The Elements &
Principles of Design
By: ADMEC Multimedia Institute
Hi..here I'm giving you the basic
overview about the Elements and
Principles of Designing.
The presentation will give you a
good understanding about the
significance, meaning and the
types of designing elements and
Significance of the Topic
Sometimes we have to give our
opinion about likes or dislikes on a
piece of art or a design, and it’s easy to
say just “ I like this, or I don’t like
that…”. But if we are asked to give the
reasons for it , then it proves to be a
very difficult to find out the reason.
This generally happens because we
judge the designs on its appeal rather
than on its articulate sub-factors.
Therefore it’s imperative to know the
meaning and the types of the designing
elements and principles.
Can you evaluate this piece of art???
Designer who knows the
design Elements & Principles
the design/page in terms of
line, color, balance, texture,
Designing Elements and
Principles proves to be an
analyzing frame for
A designer can express his thought &
intentions with the elements of
design and does it effectively along
with the design principles, i.e. they
serves as an expressing tool for
Now, let us discus these
Elements & Principles!!!
“Elements of Design are the components or part which
can be isolated & defined in any visual design or work of
art. They structure and carry the work.”
Basic Elements of Design
Following are the seven basic elements of design which are common
throughout the field of designing.
1. Point / Mark
Can someone tell
us about the
A point or mark is the smallest and most basic element . It can vary in
size, value, regularity or irregularity, and can be used alone as a unit in a
Marks can be used to form a value or pattern ( placed close together
forms a darker value, further apart forms a lighter value), or to delineate
space ( larger means closer,etc.)
A line is a form with width and length, but no depth.
Artist use lines to create edges, the outlines of objects. The direction of
a line can convey mood.
Broadly lines can be categorized into three types
Example of Horizontal Lines
Horizontal lines are calm and quiet.
Example of Vertical Lines
Vertical lines suggest more of a potential for movement.
Example of Diagonal Lines
Diagonal lines strongly suggest movements and give more of a
feeling of vitality to a picture.
Shape is defined as an area that stands out from the space next to or
around it due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of
differences of value, color, or texture.
A shape is formed when a line encloses an area.
Shapes have two dimensions, length and width and can be geometric or
Forms describes volumes and mass, or the 3D aspects of objects that
take up space.
Forms can and should be viewed from any angles.
For example: When you hold a baseball, or a small sculpture, you are
aware of their curves, angles, indentations, & edges i.e. their forms.
Space is a 3D volume that can be empty or filled with objects. It has
width, height, and depth.
Space that appears three- dimensional in a 2D painting is an illusion that
creates a feeling of actual depth.
Several techniques can be used to show such visual depth or space, for
example, overlapping, linear perspective, etc..
Example for Overlapping
Detail (aerial or atmospheric perspective)
Linear perspective ( converging lines )
Color has three properties. The first is hue, which is the name of the
- the primary hue are Yellow, Red, and Blue.
- secondary colors are made by mixing two primaries.
- intermediate colors are mixtures of a primary & adjacent secondary
The second property is Value, which refers to the lightness or darkness
The third property is Intensity, which refers to the purity of the hue also
known as “Chroma”.
Texture refers to the surface quality, both simulated and actual, of
“The Principles of Design are the artistic
guidelines used to organize or arrange the
structural elements of design.”
Basic Principles of Designing
Following are the six basic principles of effective design which are
common throughout the field of designing (i.e. from print design to
lithography, typography, & industrial design).
Balance refers to the appropriate arrangement of objects in a design to
create the impression of equality in weight or importance. Balance
provides stability and structure to a design. Balance may be symmetrical
and asymmetrical, but the goal should be to achieve equilibrium.
Symmetrical Balance can be described as having equal “weight” on
equal sides of a centrally placed fulcrum. It is also known as formal
Asymmetrical Balance is more complex and difficult top envisage. It
involves placement of objects in a way that will allow objects of varying
visual weight to balance one another around a fulcrum point. It is also
known as informal balance.
Balance is formal when both sides are
symmetrical in terms of arrangement.
Balance is informal when sides are not
exactly symmetrical, but the resulting
image is still balanced.
Rhythm or movement is regarded as a visual temp or beat. It refers to a
regular repetition of elements to produce the look and feel of a
Rhythm can be achieved through the careful placement of repeated
components. It can be directed for example, along edges & by means of
shape and colour.
Rhythm can be categorized Random, Regular, Alternating, Progressive,
The term emphasis literally means to give importance.
Emphasis in designing refers to give special attention to one part of a
work of art.
It can be achieved through placement, contrast, colour, size, repetition,
For example: A dark shape in a light composition
Contrast refers to the
juxtaposition of different
elements of design (for
example: rough & smooth
textures, dark & light values)in
order to highlight their
differences or create visual
interest , or a focal point.
Contrast allows us to emphasize
or highlight key elements in
Pattern in a design simply refers to keeping your design in a certain
It is often described as a regular arrangement of alternated or repeated
elements (shapes, lines, colors) or motifs.
For example: One could plan to have curved lines all around a design as
Unity refers to the arrangement of elements to give the viewer the
feeling that all the parts of the design or piece form a coherent whole
i.e. designs must be in harmony in which all sections of the pattern make
other sections feel complete.
It enables the design to be seen as one complete piece of art or design.
Absolute examples of Designing Elements & Principles!!!
One can create such aesthetic piece of art if he strictly
adhere to all Elements & Principles of Designing.
Paintings by student of ADMEC
ADMEC Multimedia Institute
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