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Tip 5: Establish and Enforce Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is crucial when aiming for effective aesthetics. By employing visual factors such as size and position, capable designers and illustrators ensure that viewers' eyes have clear cues as to where to enter a composition, where to look next, and where to go after that.

Color should also play a part in the hierarchical presentation of elements within works of design and art. Adjust your piece's hues, values, and levels of saturation to boost or moderate the visual impact of various compositional components as you see fit.

A common mistake among newer designers is to create palettes where two or more colors fight for attention-usually because these colors have similar values and/or levels of saturation. This technique is sometimes okay-as in the case of a brightly colored poster design based on 1960s flower-power aesthetics-it's usually better to assign roles to your palette's colors, much as they would be assigned to actors in a play: One or two colors should be the stars, a few others should play supporting roles, and the rest should exist as barely noticed bystanders and backdrop filler.

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