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Kids' Computer Essentials: Graphic Design

Written by Jordin Frey

Kids love to create. One way to encourage that creativity and help kids learn a skill that might lead them to a career is to encourage an interest in graphic design. Luckily, graphic design is easy to learn! The Internet is full of tutorials and other free ways to learn how to create logos, design posters, or make book covers on a computer. Graphic design is everywhere, from apps on smartphones to flyers passed out at school.

Graphic Design Principles

There are seven basic principles that graphic designers use to make designs that are nice to look at but also easy to understand. The first principle is balance. Balance is the way every part of the design works together, including shapes, images, text boxes, and even color. The next principle is alignment. Alignment is how things are lined up in relation to each other and the edges of the page. The third principle is hierarchy, which allows the artist to direct the viewer's eye to certain parts of the design before they look at the rest. For example, using a large, bold font on some words naturally draws the eye to those words. The fourth principle is contrast, which keeps things interesting to look at. A designer might use a mix of light and dark colors to create contrast, or they might use a sleek, modern-looking font alongside a cursive-looking one. The fifth principle is rhythm. You might think of rhythm as the beat in a song, and it's sort of the same here: Visual rhythm often uses a pattern of repeated elements, like a certain color or font. Proximity is the sixth principle. Proximity is how close together things are, and it might be used in graphic design to group certain elements together. The seventh principle is color. Color can set the mood of a project, and it can also make elements easier to see or make them blend together.

Three Uses of Graphic Design

Graphic design is everywhere. Look around right now and you might see posters, the covers of books, designs on pencils, and logos on all sorts of products. All of those are the work of a graphic designer and are usually made on a computer. There are three major uses of graphic design, though. The first is marketing and advertising. This type of graphic design is focused on helping customers find and understand brands and products. It might use design projects like postcards, business cards, brochures, flyers, and social media graphics. Another major use of graphic design is in publishing, which consists of things like designing magazine layouts, book covers, and newsletters. The first two uses of graphic design have been around for a very long time, but the third one is a lot newer. It's the design of user interfaces. Every website and every app was designed to have a user-friendly interface, meaning that it's easy to understand and work with. Video games also have lots of graphic design powering their user interfaces.

Learn Graphic Design

There are many different ways for kids to learn the basics of graphic design. Online tutorials can help kids understand and practice how to make attractive designs for lots of different types of projects, like birthday cards, posters, and logos for apps. There are also lots of games online that focus on teaching people how to work with graphic design tools and understand what makes for a good design.


Typography is an important part of graphic design. Graphic designers need to know the different fonts they can use and how to choose the right ones for each project. For example, many graphic designers mix serif and sans-serif fonts in their designs. Serif fonts have small lines at the end of each stroke that makes up a letter. Sans-serif fonts don't have these lines. Typography also includes making sure that letters and words are designed and arranged in a way that's easy to read.

Projects to Try

Kids can try all sorts of projects to learn the basics of graphic design. Even making a poster for a lemonade stand or a school event can give kids a chance to work on their design skills, but they can also experiment with ideas like creating a logo for an app or designing their own business card.

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