Fundamental principles of design which are: balance, proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast and space. The elements and principles of design are the building blocks. The elements of design are the things that make up a design. The Principles of design are what we do to those elements. How we apply the principles of design determines how successful the design is.
The elements of design
- LINE – The linear marks made with a pen or brush or the edge created when two shapes meet.
- SHAPE – A shape is a self-contained defined area of geometric (squares and circles), or organic (free formed shapes or natural shapes). A positive shape automatically creates a negative shape.
- DIRECTION – All lines have direction – Horizontal, Vertical or Oblique. Horizontal suggests calmness, stability and tranquillity. Vertical gives a feeling of balance, formality and alertness. Oblique suggests movement and action
- SIZE – Size is simply the relationship of the area occupied by one shape to that of another.
- TEXTURE – Texture is the surface quality of a shape – rough, smooth, soft hard glossy etc.
- COLOUR – Colour is light reflected off objects. Color has three main characteristics: hue or its name (red, green, blue, etc.), value (how light or dark it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is).
The principles of design
- BALANCE – Balance in design is similar to balance in physics. A large shape close to the center can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge. Balance provides stability and structure to a design. It’s the weight distributed in the design by the placement of your elements.
- PROXIMITY – Proximity creates relationship between elements. It provides a focal point. Proximity doesn’t mean that elements have to be placed together, it means they should be visually connected in someway.
- ALIGNMENT – Allows us to create order and organization. Aligning elements allows them to create a visual connection with each other.
- REPETITION – Repetition strengthens a design by tying together individual elements. It helps to create association and consistency. Repetition can create rhythm (a feeling of organized movement).
- CONTRAST – Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements (opposite colors on the colour wheel, or value light / dark, or direction – horizontal / vertical). Contrast allows us to emphasize or highlight key elements in your design.
- SPACE – Space in art refers to the distance or area between, around, above, below, or within elements. Both positive and negative space are important factors to be considered in every design.