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A-1 Printing Plus

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Get That 3D Look Without Breaking Your Budget

Are your printed promotions falling a little flat? If so, it's time to start thinking about how you can use three-dimensional space in your next promotional piece. While creating a true 3D item may be far outside your budget, you can easily trick the eye into thinking that there's additional depth even when you're working in only two dimensions.

Here are some tips for leveraging three-dimensional space in your next print project.

Create Overlapping Content

Adding depth through illusion requires your designer to be skillful in their application of a variety of techniques. One of the easiest ways to accomplish a 3D-like look is through overlapping images, which can create a more realistic approximation of depth. Slightly obscuring one image with another can create a negative space, which the eye tends to interpret as a depth of field. Don't limit yourself to the tried-and-true drop shadows, but branch out to creating transparent elements that appear to float in front of other images.

Overlapping Postcards

An Active Blur of Motion

Movement implies dimension, so creating an image where the subject appears to be moving away rapidly can create the illusion of a third dimension. Bleeding images off the edge of a page may also contribute a more authentic look to your project. Think of the blurred headlights of a car moving away from you on the road, or the image of a cycler who appears to be speeding off the edge of the page.

Running Man Layers

Contrast Foreground and Background

Try using visual hierarchy and scale to expose the eye to an unexpected design. Moving specific items to the forefront or background of an image may cause a three-dimensional effect due to the negative space your brain perceives to be between the two images.

Designer Series Hangtag

Introduce a New Perspective

Spatial relationships have an implied perspective when you introduce the concept of volume to your designs. Vary the color gradients of your design to make some parts appear vibrant and closer, while others seem to be grayer and further in the background.

About Racing

Create a stunning illusion of depth by incorporating one (or more than one) of these options into your next print design. Want to learn more design tips or work with a professional to translate your ideas into print? Contact us today!

The Elements of Graphic Design
by Alex W. White

This very popular design book has been wholly revised and expanded to feature a new dimension of inspiring and counterintuitive ideas to thinking about graphic design relationships. The Elements of Graphic Design, Second Edition is now in full color in a larger, 8 x 10-inch trim size, and contains 40 percent more content and over 750 images to enhance and better clarify the concepts in this thought-provoking resource. The second edition also includes a new section on web design and new discussions of modularity, framing, motion and time, rules of randomness, and numerous quotes supported by images and biographies. This pioneering work provides designers, art directors, and students―regardless of experience―with a unique approach to successful design. Veteran designer and educator Alex. W. White has assembled a wealth of information and examples in his exploration of what makes visual design stunning and easy to read. Readers will discover White's four elements of graphic design, including how to: define and reveal dominant images, words, and concepts; use scale, color, and position to guide the viewer through levels of importance; employ white space as a significant component of design and not merely as background; and use display and text type for maximum comprehension and value to the reader. Offering a new way to think about and use the four design elements, this book is certain to inspire better design.

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