multicolored digital wallpaper

Principles Of Design offers a fresh look at the world of design. Whether you are a designer or simply passionate about good design this is for you. This article provides concise, informative, and visually engaging discussion on key points within design.

Let’s set this straight! Design must serve a function, which sets it apart from art. This ability is illustrated graphically by ensuring that an image has a focal point or center of focus. Perhaps you’re wondering, “But hold on! I felt that creativity was at the heart of design. If you’re a new business owner or designer, you could be encouraged to mix the first five styles and colors that strike your eye, thinking you’re making something original and brand-new. You’ll probably end up with a design that is confusing, incomplete, or, let’s face it, ugly.

So, continue reading to discover more about the 12 key principles of design. In either case, being aware of these guidelines and knowing how to apply them will help your next effort stand out.

Design principles: what are they?

multicolored digital wallpaper
Photo by John Jennings

To produce great images, whether they be oil paintings, blog images, or attention-grabbing social media postings, you need to adhere to design standards.

Consider these concepts in your toolkit and design as carpentry. They are tools you can employ to aid in design, and unlike nails, hammers, and screwdrivers, they can exist only in your mind. You can have a strong respect for and knowledge of the processes involved in the designs we see every day thanks to these tools. As you get to know them, you’ll begin to understand what works and doesn’t, as well as how you might use these concepts in your own creative output.

What does “excellent design” mean?

It is claimed that art is subjective. That’s true in most cases. However, you’ll be aware that there is such a thing as poor design if you’ve ever come across a confusing parking sign or an outdated website.

According to Jared Spool, a leading authority on usability and design, “excellent design, when done correctly, becomes unnoticed. We only become aware of something when it is done incorrectly. This is why it might be difficult to describe a good design.

Thank goodness Dieter Rams, a well-known designer recognized this issue in the late 1970s. He then pondered what made for good design in order to come up with his own set of ten principles.

He had no idea that they would influence a whole generation of artists, notably Johnny Ive, the brains behind some of Apple’s most well-known creations.

The guiding ideas of Rams are:

  • Innovative design is good.
  • A product’s value is enhanced by good design.
  • Aesthetics are key to good design.
  • A product’s understanding is good design.
  • Nonintrusive design is good design.
  • Honest design is good.
  • An effective design will endure.
  • Up to the last aspect, good design is meticulous.
  • Environment preferable is good design.
  • As little design is possible, the better the design

The 12 core principles of design

The Principles of Design are the basic guidelines for creating order and unity in your designs. They are the foundation of graphic design and the basis for everything else that you’ll learn about visual communication.

They provide a basic set of rules to follow when designing with text, images, colors, and shapes. The more you understand them, the better you will be at creating beautiful and effective designs. Here are 12 design principles to consider when designing your next project:

1. Principles of Design: Emphasis

red and white lights on building during night time
Photo by cmophoto.net

Emphasis is a technique to draw the viewer’s interest to a particular design feature. This could take the shape of a button, a website, or a picture. Making something distinctive from the rest of the page is the goal. To draw attention to a particular aspect of your design, you can utilize a variety of features, such as lines, shade, positive/negative connections, and many more. As long as you can do it using features or color contrast, you can emphasize something.

  1. Lines: By directing the reader’s eyes to particular objects on a page, lines give the page direction.
  2. Shapes: Shapes can also catch people’s eyes. In order to build stress and attract the eyes, put similar structures together and then split the combine up with a new shape.
  3. Color: Any design can have emphasis created by color. To draw more attention and inspire concern, website icons frequently stand out from the background.
  4. Texture: Materials can have texture to improve their tactile qualities. For example, a logo on a business card may have an impression or relief to draw attention to it. Virtually, a key’s drop shadow can be put to a texture to give it the look three-dimensional.
  5. Space: You can also use space to draw attention to specific design components. A single item can be prioritized for attention if there is enough empty space around an image. Apple, for instance, emphasizes items in a simple and straightforward way.

2. Principle of Design: Balance

Whereas in real life things possess actual weight, design features have visual weight. According to how much interest they attract, each piece has its own “weight,” with large features being heavier and smaller elements being lighter.

Making sure that both sides of the primary point of your design are evenly weighted is the goal of visual balance. A seesaw effect occurs when one side of the equilibrium is too heavily laden.

By establishing this balance, you create visual harmony and prevent the spectator from feeling that your design is excessively cluttered. It is one of the most crucial components of visual art and has three main types:

A symmetrical design

In a symmetrical design, a design is split into two halves around a center point by an illogical vertical line. To achieve symmetry, components with similar visual weight are evenly distributed on either side of the center.

