Scroll To Top

Graphic Design Lessons - Composition Techniques 4


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


Graphic Design Composition Techniques 4

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 a bird serves as our component.

Reflect the Image




Reflected images create the type of design that you see through a kaleidoscope. You can experiment with different configurations of your images to create a variety of designs.


Rotate the Image around a Path


Rotation Around a Path


Rotating an image around a path is a good way to introduce pattern, color and movement into a design.


Rotate the image around a Point


Rotation Around a Point


Rotating an image around a point is another way to suggest movement in your designs.

Frame the Image


Framing an Image


A frame is a useful device to help you focus on an image, but simply framing an image does not make a design. It creates a background for the design. A double frame is used here to add a more interesting depth to the background.


If at first you don't succeed........try again


If at first you don't succeed....


It is unusual that your first idea works the way you wish so you have to try again. Even with the addition of a double frame this image was still quite dull so we duplicated the bird on a smaller scale to emphasise the depth and increase the interaction of the shapes in the design.


........and again


The Counterchange Technique


Always be aware of the interaction between the positive and negative shapes in a design. Here, they are emphasized further by reducing the image to a counterchange of black and white tones.


......and again


Using Symbolic Colors


Finally, four colors were added to complete this idea for an 'RSPB' logo. Blue, red, yellow and green, which were used to represent the sky and the colorful varieties of bird life, are repeated in the 'Arial Black' italic lettering. An italic font was used to suggest a movement to the right which counterbalances the flight of the birds to the left.

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.