Elements of design are the parts of your work of art that you arrange and craft to create visually pleasing designs. It’s important to be aware of how these basic principles work together to find your way towards stunning designs more easily.
Use elements of design principles to guide you and to understand how design works but don’t see them as a strict set of rules. Good design still requires creativity, which means that rules can be bent or broken.
Even if you’re not a graphic designer, it’s important to have a good grasp of these principles. Whether you’re creating display ads, a logo for your business, or a sales brochure, create engaging and more impactful graphics that draw customers in by using elements of design.
The line is the most basic element of design. Drawing a line with your pencil is how you get started with a painting or sketch and in graphic design any points that are connected form a line. This is also called an actual line while the edge between two shapes forms an implied line.
Lines can vary in thickness, be smooth, rough, continuous, or broken. They can have different directions such as vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, or move up and down across a page in a zigzag pattern.
Use Elements of Design to Pick a Focus
You can use lines to offset parts of your design and draw the eye to a particular area or focal point. In advertising, guide the audience to the main object or product you want to sell. Emphasize design elements with bold lines and use thin lines for decoration. If you want to establish a more personal connection, appeal to your target market with lines that mimic handwriting.
Color immediately stands out in any design. Depending on the type or shade, you can use colors to emphasize elements or evoke certain feelings. Choosing the right colors is crucial when you’re trying to tell a story with your design.
Make sure you know the fundamentals of color theory tochoose colors that complement each other. Look at different hues, saturation, and brightness before you make a selection. Consider which color space you need to work in and what the best practices are for print or screen use.
Color as a Vehicle for Emotions
The emotions colors can evoke are an incredible tool for advertising. Make sure the colors you pick for your ad design conjure up the feelings in your audience that you want them to associate with the product. Find differentappealing color combinationsthat help you to get your message across to your customers. Use acolor scheme for your websitethat evokes emotions that fit with your overall brand message.
A shape is any space that is enclosed by lines. There are geometric shapes like a square, an oval, and a triangle, or organic shapes like speech bubbles, a blob, or any irregular free-form shapes.
Just like colors, different shapes conjure up different feelings. More rounded shapes create natural and calm emotions while sharp edges grab attention. Squares convey rigidness, triangles energy, and circles fluidity. Use shapes to create patterns, textures, or symbols depending on the relationship you construct between them.
Attract Attention with Shapes
For logo designs, create dynamic visuals with layered patterns or use shapes as stand-alone visual elements. For call-to-action buttons on your website, experiment with various shapes combined with different colors that stand out. See which combination works best.
When you look at space within your design, you’re viewing all the areas within, around, above, or below the objects you placed on your canvas. Space can both connect and separate elements. Establish narrow spaces between elements to create a connection and wider spaces to convey separation. Both ways generate a design flow.
Space can be positive or negative. Negative space is also called white space, which helps to group and organize elements. Use white space wisely to create a layout that doesn’t overwhelm viewers and gives their eyes places to rest.
Establish Structure with White Space
Inweb design, users expect a consistent use of white space to create layouts where the navigation, logo, and footer are in the same spot on every page. Use white space in advertising to avoid intricate and complex visuals for a more accessible design keeping the focus on the product.
Texture in design is usually an implied feeling of a tangible surface taken from real life. Although we can’t experience these textures in a tactile way, using these kinds of effects recreates and brings life to your composition. The only way to make texture tangible again is to use textured paper like felt or velum for printed designs.
Use texture to create a focal point, contrast, or help with balance. Replicate a natural environment through texture to craft a more three-dimensional appearance. This makes your design more immersive.
Explore Contrasts with Different Textures
Both natural and artificial textures can draw people in, so decide what fits best with your brand message. Natural textures bring vivid beauty to your design while the mix of surrealistic patterns and 3D effects of artificial textures generates new and unique styles.
Framing helps you to organize the information in your design. A frame can be a basic or decorative border around objects to guide the eyes towards a focal point. Use frames to zoom in and crop your composition or to create a visual balance.
There are several framing techniques you can try out. For example, insert a border within a frame on your canvas to create a multi-dimensional effect and make the elements within that inner border the focus of your design. You can also experiment with text, icons, or textures as framing devices around objects.
Spruce up Your Visuals for Social Media
These techniques can guide you to create aesthetically pleasing visuals for social media that stop your audience from scrolling. More advanced designers go against the structure of a frame on purpose sometimes to make their design look “off” to grab attention. When creating graphics for social media,follow graphic design trendsto keep visual content fresh for your feed.
Typography includes the fonts used to arrange text in your design, the spacing of the letters, their size, and their weight. Type helps you to convey words and ideas in your design but it also goes beyond that when designers use fonts to create striking visual elements.
