What Are The Basic Principles of Design?

Principles of Design are the methods to effectively combine the elements of design so that you are able to communicate your ideas visually. Before creating a design, it is necessary to clearly understand the principles of design.

Here are 11 basic principles of design that you should follow to create visually attractive and good designs such as Logos, Posters, Brochures, etc.

1- Balance

principles of design

The equal distribution of visual weight in design is called Balance. Balance is one of the most important principles of design. We can create Balance in a design by arranging different shapes or colors in such a way that some objects look heavier than others. Balance helps to create eye-catching and attractive designs.

Balance can be Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, or Radial.

In symmetrical Balance, an image looks the same on both sides of the center. If we cut the image into half both the images will look the same.

In Asymmetrical Balance, two sides of the image don’t look alike but the visual weight of both sides is equal.

  • Radial Balance

In Radial Balance all the elements of design are arranged around a central point and the design extends from the center for example bicycle tires, human iris, etc.

2- Alignment

principles of design

It is also one of the most important Principles of Design. The method to arrange elements of a design in a straight line is called Alignment. The technique of Alignment is used to organize elements and create order in design.

There are two basic types of Alignments, Edge Alignment and Center Alignment.

  • Edge Alignment

Aligning elements against a margin that levels with the outer edge is called Edge Alignment. In this type of Alignment, the elements are placed on the edges of the page. If the elements are placed on the left or right edges then it is called Horizontal Alignment and if the elements are placed on the bottom or top edges then it is called Vertical Alignment.

  • Center Alignment

Aligning elements in such a way that they line up with one another on their center axis is called Centre Alignment.

Alignment is very important for text. Text Alignment includes Left Alignment, Right Alignment, Center Alignment, and Justified Alignment.

3- Proximity

principles of design

Proximity means grouping similar elements together in order to create a relation between them. Proximity occupies a very important place among the Principles of Design. Proximity does not require us to place similar elements next to one another but they can be connected visually by using colors, fonts, etc.

Proximity is used to create unity in our designs and it makes our design clutter-free.

4- Repetition

principles of design

 Repeating the same elements in a design, again and again, is called Repetition. It is used to produce consistency and rhythm in a design.  Repetition is created by repeating different shapes, colors, or lines in design for example, in newspapers, magazines, and books, the text is repeated in the same size to produce consistency.

5- Contrast

what are principles of design

Contrast is one of the most interesting Principles of Design. We can produce Contrast in a design by arranging opposite elements together, for example, tall vs short, light vs dark, big vs small, etc. Contrast is used to highlight important elements in a design.

6- Emphasis

basic design principles

Emphasis refers to the technique which is used to draw the viewer’s attention towards a particular element in the design. In other words, we can say that it is the focal point in design i.e. the most important area of design.

We can create emphasis by using contrast e.g. using different shapes, sizes or colors together.

7- Unity

graphic design principles

In graphic designing unity is used to create harmony in a design. Combining elements in such a way that they convey a feeling of wholeness is called unity.

We consider a unified design as a whole instead of separate pieces. Unity can be created by the repetition of elements in a design.

8- Movement

principles of design

The traveling of the viewer’s eye to the focal areas in design is called Movement. If we look at a design our eye travels from one element to the other because of Movement.

Movement creates interest in design. It can be produced by using different shapes, colors, textures, etc.

9- Rhythm

principles of design

The Rhythm is also a form of Repetition. It is used to produce Movement in a design. Rhythm is created when some elements are repeated in design at regular intervals.

There are 5 types of Rhythm:

  • Random Rhythm

It is produced when design elements are repeated randomly i.e. not in a particular or set pattern.

  • Flowing Rhythm

In Flowing Rhythm usually, organic shapes are repeated in the form of curves such as waves. It is used to create a feeling of peace and calmness.

  • Regular Rhythm

It is produced when elements are repeated after certain intervals or gaps.

  • Progressive Rhythm

It is achieved when elements are repeated with a particular change e.g. a change in their size.

  • Alternating Rhythm

Alternating Rhythm is created when two or more identical patterns are repeated all through a design e.g. using the same shapes with different colors creates Alternating Rhythm.

10- Pattern

principles of design

Repeating elements in a regular way to form a feeling of wholeness in design is called a pattern. The technique of Pattern is widely used in the fashion and carpet industry. It is also very important for Website designing.

11- Rule of Thirds

principles of design

The Rule of Thirds is a technique to divide the design into 3 columns and 3 rows through imaginary lines.  It states that your focal point should be there where the vertical and horizontal lines meet each other. This technique is used to create motion and interest in design.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Following the above-mentioned principles of design correctly will surely help you a lot in creating visually attractive designs.