Subscribe Now

Trending News

Blog Post

Design Principles: A Guide Everyone Needs to Know [2024]

Design Principles: A Guide Everyone Needs to Know [2024]


Every designer follows the principles of design to ensure an attractive and effective composition. Whether you are using Canva vs. InDesign or other great design apps, without these principles, your creation will not look pleasing to the eye, clean, and crisp.

If you have ever seen a design that seems awkward or something is not looking right, maybe the elements are not properly arranged, or the spacing is not balanced. This happens when you do not follow the basic design principles.

Elevate Your Designs with 7 Design Principles

Following the basic principles of design is beyond making your project look beautiful. Remember that quality composition attracts viewers, keeps them engaged, and makes them want to explore the message behind the design even more.

So, if you want to unlock your creativity even further, here are the 7 basic design principles you should start integrating into your composition:

1. Balance

Every element placed on composition has a weight that comes with texture, size, and color. For instance, if there are more elements to a composition’s one side, it feels heavier compared to the other side. This may be your goal, but it can make your design uneven and confusing.

Once you create a well-balanced design, you will notice well-distributed features that create equilibrium. Meaning, that the design’s elements mirror each other or are equally distributed across the canvas, also referred to as symmetrical.

A design can also have asymmetrical distribution. This means the elements are unevenly distributed but remain in place with a sense of harmony. That harmony will keep the viewers engaged with the design’s vital information.

2. Contrast

This element is what viewers mean when they say a “popping” design. It comes away from a canvas and sticks in their memory. It also creates difference and space between elements in a design.

If you want your viewers to determine and distinguish the relevant information in your design, contrast helps. Below are some things you can try to create contrast:

  • Lines of varying thickness and lengths
  • Two unique fonts
  • Small vs. large elements
  • Colors on the color wheel’s opposite sides, like black vs. white

Furthermore, contrast guides viewers’ vision through your design effectively and clearly. In short, it assists with the composition’s flow and serves as visual aid directing the viewers’ attention to key elements of your design.

3. Hierarchy

Hierarchy builds orderliness to elements in a composition. It directs the viewers’ eyeballs through your design structurally.

If your design lacks hierarchy, it lacks a sense of direction and feels chaotic. As a result, it becomes tiresome and frustrating.

Don’t worry; here are some tips for building hierarchy:

  • Add texture to typefaces or elements to give a design a more distinctive quality.
  • Use colors that stand out like bolder ones to help information gain more attention.
  • Use larger elements and texts to draw a stronger attraction.

The above tips are proven to ensure your composition effectively conveys a message, enabling the viewers to distinguish that several elements are more critical than others.

4. White Space

White space, also referred to as negative space, does not only sit within a composition doing anything – it creates organization and hierarchy. As you probably know, the human brain naturally associates an ample white space around a particular element with luxury and importance. It tells your eyes that certain objects in a region are grouped separately from others.

Another exciting thing about white space is that it communicates an entirely different idea or image from the main design. This design element gets rid of distraction while urging the viewers to focus on the design’s crucial aspects.

5. Alignment

When alignment is present in a design, your composition establishes cleanliness, order, and connection. Having elements or objects misaligned will help you make a design eye-catching, but using this design principle also builds a sense of continuity and order. As a result, your design gains a clean, professional look.

Alignment also keeps your audience paying more attention to the design’s vital information. Aligned objects create a delightful visual path on a disorganized canvas rather than bouncing from one element to another.

6. Repetition

Do you often limit yourself to two strong colors or three strong typefaces? Maybe it’s time to try repetition as it helps strengthen and unify a design.

For example, if your band poster only has one thing in red italic Berlin Sans FB, it more likely appears as an error. However, if there are three things in red Berlin Sans FB, your designs will show control and creates a motif.

Whether with words, shapes, or colors, this design element creates a sense of consistency while strengthening the message of a composition. Many companies reap the benefits of repetition, specifically with branding.

If you repeat a color, typography, or image, the audience associates the particular pattern with a brand. So, when creating a design that will stick in the minds of target customers, repetition would help.

This principle is crucial beyond a printed product. Packaging design nowadays embraces beautifully illustrated patterns. If someone wants to start a business, one of the first things to focus on is a solid logo to feature on business cards, websites, social media, etc.

7. Color

While the color theory seems extensive, intro-level concepts can be an excellent starting point to harness the power and combinations of color.

Here are some color scheme types that wonderfully complement designs with proper use:

  • Analogous Pairing. This refers to pairing three colors found on the color wheel side-by-side.
  • Complementary Pairing. In this pairing, you have t use two colors on the color wheel’s opposite side.
  • Triadic Pairing. The color combinations are found on the color wheel’s equal space.

Each color scheme produces distinct emotions and reactions for the audience, depending on your design’s tone, message, and theme.

Final Thoughts

Adding a specific design principle into your composition can unlock a new level of creativity. So, do not hesitate to experiment with the above design principles. Do not forget to consider visual designing apps like Canva vs. InDesign to improve your work. We wish you good luck with your next designs!

Related posts