Saturday
August 30, 2014

Homework Help: Art: Visual Arts: Principles & Elements of Design

Principles and Elements of Design is what this page will focus on. What exactly does "Principles and Elements of Design" mean? Principles of design are the laws of designing anything! In other words, to have a good design, you should consider these principles for the best design possible. Elements of design on the other hand are things that are involved within making a design. The major difference between principles and elements is that principles are rules you have to follow and elements are things that will help you complete those rules for the best project outcome.


Principles of Design, as said before, are the laws of designing anything! When making a design the seven principles are contrast, emphasis, balance, unity, pattern, movement, and rhythm. Consider each of these carefully for any design and you'll be a guaranteed a great project!

Contrast means showing differences in two different sections of the design or showing somehow that the design being created is very different from other designs because of its contrast. Contrast can also be used to show emphasis in any part of the design.

Emphasis is given to an area within the design because that area is meant to be seen or is more important to be noticed when compared to other places of the design. For example, your design might be to have white parallel lines going up and down. In the center of this design, you could have a circle. This circle would be a part on the design that is emphasized.

Balance means keeping your design like a pattern. A balanced pattern would be if you had a border on your pattern in black. Unbalanced would be if approximately one-third of the border was orange and the other two-thirds in pink. To keep your design balanced, make your measurements as accurate as possible. Keeping your design symmetric is a good technique for good balance, but not necessarily the best for all types of designs.

Unity means keeping your design in a sort of harmony in which all sections of the pattern make other sections feel complete. Unity helps the design to be seen as one design instead of randomness all around your design.

Pattern is simply keeping your design in a certain format. For example, you could plan to have wavey lines all around your design as a pattern, but then you must continue those wavey lines throughout the design for good patterns. It wouldn't look good if suddenly you stopped all the wavey lines and drew a picture of a dog.

Movement is the suggestion or illusion of motion in a painting, sculpture, or design. For example, circles going diagonally up and down from right to left could show that the design moves up and to the right or down and to the left.

Rhythm is the movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions. In simpler words, it's just like pattern and shows that the desing has a 'beat' or 'flow' going with it. A plain white box has almost no rhythm what so ever.


Elements of Design, as said before, are things that are involved within making a design. The seven elements of design are color, value, texture, shape, form, space, and line. Elements of design will help your design look a lot more unique from other designs, and can help make the design symbolize anything!

Color is an easy one. Just make sure your design's color is right for the mood! Also make sure that each section's color matches another section's color. Colors is probably the biggest element to pay attention to.

Value is the relative darkness or lightness of a color. Just as said in the paragraph above, make sure the colors you put on your design are dark or light enough for the proper mood. If you want to show a sad figure in your design, most people would give the design a darker value. On the other hand to show happy children playing around most people would recommend lighter colors.

Texture helps your design to be distinctive or have identifying character and characteristics. With the proper texture, your design will look more fascinating than the average design.

Shape is something distinguished from its surroundings by its outline within your design. You can make your whole work a certain shape besides the common square, and then have shapes within the design shape. This makes the design more complex.

Form is similar to the idea of shape. Form is the structure of your design and how everything in the design looks like it's meant to go together. If the form is well planned and then carried out, it almost guarantees your design in black and white will be a success.

Space has to be included in your design. Space means leaving some blank areas. Why would you wanna leave parts of the design blank? Sometimes a human's eye needs space to feel confortable, and space will let the human's eye distinguish the part that's meant to be noticed compared to just the background. Sometimes not including space in your design is ok, but make sure it doesn't make it look messy.

Line defines the position and direction of the design. If you have lines or shapes that seem to be running horizontally, then the design would seem like it's running in a left and right line. Make sure your design identifies some sort of line so that the human eye can recognize which side is the top of the design or on which side the design is suppose to start with interest.

Homework Help: Visual Arts

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