George Nelson



Visual Design Principles


Express a strong point of view
Define your intent and let it inform every design decision.

Consider the Whole Above the parts
Its better for a design to work together & feel coherent, than for any individual part to shine.

Use treatment to convey meaning
The lines, shapes, colors, textures you use convey emotion. Recognize what each is doing & use this to your advantage

Simplify to Amplify.
A.K.A. “less is more”. Focus on visual elements that convey your intended meaning. Strip away everything else


Contrast.Repetition. Alignment.Proximity

Color Carefully
Color can enhance usability and show emotion. Start with less. Use it strategically to call attention to elements.Borrow palettes from things you like. Begin with colors that have similar intensities and hues

Dig:Steal Selectively
Take inspiration from everywhere. Steal an element here or a treatment there and you will learn & advance quickly. (Wholesale mimicry can be unethical, and worse: boring.)

Use a Grid.
An underlying structure gives work order and helps make it coherent & digestible.

Use an Analogy.
Analogies are rich with meaning. They can help direct your work & provide your audience with a rich backstory to muse upon.

Use text Visually.
Letters form words, but the shapes of those letters take up a lost of space and communicate tons of emotion. Choose fonts that compliment your point of view.