Elements and Principles of Design
Principles of Design: (composition)
1. Contrast: Visual principle in which differences in light, values, texture, color, ect..create
the illusion of depth within a two - or three - dimensional composition.
2. Rhythm: The visual progression of visual elements in a two-dimensional space; used to
achieve perceptual movement.
3. Pattern: The combination of lines, shapes, and/or colors in a consistent, orderly or
4. Unity: A repetition of units within a given frame which share a common denominator.
5. Balance: A state of equilibrium in which visual forces of equal strength pull in opposite
directions. There are three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial.
6. Emphasis: A principle of visual perception that uses the elements of design to accent
and direct visual attention.
Elements of Design: (quality of the mark)
1. Value: The lightness or darkness of color.
2. Line: An element of visual perception; a connection of points on a surface.
3. Space: An element of design that indicates area and depth on a two-dimensional plane.
4. Shape: The external outline or contour of an object.
5. Texture: An element of design which creates or implies tactile surface qualities.
6. Color: The visual property of an object dependent on a combination of reflective and
absorbed light from the spectrum; includes the properties of hue, value, intensity and