The Most Important Elements of Design

The Most Important Elements of Design

A creative design holds the ability to add a whimsical touch to your approach and inspirations. However, the idea of design is way beyond this. To bring in the element of creativity in your design, it is necessary to understand the core fundamentals of the subject.

The study of designs in itself is a complex and elaborate process. But to bring your ideas to life, you are not required to delve into the nuances of the subject. All you need to do is understand a few basic elements, and you are ready to dive into your project.

Here a few tips that will help you create a beautiful and professional design.

Line

A line is the most basic element of design. Unlike on paper, where a line is drawn by the stroke of a pen, graphically, it is a connection between two points on the plane. Depending on your design, a line can be smooth, thick, thin, broken, continuous, or rough.

The element of a line can have multiple meanings in your design. It can contain or enclose a certain portion of your design by outlining it. It can be used as an indicator of a subliminal message. For instance, a diagonal line represents movement and kinetic energy.

In brevity, a line can compartmentalize your design and draw the attention of the viewer towards a particular detail or location.

A simple example of compartmentalization using the line is seen in magazines, where content is separated, from each other, by a line.

Color

What is creativity without the quaintness of colors! Colors play a huge role in bringing life to your creative design. They help to set the tone and mood of the creation and bring everything together.

A design often looks sloppy or undone simply because the color tones and combinations used aren’t right. Even if you are working in monochrome, the effect of light and dark can only be adjusted by adjusting the tones of the colors being used.

It is, therefore, necessary to make color the priority of your design. In order to create a symphony of colors in your design, learning the basics of color theory can come in handy. You will be in a better position to analyze the intricacies that go into adjusting the different parameters of colors.

Shape

Just like lines help in defining closed spaces, a shape is a preformed closed space in a design. A shape can either be defined by lines, or it can have some contrast with the surroundings.

Shapes can be of two types.

·         Geometric shapes – these include your fundamentals like triangle, square, circle, etc.

·         Organic shapes – these are more creative versions of the fundamental shapes. Like speech bubbles or blobs that are found in comic books.

(Source : Google Images)

A clear understanding of shapes can bring in an entirely different perspective for the designer. By visualizing every portion of the design in terms of shapes can help the designer grow leaps and bounds. This clarity gives a better visualization of the entire picture so you can size the different elements to the right proportion.

Space

The element of space is the most neglected and underutilized part of the design. For instance, the concept of negative spaces is one such aspect of design that can be put to good use by a designer.

The blank spaces are not just empty portions in your design. These spaces help in adding more detail to the overall picture, which ultimately brings it all together.

You can use the negative spaces in your design to create some sort of shape. This will add some textural elements and enhance the entire image.

Texture

In the real-world, textures aren’t just a visualization tool, they also tingle your tactical sense. It brings a little life to the image you are seeing. Since the sense of touch cannot be accommodated in a graphical image, it can still bring some liveliness to your design.

To bring texture to your graphical images, you need to understand the different textures around you. How something will feel when you trace your fingers around it when you hold it! You need to put your sense of sight and sense of touch to action if you want to create a digital texture.

(Source : Google Images)

For instance, if you are making something related to textile, then going for a background inspired by a cotton fabric or a silk fabric will look great. If you are working for some construction company, a background that depicts the texture of gravel or cement might do the job.

By understanding textures carefully, you can bring the element of nature into your digital images.

Typography

Typography can be considered as a primary design element in the graphic design industry. You can provide different levels to your design if you are skilled in typography. The use of fonts can do wonders and catch the eye of the viewer immediately.

Especially when you are playing with images in a digital format, typography can bring out your design more than any other element. Typography is the way by which you will be communicating with your viewers, so it will be used to convey the message you wish to deliver to your viewers.

There are innumerable font options that you can try to create a design that delivers exactly what you wish to convey. In fact, you don’t have to restrict yourself to words and phrases, typography can be used to create shapes and other visual elements that provide some uniqueness to your design.

(Source : Google Images)

Words are indeed important, but stylizing your words can give your design an extra edge of beauty.

Scale

Scale refers to the size of different images and objects in your design. The scale is also a slightly underutilized element in designing. A play on the scale can help in adding interest and emphasis to your image.

Symmetrical patterns have their own charm, but too much symmetry can become monotonous and boring. A little scaling of the shapes can help in beating this monotony. But make sure that you do the scaling according to the entire design.