There are two types of symmetrical balance: translational symmetry, where the same form or feature is reproduced on both edges of the design, and reflectional symmetry, where the two sides are identical mirror images.

Asymmetrical balance

When a design utilizes pieces with different weights, it is said to be asymmetrical. A visually dominant feature on one side might be balanced by a number of lighter pieces on the other. If we continue with the seesaw analogy, it would look like stacking 100 kg of feathers on one side and a 100-kilogram weight on the other.

Although it still reaches balance, the sensation is very unique. Asymmetry frequently makes for a more eye-catching design. Asymmetrical balance can give designs a more dynamic sense, whereas symmetrical balance can make designs feel fairly rigid and predictable.

  • Radial balance

When features “radiate” outward from a central point in a design, this is known as radial balance. Consider the sun’s beams, a rose’s blooming petals, or a dollop of tomato sauce in the midst of a delicious meat pie. This type of symmetry serves to emphasize an object at the center of a design by giving it depth and motion.

3. Principles of Design: Unity

Photo by Tony Mucci

The harmony created by all the aspects of design work is unity in the design principles. For example, selecting complementary hues that blend in and naturally integrate parts creates the impression that they belong together and are not simply thrown together on a page.

By establishing clear connections between visual components, you can build unity. Wherever there is obvious institution and order, there will be unity and no competition for the reader’s attention between the page’s contents. Instead, they will cooperate to strengthen the message. A design that lacks individuality can be the result of too much homogeneity. At that point, you can begin including other components to add movement.

4. Principle of Design: Repetition

Repetition, as you might have figured, is when a feature appears repeatedly across a design. Something from utilizing a specific font color to using a repeating pattern in a social media post could be considered.

Repetition gives designs a sense of coherence and excitement. The use of a recurring motif that the observer learns to anticipate also fosters a sense of stability. This makes it very helpful for developing your distinctive brand image.

Your brand’s apparent aspect is its brand identity. The logo, design, and colors. It serves to set your business apart from the many others in the marketplace so that when people notice your designs, they quickly recognize your organization.

Every profitable enterprise employs repetition. Why do we associate Nike with the swoosh and “just do it”? The Pepsi blue can, right? Because these images were used so frequently, the brands they stand for gradually became associated with them.

Therefore, repetition is an essential tool for any business aiming to develop a visual identity and brand identification, even if it just helps you create cute iPhone wallpaper.

5. Principles of Design: Contrast

In order to build visual structures, contrast relates to how different two design elements are from one another. Different aspects stand out more than others due to variety. Use different colors, patterns, sizes, and forms to create contrast.

Contrast is used in a layout to provide a hierarchy between the text size. Smaller text typically gets read after larger material. The use of contrast when combining fonts is crucial. A script font and a sans serif font, for instance, are combined in the sample below. In contrast to the immobile sans serif, the script font creates movement.

Contrast can make some things the viewer’s attention-grabbing main point. By trying to ensure that the elements are evenly spaced out on a page, contrast may also be employed to achieve harmony and balance. Lack of contrast can make a design appear flat, causing visitors to miss crucial information. Contrast is crucial, especially when building texts that are readable. For example, it will be simpler to read black text on a white backdrop than black text on a brown background.

6. Principle of Design: Movement

time-lapse photography
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP

When we consider motion, we generally consider things that are in motion. The motion of a pendulum. On the highway, a Ferrari can be heard roaring. However, it is used in design to describe the path a viewer’s eye takes while examining a composition.

The way you approach something is just as important as what you look at. The use of lines, edges, shapes, and colors by designers to establish emphasis points and promote particular ways of seeing can help with this.

Motion can be used as a tool to draw attention to a design, divert it, or pull it in a particular direction. An astute artist can manage the entire process by using subtly expressive clues, especially with lighting and perspective. Lines serve as directional indicators and can breathe life into static images.

7. Principle of Design: Proportion

In a design, proportion describes the connection between two or more parts, especially in terms of their size and scale. The term “proportionate” refers to a collaboration between items that give a design an appealing appearance. For instance, when reading a blog article, you anticipate that the headings will be higher than the body content.

If a tortoise and a hare were depicted realistically, you may anticipate that the hare would be larger than the tortoise. Achieving harmony between two elements is the goal of proportion. Ensure everything appears “correct” and that the components blend well together.

When building digital content and websites available on the internet, this issue frequently arises. It’s the curse of existence for many aspiring designers. Here are some pointers for maintaining proportion between the features in your design:

  • Put together components that are the same or have a similar function.
  • To reduce monotony and dullness, divide the design into major and smaller regions.
  • Make sure size differences are minimal.
  • Keep the composition from being divided into halves, quarters, and thirds.
  • Try to maintain equilibrium.

