Designs are defined as ideas or images to show the look and function of items before they’re made. In artwork, the principles of design are depicted by movement along lines, edges, and colours – intentionally creating something that actually considers a purpose.

There are a few basic principles that are taken into account when working on projects. So, what are the principles of design? Find out more here…

Elementary Design Principles

Art and design elements are the tools of visual artists. The principle design of art represents how the artist uses these tools to create visual art. The most common design principles include:

Balance and alignment – the manner in which colours, shapes, images, and patterns are put on the page should create a feeling of balance. Balance in art is categorised as symmetrical where layout elements of equal weight are put on either side of an imaginary centre line – like a mirror image.

Or asymmetrical when elements of different weights are laid out without that central definition. Contrasting textures are used to balance the image.

And radial symmetry that depicts elements spaced equally around a central point – similar to spokes on a wheel. Aligning elements create order and organisation resulting in a visual connection.

Be creative when designing

Contrast – creates space and difference between the design elements. Contrast defines how important it is for creating accessible designs that are easy to read. Insufficient contrast can make text context fuzzy.

Using two opposing elements can create contrasts of light and dark, sharp and soft, old and new, or straight and curved. This allows accent and highlights of key elements within the design.

Emphasis – the most essential piece of information is meant to stand out – and the correct emphasis will convey this message. The shaping of a central image with colour, space, and texture will attract attention.

Sizing is also an important factor as this dictates how the image is perceived. A larger subject will draw greater interest than a smaller background theme as it adds depth and perspective. And bright colours can enhance vibrancy bringing the image to life.

Proportion – this design principle is the size of elements in relation to each other. Proportional differences between small and large images signify which parts of the image are important. And can be achieved if elements are sized correctly and emerge alongside balance and contrast.

Business logo design

Proximity – this relationship between elements provides a focal point even if they’re not placed side by side – the connection just needs to be visual in some way. To define proximity is to achieve a nearness or closeness that indicates that items are connected or have a relationship with each other – becoming a visual unit that helps to structure and organise the layout.

Repetition – the definition of repetition is the strengthening of a design by tying together individual elements. It can be achieved in various ways by repeating typefaces, shapes, colours, or other elements. Every design principle can be formatted in the same way resulting in consistent headings that unify and signal equal importance. And can be used on all marketing and branding products.

Rhythm – the spaces between repeating elements can cause a rhythm – similar to music composition. The rhythm dictates the recurring distribution of visual elements throughout the image.

There are five basic visual rhythmic patterns:

  • Alternating – a set pattern is followed and repeated with variation between the elements
  • Flowing – bends and curves are followed similar to flowing waves
  • Progressive – changing rhythms add to the previous repetition
  • Random – these have no discernible pattern
  • Regular – shadowing the same spacing between each element without any variation
Design of a wedding invitation

White space – this space definition in art is also known as negative space. And is the empty space around the elements of the composition. Giving space creates an organisation, and it can be used actively to communicate multiple ideas. It also lets the elements of the design breathe – and allows for easier interpretation.

White spaces can also be used to create secondary images – these may not be immediately apparent and can be a valuable part of branding.

Help with Design Principles

Highly experienced design team experts from Couture stationery houses are renowned for their expertise in design principles. And will provide all the advice and support you need for your project – ensuring your ideas and concepts will be utilised in a marketing visual concept that outshines any competition.