Principles and Elements of Design

Clara Leonard

Elements of Design


A point has dimension but no location, and each of these red dots represent one point.


A line has length but no dimension and can be straight or curved.


A color has hue, value, and saturation, each shade in the picture above has a different combination of these qualities.


Value is an object's relative darkness or lightness, and this picture demonstrates different values.


A shape is any enclosed 2D area, and this demonstrates various shapes.


A form is a 3D volume or solid and this photo shows how that effect can be achieved on 2D surfaces.


Space is areas between and around parts of an image, and this photo shows how space can be used to portray a message.


Texture is the look and feel of a surface and this image shows various textures.

Principles of Design


Balance is the equal distribution of elements in a design and this image shows the varied ways balance can be achieved in design.


Emphasis draws attention to one area, like the arrows and contrasting colors in the photo above.


Contrast is the relative difference between objects, such as the difference between the red sphere and the other white spheres.


Rhythm is the repeated use of certain elements such as the  windows and brick patterns in the image above.


Proportion is the relative size of objects such as the small print and large print in this image.


This image represents the various ways consistency can be used to attain unity.


This images demonstrates economy design by using few simple features instead of many complex features.

Other Vocab

Symmetrical Balance

Symmetrical balance utilizes to identical parts, such as in the stamp design above.

Asymmetrical Balance

This image provides a sense of balance despite the fact that it doesn't have identical parts.

Radial Balance

This image shows radial balance by organizing elements in a circular pattern.

Regular Rhythm

The waves in the image above show regular rhythm because the stripe is repeated at a clearly defined regular rhythm.

Random Rhythm

This shows irregular rhythm because the height of the bars is completely random with no real pattern.

Graduated Rhythm

This shows graduated rhythm because all elements are the same except for the gradually decreasing size.

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