Design is an art form that requires a combination of elements and principles to create a harmonious composition. Understanding the elements of design is essential for creating a visually appealing and effective design. The five main design principles are alignment, balance, emphasis, contrast, and unity. Alignment is the process of arranging elements in relation to each other.
It creates a sharper and tidier design by allowing elements to create a visual connection with each other. Balance is related to our physical equilibrium, or what we perceive as balanced. Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, and it provides visual stability. Symmetrical balance is achieved by arranging elements on a central axis (horizontal or vertical), while asymmetrical balance is achieved by arranging elements in relation to each other.
Emphasis is used to capture the viewer's attention by highlighting one element of the design. This can be done by using color, gradation, contrast, texture, shape or location compared to the rest of the design. Unity is achieved by combining all the design principles to create a unified composition. Contrast refers to the different elements of a design, which makes them more easily discernible from each other.
It is also important for creating accessible designs. The last principle is movement, which refers to the way the eye moves over a design. The most important element should lead to the next most important and so on. This is done by positioning, emphasis, and other design elements already mentioned. Patterns are nothing more than a repetition of multiple design elements working together. Rhythms can be used to create a series of feelings and can create emotion or tranquility and consistency depending on how they are implemented.
Framing refers to how the main theme of a design is positioned relative to other elements on the page. These five main design principles are essential for creating an effective and visually appealing composition. Alignment creates a sharper and tidier design, balance provides visual stability, emphasis captures the viewer's attention, contrast makes elements more easily discernible from each other, unity creates a unified composition, movement guides the eye over the design, patterns repeat multiple elements together, and framing positions the main theme relative to other elements.