Graphic Design: 8 Key
Design Principles




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There are many elements that go into creating successful and visually appealing design. Though there is a lot to consider, let’s look at eight key principles of design to remember when creating beautiful work.

1) Alignment: Line it up!

Alignment serves to create a clean, ordered appearance. It is important that the elements in the design have a strong connection to one another. Text can be aligned to the center, left or right. You can also align text to other design elements or graphics.

2) Contrast: Make it POP!

Contrast creates emphasis by using opposites. It highlights differences in multiple elements and makes some stand out. Contrast is important for making the design accessible and especially helpful for legibility. It is most often achieved through use of color, such as black vs. white, thick vs. thin and modern vs. traditional.

3) Hierarchy: Catch the eye!

How well content can be processed by the viewer is referred to as hierarchy. It is another form of showing the importance of elements. The most significant should stand out instantly, attracting the eye. Hierarchy is best illustrated through headlines and sub headlines.

4) Repetition: Consistency is KEY!

Repetition is used to reinforce an idea. It works to unify a design by bringing together different elements. Often, the same colors, typefaces, shapes and design elements are repeated to create repetition. Strong repetition helps consumers remember your brand.

5) Proximity: Better in a group!

To create organization and grouping, proximity is used. Elements that are similar or related are typically grouped together to establish a relationship. Proximity helps to de-clutter designs and can be seen in lists, menus and invitations.

6) Balance: Design needs ~BALANCE~

Balance refers to the visual weight of design elements and provides stability. Each element has a different weight; the way they are arranged on the page should be balanced. This helps the viewers’ eyes travel through the design smoothly. A design can be laid out symmetrically by placing elements evenly on the same side, or asymmetrical, which uses contrast to even out the flow of the design.

7) Color: Show your true colors!

To convey proper emotion, color is an important element in design. Colors that work well together are complementary colors. Picking the right colors will create contrast, balance and legibility. For brands, it is advised to pick three colors and stick with them throughout your designs to build consistency.

8) Space: Give me some SPACE!

It is just as important to leave negative space or white space. White space serves to highlight the most important parts of information and give the eye a break. Simple designs with negative space have power!

Now that you have these design elements in mind, the world of design is your oyster. Be free and go design amazing things. Good luck!

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