a detailed requirements document?
Do you need a blog or content management functionality (CMS)?
Do you have graphics already created for the web page?
Do you want the web-site to automatically resize for mobile and tablets?
Do you need multimedia (Flash, video, etc.) on the internet site?
How much content do you have and how much do you need created?
Do you need other special features like social media channels, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
Who is going to maintain the website after it has been launched?
Below we go into greater detail regarding these items and an estimate of how much you should budget for them. The prices listed are centered on 16 years of experience. Rates will most probably be higher or lower relying on your specific requirements. Be sure to contact us for an estimate.…

Web Designers In London Uk

Web Designers In London Uk
Get 4 Custom Web Design Quotes In Less Than An Hour At http://quoteseal.com/website-design-quotes/

Fundamental Site Elements and Costs
On average, the next figures is often placed on estimating the price of the tiny small business website
Domain Identify – /year
Hosting – to 0 a 12 months (relying on site visitors & hosting services)
Internet planning, design and development time – 60 hours and up
Continued web-site Maintenance – 0 a calendar year and up (dependent on number/type of updates required)
Marketing your site online – 0 a month and up
Important Elements that Contribute to Web site Cost
When trying to budget world wide web design expenditures there are a number of components to consider:

Is this a brand new web site or a redesign?
How prepared are you – do you have a detailed requirements document?
Do you need a blog or content management functionality (CMS)?
Do you have graphics already created for the web page?
Do you want the web-site to automatically resize for mobile and tablets?
Do you need multimedia (Flash, video, etc.) on the web site?
How much content do you have and how much do you need created?
Do you need other special features like social media channels, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
Who is going to maintain the web page after it has been launched?
Below we go into greater detail regarding these items and an estimate of how much you should budget for them. The charges listed are based mostly on 16 years of experience. Price ranges will most probably be higher or lower relying on your specific requirements. Be sure to contact us for an estimate.…

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3 Tips For Designing An Effective Website

3 Tips For Designing An Effective Website
The importance of designing effective websites is becoming more and more prominent each day. You know that the websites you design for your clients need to serve a purpose, but sometimes it’s hard to get started.

Today we’ll cover three quick tips for designing an effective website.

Checklist: http://kristarae.co/10-steps-to-designing-a-strategic-website-for-your-clients/

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