Design Principles Based on Location?

I have a random question.

So in school we spend a lot of time learning about the design principles, however I was wondering if these principles change based on your regional location.

I imagine that culture would play a part in what people are attracted to and turned off by. Is this idea taken into consideration when you are designing for a client who may not have an audience in the same country that you are from?

Ex: (This is probably not true… but) what if in Japan they don’t believe in typographical hierarchy in designs?

It may be obvious to research this information before designing for a culture that is completely different from your own, but what about cultures that may be a little more similar like the US and the UK?

Hmmm. I’m not sure if certain core design principles change, however, yes, culture, language, etc. certainly have a huge impact on design.

I think the basics of form, color, contrast, rhythm, proportion, balance, hierarchy, etc. stay the same. I mean they’re pretty much universal principles that relate to how human beings are hard-wired to perceive the world around them.

How these principles are used is what differs from one culture to the next.

When discussing topics like this, common understanding can be elusive because the terms can get mixed.

Take your example of typographical hierarchy. The principle there is hierarchy, where as typography is a possible vehicle of hierarchy, and not necessarily an element of the principle itself. So yes, in a country or culture where typography is not recognized as a hierarchical instument, it is incumbent upon you to dictate hierarchy by other means, and if you execute in keeping with the audience’s known nature, the principle is honored.

So it’s not a matter of changing or abandoning central principles. On the contrary, one must adapt methods, styles, and techniques to effectively apply the principles in ways that accommodate the target culture’s inclinations.

Color use can be essential and is culturally defined.

I live in Europe and if I chose the color red for a logo. Red means passion, fury and so on.

In South Africa red is the color of death.

So in your color choice if you have an international client this can be important.

In China, red is the color of good luck and happiness. Look at ads for casinos that cater to the chinese and you will see red as a dominant color.

Yes, but once again the design principle of color theory (as far as complementary colors, warm colors, cool colors, analogous colors, vibrancy, color contrast, etc.) remain the same.The cultural significance of colors of course may vary.

1 Like

Minimalist design principles not so prevalent in Asian countries?

I must say. This is a really good question. I never considered (perhaps not fundamental principal) the general trend and style of design varying by region or location. I must say that fundamental technique, and application won’t change. Unless, (it pains me to say) third world country designers who utilize Photoshop for all aspects of design. But I have to say “yes” in respect that your overall design output will change based on your region or location. There are some trends that could be considered internationally popular, but local trends could differ greatly ,from, say the USA, to eastern or southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

However, unless you plan to relocate a considerable distance, I would stick to what the professors are preaching in your area.

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook