What are the 5 basic principles of design?

Alignment is one of the most basic and important principles of design. It allows us to create order and organization between the elements. Once you understand all the elements of the design, it's easy to be ambitious and want to include multiple shapes, different colors, or types of lines and fonts. But without the principles of design, you'll end up with a disconnected, confusing and difficult to navigate composition.

Balance in this case is related to our physical equilibrium, or what we perceive as balanced. The balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. In both cases, it is intended to provide visual stability. In a two-dimensional design, balance can be understood only in terms of our perception.

A symmetrical design shall have all the elements arranged on a central axis (horizontal or vertical), to allow an equal space on both sides. If we assume this in terms of a layout on a sheet, no matter how wide it is, the amount of empty space left around the design must be equal. An asymmetrical design will be opposite to a symmetrical one and is therefore a little more complex. The objects here balance each other and may not necessarily work around a central axis.

However, the balance is achieved however, provided that it is visually composed. The image above provides an example of asymmetrical equilibrium. The objects are placed below the horizontal central axis, but the other design principles have been used to harmonize the image. In a nutshell, emphasis is used to capture the viewer's attention.

One element of the design can be emphasized by using color, gradation, contrast, texture, shape or location compared to the rest of the design. Of course, to emphasize the element, the presence of other elements and design principles is essential. For example, while preparing an architectural design of a building, without the presence of trees in the background, a road in front of the building, and perhaps some human figures, the design of the building cannot be emphasized. In addition, there may be an aspect of the building itself that needs to be emphasized.

In short, emphasis is placed on creating a focal point in the design. The emphasis in the image above is provided by the green object, which stands out clearly against the monotonous background and the other objects. Also note that the emphasized object creates an asymmetrical balance, but the image looks unified. Any design should provoke harmony and should look unified.

The various principles, when combined to create a design, must work in harmony with each other. A splash of unrelated objects or images cannot create unity. Instead, unity is achieved through the use of all or any of the above-mentioned design principles. The use of the variety would be disputed against the unit.

However, it is important to understand that unity can be achieved even in the variety. This is where harmony comes into play. For example, when considering the design of a web page, ultimately, a web page has to be composed in terms of its title, content, sidebars that provide information, and the various advertisements posted on it. All design elements must be combined to create and consolidate this design principle.

Although at first the elements may seem scattered, their proximity adds unity and continuity to the page. Even if you intend to stick to templates, it's helpful to know the design principles in order to customize an existing design. While all elements are equally important in the overall impact that a graphic design creates, the emphasis points to a main focal point. This is used to encourage closer scrutiny.

It is the gateway through which you allow the viewer to explore the rest of your work. Viewers may be distracted when there are two or more equally dominant elements in a design, but proper use of emphasis avoids this problem. What makes some arrangements of design elements harmonious and others cacophonic? It is the prudent or reckless use of the scale. Scale is the size of the overall design taken in relation to the various elements that make up the design.

Scale only comes into play when a design element is compared to another element or to the background. You can also use light and color values to influence the scale. The rhythm manipulates the movement of the viewer's eyes through the desired direction of the compositional flow. As already mentioned, the focal point is the gateway to the design flow, but it can guide the eye through the compositional flow by means of directional lines, gradation, pattern repetition and implicit action.

Contrast refers to the different elements of a design, especially the adjacent elements. These differences make several elements stand out. Contrast is also a very important aspect when creating accessible designs. Insufficient contrast can make the content of the particular text very difficult to read, especially for the visually impaired.

Emphasis refers to the parts of a design that should be highlighted. In most cases, this means that the most important information that the design must convey. Random rhythms have no discernible pattern. Regular rhythms follow the same spacing between each element without variation.

Alternate rhythms follow a set pattern that repeats, but there is variation between actual elements (such as a 1-2-3-1-2-3 pattern). The flowing rhythms follow curves and curves, similar to how sand dunes undulate or waves flow. The progressive rhythms change as they progress, and each change is added to the previous iterations. Rhythms can be used to create a series of feelings.

They can create emotion (especially fluid and progressive rhythms) or create tranquility and consistency. It all depends on the way they are implemented. Patterns are nothing more than a repetition of multiple design elements working together. Wallpaper patterns are the most ubiquitous example of patterns that practically everyone is familiar with.

However, in design, patterns can also refer to established standards for how certain elements are designed. For example, top navigation is a design pattern that most Internet users have interacted with. Movement refers to the way the eye moves over a design. The most important element should lead to the next most important and so on.

This is done by positioning (the eye naturally focuses first on certain areas of a design), emphasis, and other design elements already mentioned. The use of blue throughout the design (including blue overlays on images), along with consistent typography and proportion, creates a sense of unity in the design. Grid and alignment are closely related to balance and refer to the way elements are arranged in relation to an invisible grid on the page. Contrast refers to the different elements of a design, which makes them more easily discernible from each other.

Contrast is very important for creating accessible designs. Graphic designer and bestselling author Robin Williams explains these principles in her classic book, The Non-Designer's Design Book. In other words, when this principle is used correctly, the most important elements of a design are larger than the least important ones. This is another commonly used principle that makes certain parts of your design stand out to users.

Try applying the above principles to your next graphic design project and let us know your thoughts, ideas and tips for learning graphic design. Having a thorough knowledge of design principles definitely helps the designer to think outside the box and show the true beauty of creativity. These principles mentioned above are abstract and can be easily introduced into the design process based on your understanding. However, understanding and implementing the principles mentioned above is vital to the success of any design project.

While this may seem simple, designers rely on the principle of repetition to create a sense of organized movement and coherence within a composition. Graphics that leverage principles of good visual design can drive engagement and increase usability. By employing these five principles, you'll be on your way to creating an effective and understandable design. When designers move elements closer or farther away, they use the principle of proximity.

Applying the following design principles will help you avoid design disasters and allow you to communicate your key topic. Take, for example, this Fotolia print ad: by making the text extremely congested, the designer has strategically challenged the principle of alignment and balance, and in doing so, created a focal point for the ad. As you approach your design project, you should first familiarize yourself with these design principles. .


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