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Graphic Design Lessons - Composition Techniques 3


The 3 Cs of Graphic Design: (Components + Composition = Concept)


Graphic Design Composition Techniques 3

In these lessons we use the 3 Cs of Graphic Design to generate some graphic ideas. Each of our lessons starts with a font symbol (component) which is explored through an assortment of techniques (composition) to form a graphic idea (concept). In this lesson a font symbol of the world serves as our component.

One Image - Two Meanings


One Image may have Two Meanings

The globe icon is an obvious image to use for ideas concerning social or environmental issues. In this imaginary logo for a humanitarian organisation named 'One', it is used as a visual and verbal pun representing both the world and the letter 'O'. The image of the world expresses our common humanity while the script font 'Staccato 222' emphasises the human touch.


Adapt and Survive


Distorting the Image

You can experiment by adapting parts of your image to generate ideas. In this global warming logo, the outline of the world has been distorted to form a radiating sunburst and its colour adjusted to suggest glowing heat. A harmonious font called 'Wolfgang Caps' is used to echo the jagged edge of the sunburst.


The Visual and the Verbal


Sequential Images Tell a Story

Sometimes ideas need more than one image to tell their story. The information you get from a second image can create a timeline that suggests a 'before and after' effect. As we naturally read from left to right, the order of the images determines how we read the idea. The above sequence of images suggests a positive message - the restoration of the original.


Sequential Images Tell a Story

If we change the order of the images, we are presented with a negative message - the process of decay or an act of vandalism.

Balancing the Visual and the Verbal

When you add a title to a graphic, the balance between the visual and the verbal is often crucial to the success of the design. The relationship between the images is echoed in the rhyme of the title and the break up of the text. A careful choice of words for a title helps the balance of the composition and amplifies the communication of the idea. A good thesaurus and rhyming dictionary help you with an appropriate word choice and every graphic designer should own one.

Graphic Design Components

The font symbols below were chosen for their simplicity as components. Click on each symbol to explore a range of composition techniques that you can adapt to create your own ideas.

Graphic Design Lesson Resources


Graphic Design Lesson Resources

Download our free Resource Sheets

Once you have studied our composition techniques you can find more symbols in our free Resource Sheets that you may download, print and use to develop your own ideas.