Design Basics


Despite being continuously changing, the field of design is very closely attached to certain basic principles and elements that defines every piece of design ever created be it a poster, a logo, a website or an architecture. These are the building blocks of graphic communication. In fact with the variety and diversity of this field, it is must to know certain principles that are constant and can help designers make informed decisions. Hence it would be best to start learning graphic design by looking at design basics.

Following is how the Basics of Design categorized:

  • Elements of Design
  • Principles of Design
  • Color Theory
  • Typography
  • Grid Theory

Elements of Design:

The elements of design to a piece of art are like what atoms are to a molecule, the most basic structures you can break them into. They are following:

  • Point
  • Line
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Texture
  • Space
  • Form

Principles of Design:

There are many concepts and philosophies that drive good design. A design can be judged by how these principles are applied on the elements that make up the design.

Following are the principles of design:

  • Unity
  • Point, Line and Plane
  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Dominance
  • Contrast
  • Movement
  • Rhythm

Often or not, there is a good chance you may find more or less or slightly different elements and/or principles of design in books, online articles and other resources. Different designers have different philosophies and teaching methodologies. To keep it simple I have done my own categorization.

The Elements of Design:

  • Primary Shapes
  • Point, Line and Area
  • Color
  • Texture/Pattern
  • Form (in case of 3-Dimensional design)

The Principles of Design:

  • Unity
  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Dominance
  • Rhythm

You can always follow a different characterization/refer to a book for clarification.

We will discuss about Color Theory, Typography and Grid Theory in detail after studying the Elements of Design and the Principles of Design thoroughly.

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2 thoughts on “Design Basics

  1. Pingback: The Elements of Design: Part 1 « teknonics

  2. Pingback: The Elements of Graphic Design: Part 2 « teknonics

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