Use typography to create structure. To avoid complexity, a user-friendly design doesn’t use more than two different fonts at a time. When youdesign a logo for your business, choose a font style that tells your brand’s story. To narrow down your selection process, have a look at the three major categories of typefaces that most fonts belong to. See whether serif, sans-serif, or a decorative style fits best with your brand and do your research within one category.
Good Copy Needs Great Design
For your advertising campaigns, good copy is essential but typography is as important as color when it comes to generating certain emotions. Emphasize words by making them bold or adjusting the color to make them stand out. You can also try something new and show your skill and passion as a designer by usingtrending fonts.
Scale refers to the relationship between two or more objects and how they are seen in comparison to each other. The focus here is on the different sizes of various elements in your design.
Scale affects your entire composition and can have a big impact on meaning and tone. Use scale to tell a story and create a hierarchy to direct the eyes and take viewers on a visual journey.
Explore Scale to Create Eye-Catching Visuals
For professional content, subtle differences in scale are often sufficient whereas creative projects give you more room to play around in. Depending on the type of project you’re working on, use scale to add interest to your design. For example, in advertising, experiment with both extremes of using an oversized or a miniature object without any other elements added to put the focus on a single product on your promo poster.
Hierarchy creates a structure within a design. If everything stands out, nothing stands out, so you can see hierarchy as a way of prioritizing objects in your design. It’s used to show the relationship between elements and guides the eye along a specific order.
For example, when you create an object with sharp corners and a distinct color in front of a pale rounded object, you make it clear that the sharp-edged object is more important than the rounded one. When using typography in your design, you can create a hierarchy by using a larger and bolder font style for your heading than for your subheading.
Put Elements in Order for Ease
Use visual hierarchy in your marketing materials to make it easier for your target audience to scan your content and determine what’s important to them easily. Keep this in mind for your website to draw the eyes of site visitors to the most important information and calls to action.
When designers talk about balance, they’re working on getting the visual harmony and order right within their designs. If creating tension is your goal, creative freedom allows you to bend the rules and craft unbalanced layouts.
Balance also includes the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry. Most designers prefer experimenting with asymmetry due to its eye-catching effect and the contrast it creates.
Experiment with Attention-Grabbing Layouts
Depending on the outcome you want to achieve with your marketing campaign, you can play around with balance and symmetry. For example, your layout may be symmetrical but can be unbalanced at the same time, or you could place elements randomly within your asymmetrical layout and still create a perfectly balanced overall design. Both combinations can be used to create an interesting design that catches attention.
You know your design is complete when all the pieces work together smoothly. The combination of elements with a visually satisfying effect is called harmony. A good harmonic design is clean and undisruptive.
Combine and arrange adjacent colors, similar shapes, and related textures to achieve harmony. Be sure to select shades from your color palette that balance each other out. Consistency is also part of harmony. For example, if you’re using typography, be consistent by selecting not more than two fonts to use across one design.
Craft Relationships between Elements
When you set out to create a harmonic design for your marketing campaigns, use elements that are not completely different but stand in some kind of relationship with each other. This can be the distance between objects or proximity, how they seem repeatable with other elements or their similarity, or creating a sense that there’s a pattern or continuation.
balancecolordesign elementsdesign in advertisingdesign principleselements of designframinggraphic designharmonyhierarchylinescaleshapetexturetypographyvisual marketing contentweb design
Lizzie is a Content Writer at Design Wizard. She's been passionate about SEO and content marketing ever since a life-changing internship at a digital marketing agency while completing her BA in English and American Studies.
Having graduated with a Professional Writing MA with distinction, Lizzie set out to gain her currently five years of copywriting and digital marketing experience in Cork City.
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The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture. Graphic designers use the elements of design to create an image that can convey a certain mood, draw the eye in a certain direction, or evoke a number of feelings.What are the elements of design and how do you use them? ›
The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture. Graphic designers use the elements of design to create an image that can convey a certain mood, draw the eye in a certain direction, or evoke a number of feelings.What are the 11 principles of elements of design? ›
The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety. These principles of design work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and optimizes the user experience.What are the 12 elements principles of design? ›
There are twelve basic principles of design: contrast, balance, emphasis, proportion, hierarchy, repetition, rhythm, pattern, white space, movement, variety, and unity.What are the elements of design and explain each elements? ›
Design elements are the basic units of any visual design which form its structure and convey visual messages. The elements of design are line, shape, form, space, texture, tone (or value) and color, "These elements are the materials from which all designs are built."How are the elements of design used in the piece of art? ›
The elements of art are the building blocks of an artwork: color, line, shape, form, value, texture, and space. They are the tools artists use when creating an artwork. The principles of design are how those building blocks are arranged: contrast, rhythm, proportion, balance, unity, emphasis, movement, and variety.How do you use design principles? ›
The principles of design are the rules a designer must follow to create an effective and attractive composition. The fundamental principles of design are: Emphasis, Balance and Alignment, Contrast, Repetition, Proportion, Movement and White Space. Design differs from art in that it has to have a purpose.What are the principles of design and examples? ›
The principles of design are how those building blocks are arranged: contrast, rhythm, proportion, balance, unity, emphasis, movement, and variety. They are the ways an artist can organize the elements of art to create a wide range of effects. Each of these art fundamentals are closely related and many of them overlap.How do you use graphic design principles? ›
- Design principle #1: Focus on alignment.
