Compositional Techniques for Graphic Design

A course by Javier Alcaraz
Editorial and Typeface Designer. Campanet, Spain.
On Domestika since 11/11/2015
, Editorial and Typeface Designer

Learn how to use key elements to create clear and attractive graphic structures

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (7)
  • 636 students
Compositional Techniques for Graphic Design

Learn how to use key elements to create clear and attractive graphic structures

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (7)
  • 636 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 23 Lessons (3h 46m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever

A composition is made up of key elements like color, shape, space, balance, asymmetry. In graphic design, it’s essential to master these concepts and apply them to create communication that is impactful, relevant, and connects with your audience.

In this course, graphic designer Javier Alcaraz teaches you how to create an efficient graphic structure for your next project. As a specialist in editorial, branding, and typography projects, Javier explains the key components of creating a visual language and how to articulate ideas through design.

Javier uses Adobe InDesign in this course. If you need to add InDesign to your skillset, you can check out Javier’s 5-course Introduction to Adobe InDesign from our Basics series, or dive deeper into editorial projects with Automated Editorial Design with Adobe InDesign.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Composition basics
  • U3
    U3. Composition elements
  • U4
    U4. Principles of visual composition
  • U5
    U5. Proportions and other joints
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

First, get to know Javier Alcaraz. Learn about his main influences and how he created elcerezo, his studio specializing in editorial design, branding projects, and typeface design.

Next, Javier gives you the tools you need to be able to determine whether a composition is effective or not. With the techniques shown, learn Javier’s methods for understanding the particularities within each composition.

Then, take a look at the key elements that compose a graphic project: shape, negative space, use of color, typography, and iconography.

After understanding the graphic components, dive into the strategy behind concepts like balance, contrast, and center of visual interest. Finally, learn the rule of thirds, the golden ratio, how to apply them, and how to use compositional grids.

What is this course's project?

Create an effective graphic composition for a poster, an album cover, a website, or a double-page for a print magazine. You can design from scratch or redesign a piece that you already have created.

Who is it for?

This course is for graphic, editorial, and digital designers. Also, for visual artists, publicists, or anyone with an interest in visual composition.

What you need

No previous knowledge is needed, but some basic notions of design will be helpful.

Regarding materials, you will need black paper, white paper, a pencil, and a computer with your preferred design software. Javier will be using Adobe Indesign.


636 Students
7 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Javier Alcaraz

A course by Javier Alcaraz

Editorial and Typeface Designer

Javier Alcaraz is a graphic designer specializing in Typographic Design and Art Direction for Editorial Design. He began his design career for Argentina newspapers and worked on developing publications and institutional communication in Ecuador. In 2004, he left Argentina for Mexico, where he worked for important publishing houses like Grupo Media and Expansión.

In 2011, he founded elcerezo, a studio that works on editorial design, branding, and typeface design for clients in Latin America and Europe, including Google, the Mexican Ministry of Culture, TetraPack, and Forbes. He currently resides in Spain.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • What will we do in this course?
  • U2

    Composition basics

    • What is composition?
    • The effective composition
    • Particular considerations
  • U3

    Composition elements

    • Form
    • Negative space
    • Color
    • Typography
    • Iconography
  • U4

    Principles of visual composition

    • Keep it simple
    • Balance and movement
    • Define a center of interest
    • Contrast to organize
    • Repetition unifies
  • U5

    Proportions and other joints

    • Symmetry and asymmetry
    • The rule of thirds
    • The golden ratio
    • The proportional scales 1
    • Proportional scales 2
    • Grids: concept
    • Grids: application
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Compositional Techniques for Graphic Design

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Compositional Techniques for Graphic Design. A Design course by Javier Alcaraz

Compositional Techniques for Graphic Design

A course by Javier Alcaraz
Editorial and Typeface Designer. Campanet, Spain.
On Domestika since 11/11/2015
  • 100% Positive reviews (7)
  • 636 students