1. C.R.A.P. stands for the four principles of Graphic design: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. Contrast is used to highlight and focus attention. You may use white text on a black background or have one word in a bright color. Contrast can be used as a way to draw your reader’s eyes around the page through focal points. Repetition is important in creating unity and flow throughout your design piece. Repetition ties the design piece together achieved through the use of color pallets, fonts, wording, images, etc. Alignment refers to the organization of images and text in your design. The design flows better if the elements follow a uniform alignment (left, center, right, etc.) as this will give the design strength and a polished look. Finally, proximity refers to the creation of relationships within objects in an image or design. By grouping elements together you focus audience attention and show connection. Placing elements further apart creates a distinction and does not convey relation. Combining all four of these elements ensures a sound graphical design.
  2. Vector refers to the use of polygons to represent an image (as opposed to bitmap). Vectors, in essence, are a series of lines connected through control points and nodes. These are all based on the x and y axis to make up the image. Vectors are the preferred format for graphical design as they preserve their integrity when undergoing the various size and shape changes put to use by marketing teams. A major benefit to vector graphics is the precision it affords the designer when making changes and edits in their design.
  3. Rasterize refers to the process of converting a vector graphic into a bitmap image, or raster image, when preparing it for print and display. This process essentially takes the vector graphic, consisting of multiple layers, and converting it to a single layer image (usually converted to pixels and bits). Vector graphics are great for editing and design but raster images are the ideal output for print and screen display. This is usually the final step in a design process when readying media for collateral etc.
  4. Opacity refers to the translucence or degree of transparency in an image or color. Opacity is a useful tool when creating contrast in your design. For example, you may have overlapping text in a logo design but you want to areas of your lettering falling underneath to show through. To do this you would alter your opacity to give a higher value of transparency (or in this case you could refer to it as opaqueness) to the letters on the top layer. Opacity in science refers to the degree through which light travels through an object or color. While on your computer screen light isn’t passing through your design, if you think of it along these same terms it will give you a basic understanding of the function of opacity.
  5. Unification in design creates an image or graphic where all of the elements work in unison with each other, supporting each other, to convey the message of the design. we can think of unity in design as being synonymous with harmony. A viewer is looking to find a unified whole in your design. If we think mathematically, a unified design is greater than the sum of its parts; the whole design stands on its own in addition to its singular parts/elements that make it up. Unity/unification can be looked upon as the sum of the C.R.A.P. elements of design. When these four elements are working in unison, a design should successfully achieve unification.