- Design principle #2: Use hierarchy to help focus your design.
- Design principle #3: Leverage contrast to accentuate important design elements.
- Design principle #4: Use repetition to your advantage.
The elements of art are color, form, line, shape, space, and texture. The principles of art are scale, proportion, unity, variety, rhythm, mass, shape, space, balance, volume, perspective, and depth.
There are 10 principles of design in total! They're also known as the elements of visual design, and are: movement, balance, contrast, proportion, repetition, rhythm, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity.What are the 10 basic elements of principles of arts and design? ›
They are color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. The ten common principles of art are balance, emphasis, harmony, movement, pattern, proportion, repetition, rhythm, unity, and variety.How can I apply design thinking in everyday life? ›
- Visualize Your Problem. Whether you're solving critical global problems or tackling micro-level projects, visualization reveals key themes and patterns. ...
- Challenge Common Assumptions. ...
- Reverse Your Thinking. ...
- Empathize With Your Audience. ...
- Embrace Risk and Failure.
Color. Color is one of the most obvious elements of design, for both the user and the designer. It can stand alone, as a background, or be applied to other elements, like lines, shapes, textures or typography. Color creates a mood within the piece and tells a story about the brand.Why is it important to study the elements of design? ›
The principles of design are the most important part of any design process. Without these principles, it would be very difficult for the users to understand the type of message that the designer is trying communicate. Below are the lists of various design element and principles and how they impact good.What is the most influential element of design? ›
Color is one of the most important elements of design, and it has a huge impact on how viewers interpret a visual aesthetic. Choosing the right color sets the mood, creates contrast, and adds visual interest to make designs more pleasing to the eye.How can you use these things or objects in creating an artwork? ›
- Using found objects to represent themes. Everyday objects denote certain tasks, feelings, scenes and ideas. ...
- Building assemblages from found objects. ...
- Recycling or “upcycling” junk into artwork.
The principles of design help you to carefully plan and organize the elements of art so that you will hold interest and command attention. This is sometimes referred to as visual impact. In any work of art there is a thought process for the arrangement and use of the elements of design.How can your knowledge of the elements and principles of art help you in appreciation? ›
The Visual Elements of Art
A knowledge of how they are used in art will help you to understand how artworks are created. You can learn how to analyse an artwork by breaking it down to its component parts, so that you may appreciate the skill and imagination that the artist has used in composing it.
Adding emphasis to an object creates a focal point, which grabs an audience's attention. It's where you want the viewer to look first, but doesn't overpower the rest of the design (or it would be out of balance). A simple example is a long hallway or corridor, where your eye is drawn to the end of the hallway.
These visual elements are line, colour, form, texture, shape, space and value. These elements can be used to create harmony and balance in a piece, or to create dynamism, movement and imbalance.What is basic design in art? ›
In Basic Design, students investigate form and the delineation of space within a two-dimensional field, with an emphasis on hand skills and traditional design media. Students develop an understanding of basic design elements and principles and how these are used to formulate clear compositions.What are the elements of art examples? ›
ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. may be two-or three-dimensional, descriptive, implied, or abstract.What are the steps of the design process? ›
The short form of the design thinking process can be articulated in five steps or phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.How do you use 7 principles of design? ›
Principles of design include emphasis, alignment and balance, contrast, repetition, proportion, movement, and white space. The better a designer focuses on these points, the better would be the final design. Companies are looking for experienced professionals in all fields these days.How do you make a good design? ›
- Limit your typefaces. Remix this design. ...
- Don't be scared of scale. ...
- Respect the space of other elements. ...
- Use a small color scheme. ...
- Create Clean, crisp and clear imagery. ...
- Use fonts to help inform the mood of your design. ...
- Create order with alignment. ...
- Keep your designs simple.
