Elements of Design

  • Line
    Is the element of length as a mark connecting any two points. Lines can organize, direct, separate, be expressive, suggest an emotion, or create rhythm. They can join elements or divide them using a rule, which is a line that separates one element in a design from another.
  • Shape (2D) | Form (3D)
    Refers to the external outline of a form or anything that has height and width. An example would be the three basic shapes: the circle, the square, and the triangle, considered to be the fundamental shapes found in all design.
  • Space
    Refers to the distance between shapes and forms, but it is best understood in design as white space or negative space—terms used to refer to the empty but often active areas that are void of visual elements.
  • Texture
    Is the look and feel of a surface. In two-dimensional form, texture is essentially visual and adds richness and dimension to work. Texture can also refer to pattern, which is visual texture.
  • Value
    Is the relative lightness or darkness of an area or object. Value adds dimension by creating the illusion of depth in a design. With the addition of color, you can create and convey a mood to enhance a strong concept.
  • Color
    Different color schemes choices and combinations are used to differentiate items, create depth, add emphasis, and/or help organize information. Color theory examines how various choices psychologically impact users.
  • Type | Typography
    Refers to which fonts are chosen, their size, alignment, color, and spacing.

 


Principles of Design

  • Balance
    Occurs when all the design elements are equally distributed through the design. There are essentially two types of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical elements are arranged equally on both sides of a composition to suggest a stable or static motion. Asymmetrical elements create a deliberate imbalance to suggest variety or dynamic movement.
  • Emphasis
    Indicates the most important element on the page based on the message. It’s the element that stands out and gets noticed first. The most emphasized visual element in a design is called a focal point because it attracts the viewer’s attention first. How can you create emphasis in a design? By taking an element and making it bigger, bolder, or brighter, by putting it in a contrasting color, or by surrounding it with white space.
  • Rhythm
    Is a pattern created by repeating elements. Rhythm denotes the movement in the way that elements direct our gaze to scan the message for understanding the information. The term sequence is used to refer to the viewing order of the elements and to determine the flow of a multipage publication such as a magazine, book or large web site.
  • Scale & Proportion
    Identifies a range of sizes; it creates interest and depth by demonstrating how each item relates to each other based on size
  • Unity
    Has to do with all elements on a page visually or conceptually appearing to belong together. Visual design must strike a balance between unity and variety to avoid a dull or overwhelming design.

Principles of Organization | Unity