"Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries"
At first glance, it may seem as though digital design and print design are very similar. However, there are some crucial differences to keep in mind when designing for digital. Digital design is the process of mapping out the look and feel of the content that people view and interact with on a computer, tablet, or phone screen.
The same design principals are implemented with digital design however we need to think about the user and how we apply the principals in a different way. The digital world is changing every day. Just as Neville Brody has said “digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries”
A few aspects to consider when your designs are going to be visual are:
Colour & Contrast
We love colour! Colour transpires very differently from print to digital and the main reason for that is most digital devices that we are viewing the designs on have back lighting. This back lit surface instantly makes your colour more vibrant, it can also change the contrasts between colours making them more legible or harder to read.
Contrast is a beautiful thing and happens when there is a difference between two opposing design elements. The most common types of contrast are created using Colour – dark against light, light against dark, Typography – Serif against San-serif or Bold against Regular and Size – large against small. Contrast guides a viewer’s attention to the key elements, ensuring each side is visable and legible.
Typography & visibility
When using typography for digital design, just like all other forms of design legibility and visibility is imperative. If your audience find it hard to read from the beginning they will give up and find something else. Avoid thin fonts with your digital designs as they can really strain the eye. Limit the amount of font used and pair fonts that compliment each other.
Can your design break through the digital noise and be seen? By keeping it simple you can create designs that are sophisticated and clean, which can essentially make them standout from the crowd. Use colour, contrast and typography to get your message across.
Be visible by being consistent, repetition is key, the more your audience sees something that is easy to read the more likely they are to remember it.
Balance provides stability and structure to the overall design. Shapes, text boxes and images are all elements that form your design. It is important to understand the visual weight each design element has, however this does not mean that all the elements have to be equal size or evenly distributed, balance does not mean symmetry. Symmetrical balance is when the elements are evenly divided on either side of the design whereas you can also have asymmetry where balance is achieved by scale, contrast and colour to achieve design flow.
Negative space essentially is the area between or around the design elements, this space is left blank. If used creatively and effectively it can create shape and enhance your important graphic design elements. It is also very important in digital design as it can give your design a buffer from everything else that is on that page, especially the web, embrace that negative space.
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