PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

The principles of design combine the elements to create a composition, they are the guidelines used to arrange the elements. Each principle is a concept used to organize or arrange the structural elements of a composition as a whole. Key principles of design include; Balance, Repetition, Emphasis, Negative space, Movement, Proportion, Rhythm, Pattern and Unity. The image above is a concept landing page and principles of design was followed in carrying out the design.

Balance: This is the visual weight of element in a composition. We use it to add stability, structure, create emphasis and dynamics. There are three main types of balance in design. They include; Symmetrical, Asymmetrical and Radial. Symmetrical balance also known as mirror image balance is a type of balance in which all elements on one side of a design page is mirrored on the other. Elements in symmetrical balance doesn’t necessarily have to be identical visually. They could be similar in color, number or shape. They are mostly used for formal designs. Asymmetrical balance itself has nothing to do with balance. The term is used to describe a kind of balance that doesn’t rely on symmetry. They are mostly used for casual designs. Radial balance is a type of balance in which all elements radiate from a center point in a circular form. In the image above, there’s a balance between element on the right and the left.

Repetition: When you find yourself using about two typefaces or two to three colors, repetition is bound to occur. This is ok in design because it makes your work look professional and also makes it standout from other designs. In the image above, you’ll notice that fonts and colors are being repeated.

Emphasis: In design, emphasis is used to identify the center of attraction of a design. The first thing a user notices in a design is where emphasis has been made in that design. For example, emphasis can be made on a call to action button by making it color unique and different from the rest of the design or by adding enough negative spaces around it. This will make the call to action button standout. In the image above, you’ll notice that emphasis is made on the image of the shoe and the Call To Action button.

Negative space: Also known as white space is the space around and between elements. It can be micro or macro. Macro space is the larger amount of space between elements while micro is the smaller amount. For example, in a design where there are two buttons side-by-side, the space between the buttons is macro while the space between the text in the button and the button (also called padding) is micro. In the image above, you’ll notice the negative space around the Call To Action button.

Movement: is controlling the elements in a composition so that the eye is led to move from one to the next and the information is properly communicated to your audience. After making emphasis on the most important part of a design, emphasis should also be made on the next important part. Note; The most important aspect of a design should have more emphasis and standout. In the image above, you’ll notice that the shoe points at the Call To Action button. In this way, the eye of the audience is lead to the CTA button.

Proportion: is the visual size and weight of elements in a composition and how they relate to each other. It often helps to approach your design in sections, instead of as a whole. In design, elements should be grouped according to proportion. In the image above, you’ll notice that the social icons are grouped together since they are of the same proportion.

Rhythm: The spaces between repeating elements can cause a sense of rhythm to form, similar to the way the space between notes in a musical composition create a rhythm. There are five basic types of visual rhythm that designers can create: random, regular, alternating, flowing, and progressive. In the image above, you’ll notice there’s a rhythm in the navigation bar since they of repeating elements.

Pattern: Patterns are nothing more than a repetition of multiple design elements working together. Wallpaper patterns are most ubiquitous example of patterns that virtually everyone is familiar with. In design, however, patterns can also refer to set standards for how certain elements are designed. For example, top navigation is a design pattern that the majority of internet users have interacted with. In the image above, you’ll notice the pattern in the navigation area.

Variety: Variety in design is used to create visual interest. Without variety, a design can very quickly become monotonous, causing the user to lose interest. Variety can be created in different ways, through color, typography, images, shapes, and virtually any other design element. It should reinforce the other elements of a design and be used alongside them to create a more interesting and aesthetically pleasing outcome that improves the user’s experience. In the image above, you’ll notice that there’s variety in the typography and color.

Unity: Unity refers to how well the elements of a design work together. Visual elements should have clear relationships with each other in a design. Unity also ensures concepts are being communicated in a clear manner. Designs with good unity also appear to be more organized and of higher quality and authority than designs with poor unity. In the image above, you’ll notice that there’s unity between the social icons and also the navigation area.

Thanks for reading. I’ll catch you in the next one. Peace

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