Zen philosophy and how it applies to graphic design


What exactly is Zen? From my own studies which I continue to read and learn about, Zen is hard to define. It is based on simplicity but also appears to be a complex concept rich in it’s history and cultural background. The basic principle is simplicity, to be expressed directly without excessive ornamentation. In graphic design this can create very powerful and attention grabbing graphics that can work quite well with getting messages or stories read. To provide simple and sophisticated design is more challenging than it may appear. Creating designs that are clean, natural and easy to read while preventing them from being dull and boring is the ultimate goal. By following the basics of Zen philosophy in design can help to achieve this balance of interest and keeping it simple.

Avoiding clutter is the best way to keep designs simple. Creating harmony with colours and typography needs to be approached with thought and consideration of how they will work together. Too many fonts and too many colours can clutter the page and makes things confusing and complicated for the reader. If there is a lot of information and images that need to go on the page it’s important to make the design even simpler. This can be achieved by using one font and keeping the colour palette to a couple  of colours and using various shades of those colours. Knowing what is of importance is key to achieving harmony. All of this to reflect a simplicity that allows the readers attention to be drawn in to what is essential and stripping away the excess. Less is more, using white space is extremely effective as it allows the other elements to breath and connect. Simplicity is not necessarily about minimalism, it is more about harmony. Design that works without the untrained eye knowing why, is achieved only by an intuitive and sensitive designer. I hope this little bit of info helps understand the mind of the graphic designer. Happy reading!


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Here are some questions to consider regarding your marketing materials:
Are your current designs harmonious, easy to read and aesthetically pleasing?
Can you see how the examples above show you how creating harmony affects you?
Are you able to see how your marketing materials may need a simple approach?

To get in touch with me directly go to http://www.inklingsdesign.net/contact/ I’d love to see how I can help inspire you and your clients to be remembered and get noticed using a Zen philosophy approach to design.


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