PTC Instructor John Lawson’s Three Laws of Graphic Design

Pickens Technical College employs some of the best and most qualified instructors in the area to teach you how to be a boss in many different careers. Many people are drawn (get it?) to graphic design because it’s an artistic field that actually pays well and gets you out of your mom’s basement. Graphic design instructor John Lawson prepares students for a successful career as a graphic designer by emphasizing the skills you’ll need to impress future employers or clients. Here are his three laws of graphic design: (You won’t learn how to be a boss graphic designer from reading this article, you’ll have to take the class. Think of this as a teaser.)

  1. Layouts convey meaning and relationships. How you arrange your text and graphics in a space creates meaning and helps the viewer understand your message. Your job as a graphic designer is to create relationships for the viewer. By simply placing several images close together and one far away from them all, you’re creating meaning without having to explain everything with words (who needs ‘em?).
  1. Use patterns and repetition to organize your designs. Human beings are excellent at recognizing patterns. That’s how we took over the world and why we seem so smart in comparison to all other life-forms on Earth. Use this evolutionary marvel in our genetics to your advantage as a graphic designer. Give your audience visual cues so they can follow along with your content. This is especially important if you have to convey large amounts of information in limited space.
  1. Use the right images and nothing more. It’s easy for graphic designers to fill their space with busy images that don’t necessarily add much to the message you’re going for. After all, putting images together is what you do if you’re a graphic designer. However, adding anything beyond what the space or message needs can confuse the space and confuse your audience. Simpler is better. Find or create the perfect images for your space and leave it alone.

These are three laws that John Lawson will impart to you throughout his graphic design class. I’m sure he can explain them and use them in better context than I could. Another thing he can do much better than me is prepare students for careers in this field. He teaches students how to use graphic design software and refine their overall artistic talent through a series of projects of varying size and scope. After you take his class, you’ll be able to create marketing designs, work on branding materials, and find work as a freelancer. You’ll also have at least the beginnings of a professional portfolio that you can not only show to your mom to make her proud, but also show to potential employers. An underrated part of this program is the artistic skills you’ll develop, which will serve you well whether or not you end up working in a career in graphic design.

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