elements of design
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Good design can sometimes seem appealing to everyone, which can be a great combination of components that both engage and enlighten the viewer. In reality, graphic designers use a set of tools, known as the elements of design, to build and hone that perfect design. Every single piece of design is made with an intent to communicate a message. The elements of design are the powerful tools which a designer uses to craft meaning and bring clarity to a scrambled chaos of ideas. The elements are those fragments or components that are the structure of the work that can be outlined in any visual design or work of art and may carry a wide variety of meaningful messages. Essentially elements of design include line, shape, color, space, size & scale, texture, and value. There are various Visualization Training Institutes which offers Visualization Courses that encourages you to experiment with different forms and different elements. These courses are an essential that aims to help you develop creative methods of thinking and a critical approach to your own work..

1. Line

Line: Elements of Design
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Line is the first and most basic element of design. A line is a form having length & width, without depth. Lines aid the artist in dividing space and drawing the attention to a particular location. Typically, lines are used to create edges, outlines of objects, etc. Lines can be broadly classified into horizontal, vertical & diagonal lines. For example, see how a newspaper uses lines to separate content, headlines and facet panels.
Hand drawn or thick lines tend towards juvenile themes, whereas straight and thin lines are more refined, corporate or intelligent. How lines interact with each other is important, too. If they are straight, thin lines, but are colliding at all sorts of crazy angles, that is going to be chaotic. If they have a hand drawn quality to them but are more or less straight and orderly, this can give a much-needed personal appeal to a design.

Lines are Good to:

  • Create texture
  • Define space
  • Emphasize
  • Produce a mood
  • Indicate motion
  • Show perspective

Few Examples of Use of Line:

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 mood lines
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Picture 1: Perfect use of Lines for making a design

2. Color

Color: Elements of Design
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Color is one amongst the foremost obvious elements of design, for the designer. It will stand alone, as a background, or be applied to different elements, like shapes, lines, textures or typography. Color creates a mood within the piece of art and narrates a story regarding brand or product. Each color says something different, and mixtures will alter that impression further.

Generally color has three properties- Hue, Value and Intensity.

  1. Hue, refers to the name of the colors.
    • Primary hue are Yellow, Red, & Blue
    • Secondary colors are made by combination of two primary colors
    • Intermediate color is mix of both primary and secondary color.
  2. Value, refers to the lightness or darkness of hue.
  3. Intensity, which refers to the purity of the hue commonly known as “Chroma”

Example of Use of Colours:

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use of colors
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Picture 2: Use of color in Cartoon Illustration

3. Shape

Shape: Elements of Design
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Shapes whether natural, geometric, or abstract add interest in the design always. Shapes are outlined by boundaries, like lines or color, and are often used to emphasize specific portion of the page. In essence, everything is a shape therefore you must always think in terms of how the various elements of your design are creating shapes, and the way those shapes are interacting. Shapes can change the mood of readers as angular shapes such as square and triangle adds masculinity and smooth shapes such as circle and oval add femininity to the design.

Shape can be used to
  •     Create texture
  •     Define space
  •     Separate/emphasize
  •     Produce mood

Example of Use of Shapes:

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use of shapes
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Picture 2: Use of shapes in Holiday Poster

4. Space

Space: Elements of Design
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Space is an element that gives to readers a room for breathe and leads their eyes through the design. Space also helps in adding emotional feel such as free, open, crowded, claustrophobic etc. Space as an element of design refers to 3D volume having width, height, and depth. Designers can use several techniques to showcase visual depth or space, for instance, linear, perspective, overlapping, etc.

Space is used to
  • Set mood
  • Emphasize
  • Create depth
  • Balance
  • Rest

Example of Use of Space:

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use of Space
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Picture 2: Right usage of space in a Kid Showroom Poster

5. Texture

Texture: Elements of Design
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Textures are very useful when you want add realism and visual interest in your design. Textures will produce an additional 3D look appearance on 2D surface. It conjointly helps build an immersive world in your design. You should use texture wisely as it is very difficult to balance the contrast in a design while using it.

What texture can do with your design?

  • Define shapes or space
  • Add visual interest (detail)
  • Create a mood
  • Emphasize
  • Create a tactile response, evoke memories and add realism

Example of Use of Texture in Design:

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use of Texture
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Picture 2: This picture uses the texture of physical world into the digital realm. It is incorporating the product with the design because its customers integrate the unique texture and design as a product.

6. Scale and Size

Size: Elements of Design
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Scale and size can bring contrast and balance in your design if you know how to manage them with perfection. Size is the actual dimension of an object while scale is the element’s relation to its original form and size. There is one more term that comes in discussion obviously i.e. proportion. Proportion in a design is a relation between all the objects available on the page in terms of their sizes and scale.

Use of size and scale in a design

  • Create depth
  • Create perspective
  • Create hierarchy and organize
  • Create interest and variety

Examples of the Use of Size and Scale in Designs:

Scale and Size
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use of Scale and Size
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Picture 2: See the above design, it is one of the best examples of size and scale.

7. Transparency

Value: Elements of Design
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Also, occasionally known as ‘opacity’, transparency refers to how ‘see-through’ an element is. The lower your opacity, the lighter and less noticeable your element is, and the higher it is, the more solid the element is. It is also a great technique for generating a sense of movement in static images.

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use of Transparency
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Picture 2: Perfect use of Transparency used in above Brochure

There are several rules and principles which can be applied for creating beautiful designs on and off the graphic, web, and in any designing field but above mentioned 7 elements are the basic essential elements of design that will ensure anything you create is appealing, professional, and perfect.

The discipline of learning the power of these elements and formatting them within the principles of design is the responsibility of the graphic designer.

To understand these elements and how to implement them in a professional way can be achieved by joining Short Term Certificate graphic designing courses. Apart from these short-term courses, we have also advanced graphic design courses for the aspirants who want to make career in designing industry..

Moreover, whenever you’re out and see a beautiful design, take note of posters, menus, and signs you see, and try to identify which elements are used and how it uses them.

Develop an ‘eye for unique and stunning designs’ and keep a physical or record of motivating methods to use these techniques and store that away for a rainy day.

Don’t forget Play, experiment, but do it with purpose and care. Do you have any techniques or tips for beginner designers? Or perhaps some principles of your own? If you are willing to divulge your secrets, go ahead and leave them below in the comments section!

View Full Presentation on Slideshare: Tips for Professional UI Design for a Website

Professional UI for a Website Design from ADMEC Multimedia Institute

View Full Presentation on Slideshare: Elements and Principles of Designing

Elements and Principles of Design von ADMEC Multimedia Institute

11 Replies to “What are the Elements of a Design”

  1. Great advice for a Graphic Designer. I like ADMEC Multimedia Institute.

  2. Thank you for helpful information sharing with us.

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