As a design-led printing studio here at ICON, we apply a range of design principles which inform our advice to clients for their choice of personalised merchandise styles, colours and artwork. Although beauty is a subjective concept that is often difficult to define, we’ve devised a list of our top considerations that explain why we find some things more beautiful than others. Let’s break it down. 


One of the most important design principles that contribute to our perception of beauty is simplicity. We tend to find things that are simple and uncluttered more beautiful than those that are complex and chaotic. Therefore, simplicity allows us to focus on the essential elements of an object, without being distracted by unnecessary details. For our clients who cater towards more high-end fabrications, such as densely textured Polo Styles, we recommend applying more minimal artworks, i.e the company name in their chosen font or a simplified company logo, both of which result in a more aesthetically pleasing personalised merchandise offering. 


Another important design principle that contributes to our perception of beauty is symmetry. We tend to find things that are symmetrical more beautiful than those that are asymmetrical. This is because symmetry creates a sense of balance and harmony that is pleasing to the eye, and one we associate regularly with everyday items around us. As a result, our brains are hardwired; whether we like it or not, to be attracted to shapes and artworks which are balanced. When considering printing multiple designs across your choice of personalised merchandise, have a play around with positioning these standalone artworks in a manner that promotes balance, using a combination of harsher lines with softer components. 


Proportion forms our judgement of what we would be comfortable representing, especially when viewed through its application on T-shirts, Hoodies and front-facing designs. Amongst the most influential design principles that informs our perception of proportion, The Golden Ratio – a mathematical ratio of 1:1.618, is found in the proportions of the Egyptian pyramids, the nautilus shell and faces in art we deem beautiful, such as the Mona Lisa


Did you know that the colour Blue is the most loved colour by humans, preferred by more than 35% of the world’s population – which basically means that every 4 people in a group of ten favour blue over any other colour. A lot of this can be attributed to colour psychology and the associations people have with them, with the colour Blue nuancing peace and calamity. 

However, all audiences of people are different, and when choosing the base colour of your personalised merchandise and subsequently of artwork – key design principles such as what colours complement each other on the colour wheel are a great place to start. For a more in-depth view of the power of colour, read our dedicated blog post here

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