The number of scale variations that you make should neither be over-powering nor should they be unnoticeable. A subtle change that matches the tone of the image makes the image more fun and still maintain the professional side of it.

Harmony

Harmony is the primary characteristic feature of a graphic design. According to professionals who work in the field of design, harmony is one of the main goals of graphic design. So, indeed it is one of the important aspects that you need to take into consideration.

(Source : Google Images0

Even though other elements add a lot of detailing to the design, harmony is what brings the entire image together. The element of harmony helps the designer visualize that none of the elements in the image are superfluous or unnecessary.

Harmony lets the designer figure out if something is enough or too much for the image.

Balance

After reading about all the elements of design, one can understand that each and every element carries some visual weight. Some elements can be subtle, some can be very impactful and heavy on the eyes. Balancing out all these elements is, therefore, necessary.

There are two schools of balance:

(Source : Google Images)

·         Symmetrical design – In this school, the designer assumes an imaginary line in the center of the design, and distributes the weight of all the elements on both sides, equally.

·         Asymmetrical design – In this school, the weight distribution is not equal since the imaginary line is not placed in the center of the design.

Depending on how you want your image to appear, you can choose to go to any school of balance.

Emphasis

When we talk about emphasis, it’s not the entire image that is considered. You deal with certain portions of the image at one time. The element of emphasis is used to highlight or emphasize the most important information your design wishes to convey.

It can also help in reducing the impact of some information. For instance, many webpages reduce the size of some information so that it can be tucked in the corner of the webpage. This deemphasizes that particular portion of the design.

Contrast

Contrast is the element that makes your design ‘pop.’ Contrast is the element that adds excitement to the image. With the help of contrast, you can brighten or dull different portions or elements in the image.

A piece of good knowledge about contrast can make you an expert in detailing your image with a lot of intricacies. You can make various elements standout, effortlessly if you know how to work with contrast.

Mostly, when working with monochromes or single tones, contrast can work to your advantage. The same color text over the same color background can be made to stand out using the element of contrast.

Hierarchy

Hierarchy is used to establish what holds more importance in your image. Every element has some significance in the entire layout. A few portions can be more meaningful than the others. Few elements might be conveying a stronger message than the other.

(Source : Google Images)

Depending on what the power dynamics of the different elements of your image are, you can decide on the hierarchy of everything. For instance, the title is the first piece of information that the viewers get from an image. Therefore, the title holds the highest position in the hierarchy.

Repetition

Designers have been using the concept of repetition for the reinforcement of a particular idea. The use of repetition can bring a sense of unity to your design. Repetition can be either in the form of color repeats, typefaces, shapes, or any other element of design.

A great way to understand repetition is to see a well-written article with various subheads. A good writer will carefully craft the content under every subhead using repetition. Every subhead will have content written in the same way, with each paragraph conveying the same type of information.

Repetition helps in delivering consistency to the image. A well-thought-of repetition brings out a smooth flow in the information that is to be delivered by the image.

Rhythm

Just like a song or a poem, rhythm is also needed in a design. The spaces in the design act like the rhythm notes of a design. There are five visual rhythms, which are often created by a designer.

·         Alternating – The rhythm that repeats in a way that there exists no actual variation between each element in the design.

·         Random – The rhythm that has no perceptible pattern.

·         Regular – The rhythm that flows in a similar manner between every space. There exists no visible variation.

·         Flowing – The rhythm that flows like waves. They are highly consistent with their pattern throughout the design.

·         Progressive – The rhythm that moves forward, along with the change that occurred in the previous iteration.

(Source : Google Images)

The purpose of the rhythm element is to add several feelings to the design. They work effortlessly in adding a sense of excitement with consistency in the design. However, it also depends greatly on your implementation. It is better to be thorough with the rhythms before you apply them to your work.

Endnotes

Each and every element helps in building up the tone and essence of your design. Every graphic designer tries to incorporate all these elements of designs in their image. However, overflowing the design with random elements can cause chaos.

The proper way to go about it is to follow a guided set of principles, also known as principles of design. As per the guide, the elements are like the tools that help you build a design that you desire.

If you wish to learn the nuances of all the elements, the best way is to experiment with each element as much as you can. With the trial and hit method, you will learn how to control the intensity of each element. You will be able to balance everything, and the end result will not just be the design but also the entire learning experience.

Our team of designers have a strong understanding of the most important elements of design, and they incorporate these ideas when working on your projects with all of our unlimited graphic design plans.

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