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You may have observed that some beginner graphic designers and most people interchangeably use the terms “principles” and “elements” in relation to design. However, this is a mistake because they are not synonyms. The principles are the ways in which the artwork is organised. They include concepts like balance, closeness, alignment, and a slew of others that we will go over in depth below.
Whatever project you are working on, one of the most essential concepts in graphic design is balance – the arrangement of pieces. It entails giving visual weight to many aspects such as scale, colour, contrast, and others. Asymmetrical and symmetrical balance can exist.
When the apparent weight of things is evenly distributed both horizontally and vertically, this is referred to as symmetrical balance. It aids in the creation of tidy and organised patterns. Meanwhile, using asymmetrical balance, you may experiment with visual weight and play with fundamental graphic design components to pique an audience’s interest and appeal in a unique way.
A graphic design technique that guarantees that similar components are placed together is proximity. It allows you to eliminate visual clutter while also making your design more visually appealing. With the proper use of space in the layout, you may establish closeness in design.
Alignment is another aspect that non-designers should be aware of. It is essentially the skill of bringing logic to a composition by aligning up things along unseen lines. Alignment can be classified into two types:
- alignment of the edges
- alignment in the middle
The positioning of design components in relation to the page edge is referred to as edge alignment. The idea of horizontal (edge) alignment is used when objects are aligned to the right or left side of the canvas. Vertical (edge) alignment refers to things that are aligned to the top or bottom of the page. When it comes to central alignment, the items are either horizontally or vertically aligned to the central invisible line.
In general, alignment demonstrates that a designer’s selections are not random. As a result, the job with careful alignment appears trustworthy and appears attractive to the viewer.
Visual hierarchy is a design idea that is used to assign a level of priority to components. It is possible to accomplish this by experimenting with font, size, texture, and colour. Assume you are looking at a movie poster. Whoever created it intended for you to read the title first, then admire the image, and then read the description describing the specifics. In every design, this is the power of visual hierarchy.
Repetition is the principle to use if you want to establish consistency in your design. It simply means that you are employing the same element throughout your work to generate patterns and give visual appeal to even the most basic of designs. Experimenting with too many design components might result in a jumbled mess of your work.
Use the contrast principle to make components and text stand out. You may use contrast to distinguish design components, provide a focal point, and give items visual weight.
Contrast may be accomplished by using opposing colours, combining large and tiny typefaces, or playing with various contrasting textures. By combining it with the idea of visual hierarchy, you may effectively express your message to your audience.
Graphic design fundamentals
Graphic design components may be described as visual tools that work in tandem with the fundamental concepts. There are eight major ones that you should be aware of.
Lines are one of the most fundamental components of graphic design. Straight, dotted, curved, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, broken, and continuous are all possibilities. Lines, depending on their nature, can be used for a variety of reasons, ranging from dividing text to generating patterns.
You do not have to be a skilled designer to understand that colour selection is critical to the success of designs. It gives up a plethora of options for experiments, assuming you are familiar with colour theory and its applications in design.
As one of the most sophisticated graphic design components, colour may primarily trigger emotions. You can do the following using saturation, colours, shades, values, tints, and shades:
- create a specific mood
- establish harmony and balance
- symbol translation
- send messages
- improve the meaning
Texture is not just a design element, but it is also one of the seven art components. It defines the appearance of an object’s tactile feel and is utilised to totally change the look of a design with layers of depth.
The key distinction is that it generally relates to a perceived surface quality rather than a physically changed one in graphic design.
The relative size of one piece to another is referred to as scale. It demonstrates how graphic design concepts like as visual hierarchy and contrast work in tandem with graphic design components. The scale instructs the viewer on which things to examine and in what order. However, keep in mind that there is no scale until at least two items are compared to each other.
Space is a category that can be classified as either negative or positive. Negative space is defined as the empty space between or around things or as a background. Positive space is the full region that is frequently the composition’s focal point. They work together to produce a more complete design since a positive design is meaningless without negative space.
Consider a gradient as the simplest approach to express value. A hue that ranges from dark to light has varying values at various locations. Designers utilise it to add depth to their creations, provide the illusion of 3D depth, and highlight which items are more essential.
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