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Published 25 Oct 2013

The Lost Principles of Design

By Chad Engle

These are the the fundamental principles of graphic design. They hold true to the way our minds are wired to interpret the world around us and aren't likely to change anytime soon.

You should also check out Chad Engle's original article with these design principles since they also contain images that illustrates the principles.

Source: Fuel Your Creativity

  1. Balance

    Arranging parts to achieve a state of equilibrium between forces of influences.

    'Examples:* Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, Radial

  2. Contrast

    Interaction of contradictory elements. Expresses the duality seen in opposites.

    Examples: Large & Small, rough & smooth, thick & thin, light & dark, organic & geometric

  3. Emphasis & Subordination

    Establishing centers of interest which focus the viewer’s attention. If all the elements are given relatively equal weight, there will be no emphasis.

  4. Directional Forces

    Both implied and actual, they help guide the eye and mind movement of the viewer. They can also bind the work into a single entity.

  5. Proportion

    The size relationship of parts to the entire work, and each to the other. Very often associated with figural art.

  6. Scale

    The real, apparent size of an object seen in relation to other objects, people, its environment, or the proportions of the picture plane.

  7. Repetition & Rhythm

    The recurrence of a design element coupled with a certain order to the repetition. Provides continuity, flow, direction forces etc.

  8. Unity within Variety

    The force operating within a work of art which can give it the appearance of oneness or resolution. The consistency of the concept.

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