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The Principles of Design. The Structures Behind Improved Print Design . The elements and principles of design are the building blocks used to create The elements of design can be thought of as the things that make up a layout

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the principles of design

The Principles of Design

The Structures Behind Improved Print Design

elements of design

The elements and principles of design are the building blocks used to create

  • The elements of design can be thought of as the things that make up a layout
  • Good or bad - all layouts will contain most of if not all, the seven elements of design
elements of design the line

Line can be considered in two ways:

  • the linear marks made with a design toolor the edge created when two shapes meet
Elements of Design: the line
elements of design shape

A shape is a self contained defined area of geometric or organic form

  • A positive shape in a design automatically creates a negative shape (aka white space)
Elements of design: SHAPE
elements of design direction

All lines have direction - Horizontal, Vertical or Oblique.

  • Horizontal suggests calmness, stability and tranquillity.
  • Vertical gives a feeling of balance, formality and alertness
  • Oblique suggests movement and action
Elements of Design: Direction
elements of design texture

Texture is perceived surface quality

  • Print design largely uses implied texture (the surface of an object looks like it feels. The texture may look rough, fizzy, gritty, but cannot actually be felt)
elements of design colour

aka swatches (in InDesign)

  • Considered to be the most expressive element
  • Can create illusionof depth
  • Can draw attention to a particular part
  • Increases visual appeal
  • Complementarycolours help create contrast
  • Monochromatic colours are tints and shades of the same colour
  • Warm colours: reds, yellows, oranges
  • Cool colours: blues, greens, and purples
elements of design value

aka tone

  • Value is lightness or darkness of a colour
  • Add black to a pure colour to create a shade
  • Add white to a pure colour to create a tint
  • Value gives objects depth and perception
Elements of Design: Value
the 1 rule of print design

The 3fs (FFF)

  • Form Follows Function
  • (what it looks like is not as important as the job it is supposed to accomplish)
  • A layout should help NOT hinder the message
  • It should be transparent in nature (ie. your viewer should not be remarking on the layout, but rather focusing on the content)
principles of design

The Principles of design can be thought of as what we do to the elements of design

  • How we apply the Principles of design determines how successful we are in creating layout
Principles of Design
principles of design balance

Balance in design is similar to balance in physics

  • A large shape close to the center can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge
  • A large light toned shape will be balanced by a small dark toned shape (as the darker the shape the heavier it appears to be)
principles of design gradation

Gradation of size and direction produce linear perspective.

  • Gradation of colour from warm to cool and tone from dark to light produce aerial perspective.
  • Gradation can add interest and movement to a shape. A gradation from dark to light will cause the eye to move along a shape.
Principles of Design: Gradation
principles of design dominance

Dominance gives a layout interest, counteracting confusion and monotony

  • Dominance can be applied to one or more of the elements to give emphasis
principles of design alignment

Nothing should be paced on the page arbitrarily

  • Every element should have some visual connection with another element on the page
  • Creates a sophisticated look
Principles of Design: ALIGNMENT
principles of design repetition

Repetition with variation is interesting

  • without variation repetition can become monotonous
Principles of design: Repetition
principles of design proximity

Items relating to each other should be grouped close together

  • Items in close proximity become one visual unit instead of several separate items
  • Helps organize information, reduce clutter, and give structure
Principles of Design: PROXIMITY
principles of design contrast

Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements e.g.. opposite colours on the colour wheel - red / green, blue / orange etc. Contrast in tone or value - light / dark. Contrast in direction - horizontal / vertical

  • The major contrast in a layout should be located at the center of interest
  • Too much contrast scattered throughout a layout can destroy unity and make a work difficult to look at.
Principles of design: contrast
principles of design unity

Unity is staying on the story, telling only one thing at a time

  • Unity is staying in style throughout the design
  • It helps provide clear and complete communication
Principles of Design: Unity
a pause for unity
  • Where else have you seen unity used today to present information to you?
the end