Four Critical Elements of an Appealing Design

Four Critical Elements of an Appealing Design

Designing an appealing visual can be daunting for beginners. However, following certain rules while designing can be extremely beneficial for your work’s overall visual appeal. This is done by creatively combining the different elements involved in a design. Creating harmony amongst these elements is the key to a successful design.

Let’s first take a brief look at the elements of design.

Basic elements of design

·         Line: The most basic design element, the line can effectively separate other elements and create space for a focal point.

·         Color: The mood of a design is affected by the colors involved as they represent emotions in the design.

·         Shape: When lines enclose an area, it creates a shape that can convey different visual messages depending on the shape’s nature.

Texture: The viewer’s surface quality is referred to as texture, and it is responsible for adding a particular accent to the artwork.

·         Size and scale: Balance, contrast, and proportion are brought to the artwork due to these elements as they determine the relation between every element.

·         Direction: This element can effectively provide the illusion of movement in a piece of work as it employs the use of horizontal, vertical, and oblique lines.

Now that you have a basic understanding of each element’s role in the design let’s look at four ways in which you can combine these elements and use them to create the most appealing design. This widely involves the use of the factors of visual hierarchy.

1.    Understanding color

Color and the perception of different shades of color can play an important role in improving your design’s appeal. However, different people will ultimately associate different meanings to different colors. But you would have come across some general trends when it comes to types of colors.

Warm colors are classified as those that project warmth, happiness, energy, and passion, and these features can be attributed to colors such as yellow, red, and orange. On the other hand, cool colors comprise purple, blue, and green, which are perceived as soothing and calming. Neutral colors consist of black, grey, and white, which are not attached to any particular emotion.

(Source : Google Images)

Colors have proven to guide an audience through the story portrayed by your design, and this can be used to your advantage, which is curating the design. Color palettes can be devised, and different colors can be mixed based on simple color theory principles. These include analogous, which consist of colors placed next to each other on the color wheel, complementary colors, and triadic colors spaced out evenly on the wheel.

2.    Pairing fonts

The readability of your text and its harmony with the rest of the design is crucial to retain the viewer’s attention. Placing two fonts that contrast with each other is a good way to make your design more appealing. Whether it’s a serif font or sans-serif font, ensuring that you choose a legible typeface and accurately convey it is essential.

(Source : Google Images)

While the wide variety of fonts available can be tempting, limit your use to a maximum of three fonts in one design. This prevents the overall design from being overwhelming to the viewers. It is also important to keep the medium you are making the design for in mind as this can drastically impact your choice. The common choice is serif fonts when it comes to print, while sans-serif fonts are used for the web.

Another effective feature of fonts to be considered while designing is kerning. This term refers to the space between each letter or any other character and includes changing the same to improve readability.

3.    Find the right balance

Finding the right balance in your design can be difficult, but it is crucial to perfect. Each element of a design carries weight, which needs to be considered while creating the design. This does not necessarily mean that the balance of the design has to be split in the middle. This principle allows you to experiment with your design further.

(Source : Google Images)

Balance can be achieved symmetrically, which dictates the split of certain elements right down the middle. Alternatively, an asymmetrical approach can be adopted where the balance is crafted to create tension through the visual. Other approaches, such as radial balance and crystallographic balance, can be pictured as numerous donuts aligned in a tray embellished with different toppings.

The balance of a design can be experimented with by changing the lightness of objects, size of objects, warm and cool colors, isolation of items, texture, and orientation of objects relative to each other. Distributing the visual weight of these elements appropriate to the overall design can do wonders for its appeal. Stability and structure are achieved through balance.

4.    Follow a hierarchy

This is the part where carefully combining every element of design comes into play. Following a visual hierarchy is essential to ensure that the overall design does not look messy or overbearing. This also allows you to convey messages in the order of their importance. Ideally, the focal point of the design must contain the most important message, followed by the rest of the information.

(Source : Google Images)

You can modify the color, text size, font, and other elements in the secondary part of the design after the foremost message is conveyed. The direction is an important part of establishing the hierarchy of a design as it guides the eyes of the viewer in an order intended by the designer to convey messages in the right order.

Following a visual hierarchy employs the use of every element of design. This can be established only if the basic elements are combined in an appealing way.

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Creating an appealing design can be tricky when you have numerous options and elements to choose from, because all of the most important elements of design can play a big role. However, if you successfully pick the perfect combination, you can catch and retain the attention of the viewer without a worry. Experimentation is essential in this process, as the numerous elements can create many outcomes.

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