LineLines can aid in the readability, appearance, and message of adesign. A line is a mark connecting two points. Lines can belong, short, straight, curved, horizontal, vertical, diagonal,solid, dashed, thick, or thin. The endings of lines can beragged, blunt, or curved.
Shape (2D)Alone or in combination with other shapes or lines, shapescan convey universal meanings as well as guide the eye ororganize information. The three basic types of shapes aregeometric, natural, and abstract.
Form (3D) Form is a three-dimensionality of an object. Shape is only two-dimensional. You can hold a form; walk around a form and in some cases walk inside a form.
ColorColors affect us emotionally, with different colors evokingdifferent emotions. Color has the capacity to affect the humannervous system.
TextureTexture is always a partof our designs whetherintentional or not. It’sthe visual or tactilesurface characteristicsof a piece. The textureon the bedroom wallmakes the wall appearwavy.
Depth (Perspective) The world is three-dimensional. When we look around us, some things seem close, some further away. Size and vertical location, overlapping, detail, and linear perspective are all illusions of depth used by artists.
LightLight and dark areas within an imageprovide contrast that can suggestvolume. Factors that can affect ourfeelings towards and image includethe direction of the light source, fromabove or below, and the gentleness orabruptness of the half tones.
Direction (Motion)Anticipated movement, fuzzy outlines, multiple images,optical movement, optical illusions such as the bottom image,and rhythm and movement are all tricks we rely on to showmovement in images.
Mass (Visual Weight) Each element within a design have their own mass relative to the whole piece. Every piece you create has a physical mass.The image of the leavesmake you thinklightweight and the imageon the right showsheaviness.
Tone (Black and White) Tone can also be regarded as value, as both terms refer to the various degrees of lightness or darkness. The element of value or tone is, in its simplest form, the juxtaposition of light and dark.
ValueValue refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a certainarea. Value can be used for emphasis. Variations in value areused to created a focal point.
Space (Positive and Negative)Positive space refers to the space of a shape representing thesubject matter. Negative space refers to the space around andbetween the subject matter. Space is the area provided for aparticular purpose.
BalancePrimarily there are three types of balance in page design.• Symmetrical• Asymmetrical• Radial
EmphasisEmphasis provides the focal point for the piece. It’s the wayof making the element that is most important stand out in thedesign.
Proportion (Scale)Proportion refers to the relative size and scale of thevarious elements in a design. The issue is therelationship between objects, or parts, of a whole.
Repetition (Rhythm)Readers expect to find page numbers in the same location oneach page when reading newsletters, magazines, brochures,and books. When all the text in a given article has aconsistent look, including column width, it enhancesreadability.
UnityUnity is a way tomake objects ina piece seem asif they arerelated to eachother.
ContrastContrast occurs when two elements are different. The greaterthe difference the greater the contrast. The key is to makesure the differences are obvious.
HarmonyHarmony in painting is thevisually satisfying effect ofcombining similar, relatedelements. The principle ofdesign concerned withcombining similar art elementsto create a pleasing image.
ProximityProximity simply means that related items should appearclose together than items that are not related.
VarietyVariety means “to change the character” of an element, tomake it different. Ways to vary elements include:• Line• Shape• Color• Value• Texture