Three basic design principles that everyone can use in everyday life


We all love a good design, but not everyone has the experience of knowing how to do it right. Even if you are not an artist, there are certain principles that anyone can learn that are useful in everyday tasks.

The great thing about artistic principles is that they tend to be transferable. While art can be subjective, some rules are derived from shared common experiences. For example, the color red is frequently used as a “high energy” color which signifies warning or passion. In real life, red is the color of blood, fire, and physical arousal.

Our brains make thousands of unconscious correlations like this early in our life. Because of this, the principles of design can be transferred to different areas of life, even if you don’t imagine yourself as an artist, everyone can use these ideas.

Use the rule of thirds to compose a great photo

Photography is quickly becoming the art of the masses. With a smartphone in (almost) every pocket, most people carry a camera that would make a photographer jealous in 2004. However, they don’t come with instruction manuals for taking good photos. we have written our own guides if you want to dive deep, but if you don’t learn anything else, learn the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is one of the most common rules of thumb, and it’s also one of the simplest. When composing a photo, divide the horizontal and vertical space into thirds and try to place the subject or other interesting parts of a photo along these lines. A photo is not wrong if he doesn’t respect that, but if you’re not sure how to compose a nice photo, it’s a good way to get into the stadium.

Example: We have talked at length about how to compose a photo using (among other things) the rule of thirds. Fortunately, many smartphone cameras (like Google’s excellent stock camera) have an optional guide that you can overlay to help you lay out your topics. It should also be noted that, as with everything else, landscape mode is probably better.

Test case – Every photo you’ve ever taken: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr all ensure that you will have the opportunity to share photos from your lunch, party or trip to prague. This particular ruler can be accessed anywhere you can take photos. While there is more to a good photograph than this rule, it is a great first step.

Structure your emails with readable typography

Ask any graphic designer and they’ll tell you the importance of proper typography in a design. The weight given to specific words or the way they are arranged can draw the viewer’s attention to certain ideas. Most people don’t spend their days looking for just the right font or how to present it, but we all work with text every day.

Example: More than anything, the type should be readable. Not just in the particular font in which it is used, but also in the way it is presented. Subtitles or bullet points (like the ones in this article) call attention to key elements. Fat and in italic text emphasizes important information, but only when used sparingly. While it can take a lifetime to establish what looks good, this quick tutorial iterates through many bases.

Test case – Sending a long email: Let’s say you need to email a group of people about an upcoming event. You need to indicate where they need to go, what to bring, what’s going to happen and how to get there. Here is an example of a bad way to write this:

Hi all!

I just wanted to send an email and let everyone know that we are going to do something soon. I am really excited about this! It’s going to be one of the best things we’ve ever done, and we’ve got a long history of doing it.

It all started when we first did something. It’s been five years and we’ve been doing this every year since and I’d like to spend the next five paragraphs telling you about times we’ve done things in the past.

Anyway, we’ll be doing something else at 123 Address Place this year. It’s a great place and we can’t wait for you to see it! Melissa will be in charge of the decoration of the premises. Once she made a three-tiered cake with twigs and wishes. She is super talented! You will love it guys.

We will meet at seven o’clock. I know some of you are coming from out of town, so be sure to change your clocks! You don’t want to be jet-lagged for the thing. Or late car, as the case may be! Haha!

The thing will be bring your own thing, so be sure to buy things for the thing. We’ll send you a separate email with step-by-step directions for getting to Address Place from four different highways, as we haven’t heard from Google Maps.

Thanks everyone for being so awesome and not throwing your laptop out the window while reading this! See you at the thing!

This email avoids critical information for the first few paragraphs. When he finally gets to say what he has to say, he does it awkwardly and surrounded by silly jokes. He even leaves out key details like a date. Someone reading this might be missing key details or even not realize that this is an invitation at all. Here’s a better way to write it:

You are invited to something!

Or: 123 Address Location [Google Maps Link]
When: August 28 at 7 p.m. EST
What: We will do things to celebrate things. Court!
What to bring: It’s the bring your own type of stuff, so bring your stuff!

We have done this sort of thing every year and we are delighted that you all are a part of it. If you’ve never done this sort of thing before, email Tom, Dick, or Harry for more info on how this thing works. We’ll see each other there!

This version is shorter, more precise and clearly labels the information appropriately. It’s an incredibly basic typography, but it serves to emphasize how important structure and brevity is in conveying information. First of all, read what you have written before sending it to someone. If you can easily find the information you’re trying to share without looking for it, you did it right. If someone who’s reading it for the first time has no idea what you’re trying to say at first glance, try restructuring it.

Effectively use negative space to decorate your living room

Negative space (or white space) is defined as anything that is not occupied by an object. It sounds simple, but most people don’t think about managing the space they not put things. Why would you want Nothing goes there. Artists, on the other hand, understand that where something isn’t is just as important as where something is.

Example: This article from Creative Bloq shows 25 examples of using negative space to convey an idea. However, negative space is not always its own thing. As this Sitepoint article covers, white space is also used just to improve the readability of characters. If the lines of text are too close together, they become unreadable. Too far apart and you waste paper / screen space.

Test case – Layout of a room: Unlike graphic design, interior design is an art form that most people participate in whether they realize it or not. The arrangement of furniture and the arrangement of your belongings can have an effect on the ambience of a room. Just like with print or digital media, the layout of a room draws attention to certain places and instills certain types of feelings.

Large open windows and mirrors can help a room feel more open and less cramped. Placing framed pictures lower or at eye level and leaving some space towards the ceiling can help a room feel larger. The placement of a centerpiece like a coffee table can orient where your guests hang out. As you design a room, don’t just think about where your furniture will be placed, but also how the rooms fit together and where people will be spending their time.

Good design is everywhere, and it isn’t just about images on a screen. Not everyone needs to delve into the nuances of color theory, but a basic understanding of how we interpret shape, arrangement, and space can help make everyone a better communicator.

photo by charlotte holmes.



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