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Graphic Design Lessons - How to Create and Develop Ideas

These lessons teach you about the 3 Cs of Graphic Design: an approach to design that helps you to develop original ideas.

The 3 Cs of Graphic Design

Our composition techniques for graphic design teach you how to form and develop ideas.

Graphic Designs are visual concepts with layers of meaning that communicate an idea to a target audience.

When you are trying to create ideas for a design project, the first ideas that you think of are not usually the most original. The reason they are already in your head is because you have seen them before in one form or another. The best ideas are those that you discover by trial and error through composing the components of your design to create a concept. This process is called the 3 Cs of Graphic Design.


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

In these lessons we use the above formula to help you generate your ideas for graphic designs:

  • Components: These are the images and type we use to compose the layout of a design.

  • Composition: This is how we modify the components of a design to communicate the message.

  • Concept: This is the message communicated by the style and arrangement of the component.

Design Components

Each of our lessons starts with a symbol (component) which is modified through a range of techniques (composition) to form an idea for a graphic design (concept).

  • These symbols were chosen as components due to their simplicity as readymade designs.

  • Click on each symbol to explore a range of composition techniques that you can adapt to create your own ideas.

Design Components 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.