1. Design Fundamentals

a. Graphic Design: Visual communication designed to SELL a product/service/message or company.

►Watch: The Universal Arts of Graphic Design:

Understand the emotional reaction to design elements before creating corporate identities and additional marketing tools and materials. Use the principles of DESIGN to effectively communicate to startup’s target markets:
• Process of designthe medium, the space- its size, the materials, cost, and time it takes to produce should dictate the type of marketing tools and campaign to create. FIRST, determine the most effective medium to deliver your message.

►Watch: The Design Process

• Designing within perimetersthe medium you choose to deliver your marketing messages will have limitation, i.e. offline= no video. Online (even most print) design is two-dimensional. Create more dimensional imagery using positive against negative space, one-point perspective, images in motion for greater impact.

• Linesoft wavy lines= calm, relaxed; erratic lines= tension.

• Shape/Form circle=connection, female; square= order, logic, male

• Balance combining simple shapes and line forms to create more dynamic imagery.


2. Basic Color Theory

a. Subtractive Color: Pigment, ink, enamel, used in print, display, packaging, products, painting…etc. Starting with a white surface (paper, cardboard, canvas), adding colored inks and paints subtract wavelengths from the light to reflect colors. Combining pigment color produces black.

• RBY— (print, paint, display, packaging, physical products) Red; Blue; Yellow; primary subtraction colors that create full color palette.

b. Additive Color: Starting with no light (black) color is added to produce light. Combining light color produces white.

• RGB (screen/monitor)—Red; Green; Blue; primary light colors used in screen/monitor reproduction.

►Watch Additive vs Subtractive Color:

c. Working with color: Use color properties and the color wheel for choosing effective combinations across of colors all visual communications:

• Hue—a pure color.

• Tints—adding white to a pure hue.

• Shades—adding black to a pure hue.

• Tones—adding gray to a pure hue.

• Complimentary Colors—Two opposite colors on the color wheel.

• Analogous Colors—Two or more colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel.

• Triad Colors—Color schemes of three equally spaced colors on the color wheel.

• Split-Complimentary Colors—Main color and the two colors on each side of its complementary (opposite) color on the color wheel.

• Tetradic Colors—Rectangle or square color scheme uses four colors arranged into two complementary pairs, offering the most flexibilty and variation of color applications.

►Color picking app: Color Scheme Designer—Cool app for picking harmonious color schemes. http://paletton.com/

►Watch: Using the Color Wheel:

d. Design in thumbnails: use basic sketching techniques in design development for unique and fastest idea generation. Use wireframe templates for fast (but standard) designing. Focal point and clarity of peripheral vision is compromised when beginning the design process on the computer, full-size [for most] marketing and branding materials. So DON’T use the computer for generating ideas and concepts. Use SMALL thumbnail sketches in the size ratio of the final piece.

3. Color Reproduction in Print and Online

a. Line art:  any image created by outline, without gradations in shade (darkness) or hue (color). Logo identities and icons are generally created in line art for quality reproduction across all mediums, and simple, line art logos are creatively flexible (Apple Computer adds color and texture to their original apple icon in all kinds of creative ways).

b. Solid Color: a solid block of color undiluted by graduating tones or blended gradations. In print, solid color means either one of the CMYK colors, or picked from a palette of PMS (Pantone Matching Systems) colors. Solid colors can also be added to enhance 4/c printing process, or in one or two color applications, or where large areas of a single color or opaque application is required.

• Effective Logo identities and icons are created in line art/solid color for design flexibility, and quality reproduction across all mediums.

c. Continuous Tone: Soft blended colors as in photography or realistic illustration. Logos and icons can be reproduced in continuous tones in many marketing applications, but when reduced to the size of a Facebook feed icon, or a phone app icon, continuous tone images get muddy, lose clarity, and impact.

d. Reproducing Imagery: To reproduce digital images taken from the computer at 72 dpi larger than the original, image must be a large file size.

• A 30 mg file will generally reproduce an 8.5” x 11” print of an illustration or photo in continuous tone.

300 pixels per inch (ppi) are required for best quality print reproduction with a 150 line screen (dpi). Pixel density is 1.6 times the line screen—for a 150 dpi (dots per inch) line screen that would be 240 pixels per inch. To reproduce computer or digital images to print, resolution on the computer should be set to a minimum of 240 ppi, preferrably 300 ppi to achieve 150 dpi resolution in print, the minimum dpi used in magazines and most printed material with quality reproduction of photos or illustrations.

• Interpolate—To estimate a value of (a function or series) between two known values. Enlarging small images requires software to interpolate from the existing pixels to create new pixels at higher density to avoid pixelation or banding for the enlarged size. Generally an image created at a pixel count near 4,000 x 5,000 pixels can be interpolated successfully to almost any size and still look good

• File size, pixel density and load time—the larger the files on the online page the longer the load time.

4. Corporate Identity Development

a. Perimeters of Identity/Logo design:

• Logos must be clear, and have as much impact on the side of a building as on an Instagram feed.

• Logos must visually ‘speak’ to your target audiences.

• Logos must be creatively flexible, and reproducible across all mediums, media and platforms.

b. The Process of Logo Design:

Identity designs falls into 1 of 3 categories:

• Symbol only

—First initial of company name as Logo

—Initials of company name as Logo

—Icon as Logo

• Type only— logo is company name is spelled out, as in Google, or Kellogg’s

• Symbol & Type— as in Amazon or Starbucks

c. Serif vs San Serif Typefaces:

• Serif— the little ‘flags’ on the ends of the stems in each character. Generally used in print, and fixed size type because the flags disappear or “drop out” in reproduction with variable type sizes online, as in touch-screen magnification. Serif is used for headlines, as headlines are generally larger text. It is also used in identities if the serifs are kept thick.

• San Serif (“san”= Latin for “without”)— a clean typeface with no flags at the end of the stems in each character. You are reading a san-serif face now. Online does not reproduce with the clarity of print, so san-serif faces are used much more frequently online for small text like bodycopy, and even headlines and subheads for greater clarity and readability. Most modern identities are designed using san-serif letter forms because they must be as clear and striking in print or online.

• Type History: Use letter forms and icons of the past to evoke a time period that effectively showcases your offerings.


• Applying letter forms throughout history as design—Pictographs of ancient times to letter forms of today evoke feelings. Use typographic history to create icons for today that tell a story about your company or offerings by their historical reference.


• Characters as Design—explore typefaces of various languages, and use company or offering’s initials in an applicable language (Example: If a gaming startup’s target market is Chinese teen boys, then Chinese characters should be used) as logo/I.D.

b. Designing with Type: variations in styles, weights, stresses, characteristics, categories generate different feelings when viewed (a handwritten script letter form feels different than thick black block letter forms).


►App: Logo Designer: https://www.tailorbrands.com/

c. Kinetic Type: putting copy in motion, using only text to communicate a message. Very effective if done professionally, since offering is delivered with only words as the visual which reinforces the messaging. Can be used as a video ad spot, on your websites or blogs, to social network…etc.

►Old Spice Kinetic Commercial:

►DSW Shoes Kinetic Commercial: 

►Mad As Hell Kinetic Speech (from movie Network): 

• Explore where to find free icons and identities that follow good design principles, and will work across all media. Identify on-demand printing and specialty digital printers for inexpensive complete stationary packages.