The qualities of good design takes years of practice and study to master--and most masters would say there is always something new to learn and improve upon. GraphicRiver maintains a high level of quality standards and acceptance for files. To be accepted on GraphicRiver, files must demonstrate the proficiency and aesthetic understanding of a professional designer. These standards go above and beyond the technical requirements of a file. To help out our authors, we've compiled some statements on what is considered good design and what qualities we look for in files sold on GraphicRiver. While not all files will approach these qualities and techniques in the same way, keep in mind that deficiencies in any one of these areas may be grounds for a file to be declined.
Files should be editable
The file should contain clearly labeled and organized layers to allow the buyer to edit the file to their needs. Depending on the file, this can include: color changes, selection/deletion/modification of elements, re-sizing or moving of elements, and other modifications. Files should use professional techniques such as masking, layer adjustments, and layer styles (for resizable elements) when necessary. In short: use non-destructive techniques.
Files should be cohesive
If a submission contains multiple elements or is part of a set (buttons, banners, etc), all of the elements should have a cohesive overall design. Cohesive design is achieved by sharing one or more of several elements: color scheme, shape and alignment, use of white space, and other stylistic choices.
Files should demonstrate a professional understanding of design
The file should demonstrate excellent understanding and execution of basic design principles, including but not limited to: contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, white space, etc. When considering design excellence consider the function and user-friendliness of the item. For instance, design templates should be legible. Text that is too small or ill aligned is unacceptable. Excellent files don't necessarily need to follow design rules to a tee--great designers know the rules so well that they know how to break them effectively--but the design standards for GraphicRiver are very high.
Files with text should be scannable
The needs of typography vary somewhat depending on the content, but all submissions with typographic layout should follow design standards for easy readability and use. Fonts should have refined tracking, leading, and font choice. Text should have thoughtfully designed alignment, use of white space, contrast, proximity and repetition in layout. Pay particular attention to the alignment of text in files--centered text is often very hard to read in large bursts and files with multiple alignments on a single page are confusing for the eye and hard to scan. Also, files aligned on a grid are often better in the sense that they are easier to interact with.
Files should have a sophisticated design sense
Design can be minimal or complex, but there should be a level of sophistication and trend awareness in the design of files approved for GraphicRiver.
Files containing common design trends should be exceptional
Styles such as bokeh, glossy buttons, gadget illustrations, grunge effects, etc can all be popular trends in design, resulting in many submissions of this type. Because of the high number of submissions, files of this type need to be exceptionally well done, attractive, or offer something unique to be added to the GraphicRiver library. Files should not copy another file in identical concept, execution, or technique.
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