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The word “design” can be used to describe an arrangement with a purpose, intent. In graphic design, the intent may be as simple as to inform the public, and the purpose can be creating a composition that supports the purpose. Anything from a pattern on fabric to elaborate fractal composition, or simply placing a title on a page constitutes design. And by the way, Nature does it best. The rest of us just imitate and show our perspective on Nature.
Let’s face it, ineffective and unpleasant design abounds. Items placed sloppily, out of context, outshouting each other on the page with bright colors and big fonts, or a message lost because too many unrelated elements and fonts distract the potential recipient. In our digital age, the tools of designers are available to many of us. This does not mean all of us know what to do with them.
Attempting design is much like having a full bin of Lego blocks of various size, color, and shape. Knowing which ones to choose and why, is the start of an intentional design. The possibilities can be overwhelming and novice attempt is often to pour a bit of everything on a page. Especially, utilizing newly discovered features of a software (WordArt, font outline in Word is an example) can be tempting.
Playing with the elements on a page can illustrate the possibilities and has a lot of value. Design, however; starts with a purpose and thought. So, if you are not a professional but need or want to come up with a clear design keep in mind that: