15 Elements and Principles of Design
and 5 vocabulary terms
By: Kierrah Glover

POINT

Most basic element of design

Has position but no dimension

Can be described by coordinates on a plane

Used to indicate a location

LINE

Has only a length dimension

Can be used to

–Define a boundary

–Indicate volume

–Create perspective and depth

–Create textures and patterns

–Suggest movement

–Imply emotion

COLOR

Described by a number of qualities

–Hue: base color (e.g., red)

–Value: lightness or darkness

–Saturation: purity or intensity relative to gray

SHAPE

A 2D area enclosed by lines or curves

  • Types
  • –Geometric: square, circle, triangle

    –Mechanical: simple shapes made of straight and curved lines

    –Organic: natural or simulating nature

    TEXTURE

  • The surface look or feel
  • Types
  • –Smooth

  • Reflects more light
  • More intense color
  • –Rough

  • Absorbs more light
  • Appears darker
  • BALANCE

  • Visual and physical balance
  • The distribution of elements within a design
  • Types
  • –Symmetrical (formal)

    –Asymmetrical (informal)

    –Radial

    EMPHASIS

    Used to draw attention to one area

    Focal Point – feature in a design that attracts the eye

    Can be achieved through

    Size

    Placement

    Shape

    Contrast

    Use of lines

    CONTRAST

  • Can be used to emphasize an element of a design
  • The degree of relative difference between elements
  • UNITY

  • The consistent use of design elements
  • ECONOMY

    Use of the bare minimum of elements

    Can be achieved by removing extraneous elements

    In simplicity there is beauty

    Less is more

    PATTERN

    A repeated decorative design.

    ASYMMETRY

    Symmetry in which both halves of a composition are not identical. Also referred to as informal balance.

    AESTHETIC

    1. Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

    2. Of pleasing appearance.

    GESTALT

    The principle that maintains that the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts.

    REVERSE

    The process of taking something apart and analyzing its workings

    Comment Stream