The basis of design is the bringing together of various elements into one area to achieve an interaction that will communicate a message within a given context. The message may be conveyed and even manipulated through the careful visual juggling of the elements that are to be used within the design area. Essentially, these elements will be words, photographs, illustrations and graphic images, combined with a controlling force of black, white and colour.
I shall encourage you to look at and explore the creative potential of these elements its through experimentation. Initially, I shall divide up all the design elements, taking them one by one in their most basic visual forms – as simple lines, geometric blocks and free shapes. You will be able to set up a working design arena within which you can experiment with these elements, moving them around and assessing their visual powers, both independently and in relation to one another, and as you do so you will experience a sense of creative awareness.
As this section of the book progresses, you will become aware of the visual options that each of the elements can offer and thus gain a greater understanding of the choices open to you as a designer.
In the early stages you need to concentrate on the use of black and white images in order to develop your awareness fully, before moving on to the broader dimensions offered by the introduction of colour. You will soon discover how to enlarge or reduce the elements, effectively changing the power of both the visual and written messages.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ELEMENTS
At some point in the design process you will need to decide which elements are either essential or creatively desirable as components of your design.
It is probably prudent to minimize the number of elements in the initial stages. In my view a great any well-conceived pieces of design are successful simply because they make full visual and creative use of a limited number of design elements. First, see how well the work develops using one element. Then sparingly introduce the other ingredients, making sure that they do not overwhelm the design. Never use anything for its own sake; always consider and justify its inclusion as a contributor to the overall design effect.