The basic design defines the platform, production facility and structural configurations and dimensions in enough detail to allow the detailed design to start. Basic design results enable reliable cost and schedule estimates and the ordering of long-lead major equipment and structural components.What are all 9 of the principles of design? ›
The main principles of graphic design are balance, contrast, emphasis, repetition and pattern, proportion, movement, white space, unity, and variety.What are the 3 types of balance? ›
There are three different types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. The human figure in this diagram is symmetrically balanced; the same on the left and right sides of a central axis.What are the 8 basic elements of designs? ›
- Alignment. Making sure the elements of any design are aligned is essential. ...
- Hierarchy. Hierarchy means putting your design's most important message or purpose front and center. ...
- Contrast. ...
- Repetition. ...
- Proximity. ...
- Balance. ...
- Color. ...
Start with the six principles of design: balance, pattern, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, and unity. Just as instructional design models and methodologies shape your training strategy, so should these principles shape your basic visual strategy. By applying them, you can create high-impact visuals.How can I use design thinking to solve problems? ›
- Empathize stage. The first stage of the design thinking process is to look at the problem you're trying to solve in an empathetic manner. ...
- Define stage. ...
- Ideate stage. ...
- Prototype stage. ...
Uber Eats. Overview: To understand the different markets and how their products fit into the physical conditions of various cities, UberEats constantly research the places where their customers live, work, and eat. This is one of the best design thinking examples that led to success.Which problems can design thinking help us solve? ›
It works best when applied to solving problems that involve deeply understanding people and their environment, such as when designing products or services for human use. Design Thinking helps us to build a knowledge base of human needs, insights, and behaviors with which we can design and validate radical solutions.Where can we apply design thinking? ›
- Business. Design thinking helps in businesses by optimizing the process of product creation, marketing, and renewal of contracts. ...
- Information Technology. The IT industry makes a lot of products that require trials and proof of concepts. ...
- Education. ...
It's what made every single product you use in your daily life and what made buildings come into existence. It can make our lives better in various ways. First of all, well-designed products can make us save time and allow us to focus on more important activities.When should design thinking be used? ›
Design Thinking is a great method and mindset when dealing with complex challenges, where we do not fully understand the problem domain nor do we have a good solution at hand. This is why complex problems are ideally tackled using an explorative process such as Design Thinking.What is the 5 elements of design used? ›
The traditional way of looking at art, namely the visual arts, suggests that there are five basic elements of an artwork – line, shape, color, texture and space.What are the 7 elements of design in art with definition? ›
ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. Line. An element of art defined by a point moving in space. Line. may be two-or three-dimensional, descriptive, implied, or abstract.What is the 7 elements of interior design? ›
Let color, form, space, texture, pattern, line, and light be your guide through the world of interior design.
Line. Often the starting point for all artistic expression, the line is one of the most essential elements of design. It always has more length than thickness, and can be unbroken, broken, or implied. A line can be vertical, diagonal, horizontal, and even curved.What is an example of a point in elements of design? ›
Point: A point is a single dot or mark that has position but is otherwise limited. It is a single entity in itself and alone it can act as a focal point or a stopping point in a composition. For example a target or dart board has a single point as its focus.What is the most obvious elements of design? ›
Color. Color is one of the most obvious elements of design, for both the user and the designer. It can stand alone, as a background, or be applied to other elements, like lines, shapes, textures or typography. Color creates a mood within the piece and tells a story about the brand.What are three 3 examples of design? ›
Typical examples of designs include architectural and engineering drawings, circuit diagrams, sewing patterns and less tangible artefacts such as business process models.What are the 6 design principles? ›
Start with the six principles of design: balance, pattern, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, and unity. Just as instructional design models and methodologies shape your training strategy, so should these principles shape your basic visual strategy. By applying them, you can create high-impact visuals.What are the 10 types of principles of design? ›
There are 10 principles of design in total! They're also known as the elements of visual design, and are: movement, balance, contrast, proportion, repetition, rhythm, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity.What are the 7 elements and 8 principles of design? ›
What Are the Seven Principles of Art and Design? The seven principles of art and design are balance, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, contrast, unity, and movement. The elements of art and design are line, shape/form, space, value, color, and texture. The elements of art and design are the tools of visual artists.What is the 60 30 10 decorating rule? ›
What is the 60-30-10 Rule? It's a classic decor rule that helps create a color palette for a space. It states that 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color or texture and the last 10% should be an accent.What are the 5 pillars of interior design? ›
The five elements of interior design include space, line, form, color, and texture. The principles of design relate to how you use these elements and are balance, emphasis, rhythm, proportion and scale, and harmony and unity.What are five of the seven fundamentals in design? ›
The fundamental principles of design are: Emphasis, Balance and Alignment, Contrast, Repetition, Proportion, Movement and White Space.