8. Principle of Design: White Space

The “White” or “negative” area is the area between various design components. It doesn’t feature anything, thus it’s a part of the design. There are no pictures, illustrations, vibrant colors, or texts.

The term is rather deceptive because it’s not a “negative” item and it doesn’t seem to be “white.” White space denotes to the void areas surrounding and within your design that you don’t add to, and it can be any color.

It’s one of the essential components of design and is equally crucial to the final product as any other element you choose to use. Consider it similar to a diet: what you eat is important, but so is what you don’t eat. White space is divided into two categories: macro and micro. While macro white space relates to the region between major items or the space around a design, micro white space is the area between little elements.

9. Principle of Design: Hierarchy

Principles Of Design
Photo by Edvard Alexander Rølvaag

Visual hierarchy is the organization of the relative importance of the components in your design. Making it simpler for the audience to understand your material is to order the data from highest to lowest significance. This is important for UI and UX design. Have you ever observed how most landing pages share a similar design? A menu and logo are at the top, followed by elements listed in decreasing order of significance below.

It’s not because they duplicated each other’s coursework; designers follow a certain hierarchy to highlight the proper elements in the proper sequence. The most important facet should catch the attention of the observer initially. The components listed below are prioritized in order of importance, with these at the highest level of the hierarchy sitting on the throne.

There are several visual techniques to affect this flow, such as:

Size and scale: A user is more likely to notice a piece the bigger it is. You can lessen something’s significance and place the focus elsewhere by making it smaller.

Color and contrast: A little color goes a long way. To ensure specific components or information stand out, use vivid colors.

Fonts: Use various typefaces and formatting, such as bold and italics, to catch the reader’s attention and reposition text in the hierarchy.

White Space: White space allows you to give an element some room to breathe and highlights a focal point.

10. Principle of Design: Rhythm

Rhythm in design has nothing to do with how you swing your hips. Providing your music with a sense of action and motion is the goal. Lines, forms, colors, and other elements are repeated by designers to generate rhythm. This establishes a path for our eyes to go along, creates patterns, and gives the design a sense of motion. Several varieties of rhythm exist, including:

Random rhythm: Repeating pieces without a regular interval form a random rhythm.

Regular rhythm: When the components are evenly spaced apart, of a similar size and length, and at set intervals.

Flowing rhythm: Organically spaced patterns found in nature, such as the markings of a tiger or a bouquet of flowers in a garden.

Progressive rhythm: A steady change or succession of elements that transform over a period of distinct steps is referred to as a continuous rhythm.

Rhythm allows visitors to travel their eyes across the rest of the piece, tracking the patterns and shapes to their organic endings rather than allowing the viewer’s eye to focus on a single focal point. You may see it mirrored in both nature and artwork.

11. Principle Of Design: pattern

principles of design
Photo by Claudio Schwarz

People frequently misinterpret recurrence in patterns with it, which makes sense given that both engage with repeated parts. The similarities stop there, though.

While repetition happens when the exact elements appear repeatedly across a design, a pattern is made up of various aspects repeated repeatedly. Consider how a gift’s packaging often consists of a few separate parts that are repeated; that is a pattern. Additionally, you’ll see patterns that are frequently utilized as backdrops on websites and mobile applications.

Generally speaking, it’s better to use hues, textures, and shapes while making patterns. It tends to only cause people headaches, so try to avoid doing it with words. The secret to making effective patterns is simplicity, despite the occasional use of vivid colors and bizarre motifs.

12. Principles of design: Variety

Variety not only adds flavor to life but also to design. To ensure that things are aesthetically exciting for your viewers, it’s crucial to avoid using the same old features in your designs.

Variety makes things interesting. It prevents designs from becoming dull, repetitive, or stagnant, all of which are bad things. You can prevent designs from appearing unimaginative and repetitive by trying to ensure that the aspects are diversified.

Conjunction and contrast are the simplest ways to achieve this. Set text and images adjacent to one other, and round shapes should be placed close to square ones. You may keep viewers interested and your design intriguing by doing this.

Take these principles of Design to work

These 12 principles of design should provide you with the motivation you need to advance your artistic endeavors. No issue what you’re creating, from product sites to actual items, if you put in the effort to study and execute these principles you’ll be planted firmly on the path to achievement.

Always keep in mind that design changes. It’s a terrific strategy to improve your design abilities to observe what others are doing and consider how you may use their methods in your own work. All that is left to do at this point is to put your artistic thinking cap on and produce your own piece of work. Creating is fun.

Sofia Nikolaishvili
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Sofia Nikolaishvili

After earning a professional degree in linguistics and literature I decided to try out blogging to explore my passion for writing and gain first hand experience. I write about everything I'm interested...

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