Shugart on Graphics
For me, composition is the primary element that determines the quality of any graphic design. Line and form are senior to color and detail. If it doesn't look good in simple black and white, it's not going to look any better in color.
My favorite artists tend to be masters of line art. The woodcuts and lithographs of M. C. Escher are fascinating and intricate virtual realities that pre-date computer art by over fifty years. Rick Griffin was another black and white artist, whose cartoons transcended the form. His pen and ink drawings that appeared in various underground "comix" publications remain classics of their era. In both cases, I'm reminded that great visual communication is usually rooted in the most fundamental principles of design.
Whether it's a brochure, package design, or a company logo, your graphic images need to do more than look nice. Communication must always be your bottom line. Graphics are but one component in your marketing and advertising strategy.