PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN: WHAT'S THE STORY?

As a creative, there are more things into a design than just a pretty picture or a pretty t-shirt… There are actually “principles” to create a long lasting graphic that will hopefully last for generations to come. I just feel like if you create a design, you would want to “tap into the consumer’s emotions.”

Here are the Principles of Design:

Balance: is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and space. If the design was a scale, these elements should be balanced to make a design feel stable. (In symmetrical balance, the elements used on one side of the design are similar to those on the other side; in asymmetrical balance, the sides are different but still look balanced. In radial balance, the elements are arranged around a central point and may be similar.)

Emphasis: is the part of the design that catches the viewer’s attention. Usually the artist will make one area stand out by contrasting it with other areas. The area could be different in size, color, texture, shape, etc.

Movement: is the path the viewer’s eye takes through the work of art, often to focal areas. Such movement can be directed along lines, edges, shape, and color within the work of art. 

Pattern: is the repeating of an object or symbol all over the work of art.

Repetition: works with pattern to make the work of art seem active. The repetition of elements of design creates unity within the work of art.

Proportion: is the feeling of unity created when all parts (sizes, amounts, or number) relate well with each other. When drawing the human figure, proportion can refer to the size of the head compared to the rest of the body.

Rhythm: is created when one or more elements of design are used repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement. Rhythm creates a mood like music dancing. To keep rhythm exciting and active, variety is essential.

Variety: is the use of several elements of design to hold the viewer’s attention and to guide the viewer’s eye through and around the work of art.

Unity: is the feeling of harmony between all parts of the work of art, which create a sense of completeness.

-AG