1 8 Basic Principles of Design

Graphic design is an in-demand skill. Society cares about the way things look, and there is a constant need to produce high-quality design.

As Illustrastock we want to make things easier for you. You don’t need to be a pro-designer to create highly shareable content—especially when adding design elements to photos you already have is as easy as a couple taps on your phone. Still slick tools are only part of the puzzle; you still need to develop an eye for what works visually. Before we start to design anything it is important to know some basic principles. Here are the eight basic design principles to keep in mind while working with visuals and creating perfect graphics.

Alignment

Alignment is an important fundamental of design, since it helps create a sharp, ordered appearance by ensuring the elements have a pleasing connection with each other. Creating your design projects in Illustrastock by using the proper alignment in your designs will make them visually more appealing.

Hierarchy

When you have multiple elements in a design, you want to make sure you’re giving extra weight visually to your most important message. This is called hierarchy and it can be accomplished in a variety of ways—placing your most important message physically higher than other pieces of information or using shapes to frame the focal point. Utilizing this principle in your design starts with your message first and the goals of your design. Figure out what the most important piece of info is first. Perhaps you want the main message of your design to be a quote, but you also want to let viewers know how to follow you or that you have a sale. Visually establish your main message as the focal point and then include your secondary message in a way that doesn’t overpower.

Contrast

Contrast is an important principle of design because it lets you draw out the most important elements of a design and add emphasis. Contrast happens when two design elements are in opposition to each other, like black and white, thick and thin, modern and traditional, etc. Contrast is what helps guide the viewer’s eyes to the most important parts of your design and helps organize the information in an easily digestible manner.

Repetition

Repetition is an important design basic because it helps strengthen the overall look of the design. Basically, it is the use of similar or connected pictorial elements. For example, similar shapes, colors or lines that are used more than once

In the illustrations you will create for Illustrastock you maybe need to use same elements to build different scenes. While creating those scenes, it is really important to consider the role of repetition because it will bring a clear sense of unity and consistency.

Proximity

Proximity is also helpful in creating organization on a page, since similar or related elements should be grouped together to create a relationship between them. Ideally you might cluster the elements together in a way that helps to declutter the overall design. The elements don’t need to be clustered together for placement, either — proximity could mean they are connected visually another way, such as by color, type, size etc.

Balance

Balance gives a design its form and stability and helps to distribute the elements evenly throughout your design; this even spacing will offer an appearance that is professional and attractive instead of being jumbled and messy. Balance doesn’t mean elements need to be the same size, or that they must be distributed evenly across the page — it can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrical balance weights the elements evenly on either sides of the design, while asymmetrical uses contrast to even out the flow of design.

Color

Color is a significant part of design and should be considered carefully each time you start a new design. Colors are largely responsible for dictating the mood of a design. Each color has something a little different to say that is why it is important to keep the rhythm. With Illustrastock you will be able to edit your designs by changing color and shape.

Space

The parts of your design you choose to leave blank are just as important as the ones you’re filling with colors and shapes. Negative space (white areas) creates shape and can help highlight the most important pieces of information in your design. Never underestimate the power of simplicity.

Space correlates to quality. More space entails fewer elements or a rarity of elements.

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