Breaking Down the Principles of Design

 Breaking Down the Principles of Design

In spite of a great deal of debate over the number of principles of design (and what they even are), there are 12 that appear regularly on the list of principles. This infographic offers a concise summary of the twelve Gestalt principles of design, including contrast, balance, emphasis, proportion, hierarchy, repetition, to create a design that is pleasing to the eye and easy for the user to understand. rhythm, pattern, white space, movement, variety, and unity (there are also several additional Gestalt principles).

It is common to remember these principles separately, yet together they help The principles discussed here help designers communicate their ideas in a way that is persuasive, reinforced, or even contradicted. As a designer grows in their knowledge of the principles of design, it becomes easier to combine them in ways that are both desirable and functional.

Design Principles Don’t Exist in a Vacuum

A design principle can be combined with more than two at the same time. The best designs offer a combination of at least half of these elements and sometimes more. On the website, there are a variety of principles that are employed: contrast in the pink and green color scheme; repetition of patterns; uniformity in the shoe, haircut, and sunglasses choices; unity among the different outfits (which are emphasized by the repetition in patterns); and variety in outfit styles. This website is visually appealing and eye-catching as a result of many design principles.



A design’s contrast refers to the differences between various elements, which make them stand out. 

A contrasting background is most commonly associated with accessibility, readability, and legibility. To establish hierarchy, the most important component of the design should be the most contrasted. 

n design, high contrast is marked by bright blue buttons on stark white backgrounds with a lot of white space. This would be particularly true if the button had the same color as the background or if it was a stroke, instead of a fill.

If you use black text on a white background, the design can be high contrast. Gray text on a white background is perfect for turning down the contrast. If you have trouble remembering, it is easy to think of a black-and-white photo. If a photo contains full ranges of white, gray, and black, it is considered high contrast. Low-contrast photos have a white background that goes from dull to dark gray.


Depending on the particular calculation, balances can be symmetrical (the same items are placed on opposite sides of a centerline) or asymmetrical (differentiated items are placed on the line that may or may not be centered).

In addition to size and shape, contrast can also suggest balance. The balance can also be accomplished through asymmetry in addition to symmetry or equality. In other words, imagine asymmetry as the opposite of mirroring: Instead of seeing reflections, you see elements that are evenly distributed. One large object can be balanced by three small objects, for example. The visual weight of a large, lighter element can be reduced by using a smaller, dark, shaded object.


Some elements of a design may stand out more than others when they are put in the spotlight. On the other hand, it can also be utilized to minimize how much a particular element stands out (like fine print).

It is possible to create emphasis by changing the size, weight, position, color, and style. It might seem as though the emphasis is the same as contrast, but it’s not quite the same. Contrast is a comparison between two objects, while an emphasis is a description of its impact. Using contrast to highlight an object can make it appear more complex; for instance, placing a black sphere on a white background. The heavy shape draws the viewer’s eye with its high contrast: It immediately grabs the viewer’s attention.


In proportion, something is measured in terms of how big it is in relationship to something else. The importance of the larger elements tends to be overshadowed by that of the smaller ones.

All the elements of composition must relate well in order for the composition to have a sense of proportion. Two elements are typically compared based on their scale and size. When it comes to art and drawing, the proportion is critical to the appearance of the subject. A proportion is not necessarily a ratio of one element to another, but it can describe the relationship of two components. 


Elements within a design are categorized according to their importance in a hierarchy. It is important that the most important elements are the ones being highlighted, and vice versa.

Rather than design styles, hierarchy is determined by importance. An effective design directs the eye through each area in priority order. Homepages usually have a navigation bar and logo, as well as a large banner image or text call to action. An important element of the site is the logo, the site navigation guides the user around the site, and the call to action piques the user’s curiosity.


Perceptions and ideas are reinforced with repetition. The re-use of colors, images, or similar choices can help achieve this. For example, headers can use the same format.


It is possible to create rhythm through the spacing of elements, whether regular or irregular. The sounds created through rhythm can achieve a variety of emotions, such as calmness (with regular rhythms)  and excitement (with irregular rhythms).


Usually, when we speak of patterns, we’re referring to the repetitive nature of design elements (such as in wallpaper and textiles). As well as providing standards for the design of certain elements (such as top navigation), they can be widely used for assessing usability.

9.White Space 

An area of a design that does not have any design elements is called white space, or negative space. In addition to making a design look uncluttered, this space also helps various elements rise to the surface.


The motion describes a person’s eye movement when looking at a design. In order to proceed to the next most important, the most important element should come first. A number of design principles can be utilized to accomplish this, including positioning, emphasis, and other elements.


An eye-catching design is characterized by variety. The look can be achieved via typography, color, images, textures, and anything else one may want to include in their design. It keeps designs interesting and prevents them from becoming monotonous.


The level of unity in design is determined by how the elements of the design interact with each other. For a clear, concise message to be communicated, each element should be related visually to the other elements.

Last Word

A composition is constructed using elements and principles that are common to both art and design. You can use these principles to give the structure of your design and to better comprehend how other art pieces are created. It can help you determine whether a composition will be successful or determine the missing piece of the puzzle.

Using these principles will enable you to design for function so that each element in your composition has the ability to serve a functional purpose. Communication doesn’t just involve sending a message, but also how we communicate it in order to deliver it clearly and cleanly.

Now that you have this information, you can better see the elements of composition and how they can be implemented. With this skill, you’ll understand what works and what does not work even when faced with the most complex designs. 

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