Design Assessment Rubric

The following is the design assessment rubric used to evaluate major projects and facilitate peer critique in graphic design courses. For further questions please contact your professor.

Clarity of Message

Characterization Description Points
Excellent Message is bold, compelling and possibly multilayered. It goes beyond the obvious.  10
Good Message is clear and compelling. It may not be as subtle as it could be.  8
Satisfactory Message is clear but fails to go beyond something simple or obvious.  6
Acceptable Message is slightly confusing.  4
Poor Message is absent or contradictory.  2

Design Principle: Contrast

Characterization Description Points
Excellent Use of light and dark elements creates depth and subtlety. White space is used strategically.  10
Good Use of light/dark gives prominence where appropriate. White space, if used, is used well.  8
Satisfactory Contrast and white space are both evident in the work.  6
Acceptable Use of contrast and/or white space could be improved.  4
Poor Lack of contrast dramatically weakens the work overall. 2

Design Principle: Repetition

Characterization Description Points
Excellent Repeated use of key elements helps to create unity. Repetition is often subtle.  10
Good Repeated use of elements helps to create unity.  8
Satisfactory Repetition is evident though not a strong component of the work.  6
Acceptable Repeated elements may not be evident, or repetition may be overdone.  4
Poor Work overall is disjointed because of a lack of common elements.  2

Design Principle: Alignment

Characterization Description Points
Excellent At least one bold line helps to organize the work, clearly guiding reader through the message.  10
Good Elements are effectively lined up so that the overall look represents order.  8
Satisfactory Elements are generally lined up appropriately – centered, left or right.  6
Acceptable An absence of clear alignment creates a cluttered overall look.  4
Poor Work lacks clear entry point and sight-lines and as a result has a chaotic look.  2

Design Principle: Proximity

Characterization Description Points
Excellent Placement of elements is precise so that reader can clearly perceive what is important and what is connected.  10
Good Text and graphics are strategically spaced so that related elements are close together. It is clear what is connected.  8
Satisfactory Text and graphics are spaced so that related elements are close together.  6
Acceptable Problems with proximity create confusion as to what is and isn’t connected.  4
Poor Elements are not put together or separated in any organized fashion, creating a chaotic look.  2

Use of Color

Characterization Description Points
Excellent Color palette enhances the meaning of the work.  10
Good Colors are used appropriately and do not clash with one another or clutter the work.  8
Satisfactory Colors are mostly effective although there may be minor clashing.  6
Acceptable Color choices clash at times and/or clutter the work.  4
Poor Color choices weaken the work in dramatic ways.  2

Use of Typography

Characterization Description Points
Excellent Fonts and effects help to create a strong verbal-visual connection within the work. All font sizes are appropriate.  10
Good Typography choices are appropriate without an excessive number of fonts or effects.  8
Satisfactory Typography is generally effective, although font choice, size and effects may create minor distractions.  6
Acceptable Font choices and/or effects create distractions.  4
Poor Typography choices weaken the work in dramatic ways.  2


Characterization Description Points
Excellent Work has no evident imperfections. Work is clean and neat.  10
Good Work may have slight imperfections, but they are not immediately obvious.  8
Satisfactory Work has imperfections that create minor distractions.  6
Acceptable Imperfections in the work are noticeable and distracting.  4
Poor Imperfections are highly distracting and take away from the overall effectiveness.  2