What are the Principles of Design?


The principles of design are the essential rules and regularities. They are the basis for creating harmonious and perfect projects. And every designer must follow these principles so that their work is noticed. 

It can be both advertising design and graphic design. However, all these principles depend on what the designer does. They have different lines of work. Someone designs websites, and another creates advertisements for online stores. But the principles are the same for everyone. It is because they perform a function necessary to all graphic designers in their projects.

These principles are called ''rules'' for designers, but you don't always have to follow them. You can do something differently, add something of your own or not use specific rules at all. But there must be design principles and balance between them. Therefore, it is crucial to filter what you do and whether everything looks harmonious. Depending on what the designers prioritize in their work, the following design regularities are distinguished.

1. Balance


Balance is one of the essential principles of design. The way you arrange the project is called balance. Whether you have asymmetry or symmetry, all design principles must have balance according to the rules. But when we talk exclusively about balance as a principle, we can say it is a crucial element. 

You can place elements in your work at the top, bottom, side, and anywhere. You can do something creative and make each element stand out altogether. It is also good to use asymmetry. Many people are used to symmetry and that everything should be proportional. However, thanks to designers' creativity, it is possible to make unrealistically attractive asymmetric elements. As you understood, balancing is a way to show your creativity and make your work unusual at the same time.

2. Scale

It is an important design principle that affects balance. And if you think that the bigger the picture or font you have, the more it will attract attention, you are wrong. Sometimes small details attract more attention than large ones. 

The fact is that people determine the importance of information by its presentation. That is, the bigger the picture, the more crucial it is. But designers master skills that work in a completely different way. They determine the scale by importance and how people will look at it. Therefore, it is not enough only to change the size of the text or image. First, you need to orientate yourself on the information. Then, think about what you will scale in the near-field and what in the far-field. 

Information should be organized and look harmonious. Then people will pay attention not only to the selected information but also to the little things.

3. Contrast

Sometimes, when you visit the site, there are bright colors of the text that do not match the background. The problem is that such a text lacks design principles balance. It is why the text is difficult to understand. 

It means that you need:

  • To use the appropriate fonts for your text. 
  • Choose the right colors and sizes so that your work looks harmonious. 
  • If you want to emphasize something, highlight that sentence or word. 
  • You can make it a different color or add fat. 

That is, you do everything to your taste, but so that it is convenient for people.

Design principles also include such tricks and elements as a combination of text and pictures. It means that they should be combined and create a beautiful overall look. You probably don't like a site with many rich words and colors that don't match. Therefore, the designer's task is to form the project correctly, making it easy to understand.

4. Pattern

There are many types of patterns: stripes, checks, circles, and dots are just a few examples! These are design principles that create the balance of the project. These patterns are symmetrical to create a harmonious look of something. They can be used to create contrast. With the help of patterns, you can make an accent on something, giving even more excellent aesthetics. 

Usually, not everyone uses this principle. Someone likes minimalism and does not use additional elements. And someone, on the contrary, wants to dilute the atmosphere, and they add patterns. The main thing is to choose them correctly and not to use them too much.

5. Proportion

Design principles require proportionality and elements that will be combined. Proportionality is when the work looks more or less uniform and has no extra details. That is, when your height, size, etc., are completely combined and look harmonious from the outside. Therefore, you should take into account absolutely all the nuances before starting your design work. In principles of design in art, proportionality is no less important. It means that if something is big in your project, there should be a couple of smaller elements next to it. Why? Because the design art should be balanced and emphasize everything, not one detail. That's why it's essential to create everything on a draft and then create reality. Because there are many options for placements and you can choose a suitable variation for a long time.

6. Color

Color in creating projects on the Internet is also no less important. For example, you can not use a red background and write text in yellow. Why? Because it is difficult for our visual perception. You need to make some lighter contrast or something in light colors. For example, you can combine white and black, red and white. But do not combine two bright colors that spoil the picture.

So, this design principle consists of the arrangement of colors and their meanings. Sometimes with the help of color, you can convey your atmosphere and create comfort for others.

7. Visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is the formatting of your design project. You must correctly arrange all the elements, patterns, colors, etc. Such principles of design work equally for everyone: in art, in-house projects, and website projects.

If we talk about websites, you have probably seen how information is scattered on the Internet more than once, and you have to search for everything yourself. It is called chaos, which does not follow design principles and does not use additional elements. But if you do everything the other way around and arrange your titles, texts, and images, this will be a visual hierarchy.

It is an important principle because it is more pleasant for everyone to see organized work and not the chaos that is difficult to understand. So, it is better to stick to this design rule.

8. Alignment

This and similar principles of alignment of design state that no element should be placed in art by accident. When you align elements, you make them look neater and strengthen their unity. Usually, people used to use symmetry, but it is boring. Every time designers come up with new design ideas. They now consider it better to do an alignment on one side. If you align only on the right or left side, you create an invisible line that enhances your design. It is more convenient for the designer and other people in general. However, if you design a project according to this principle, you must follow it to the end. Don't mix alignments or place them randomly. In such a way, you can ruin your design.

9. Movement and Rhythm

In principles of design in art, rhythm is created by changing the length, width, or shape of the elements of your project. And movement is drawing attention from one object to another.

It means that these design principles must include alternating patterns and elements. It is done so that a person pays attention to all the details in the required sequence.

In fact, it happens on an intuitive level. So, before that, you need to consider what people will think about it and how they will understand it. You can use repeating elements in a design that help you navigate the project more easily. Then the principle of movement and rhythm will work in the right direction.

10. Repetition

The principle of repetition is somewhat similar to the rule of proportion. These design principles state that specific patterns and elements should be repeated. But in proportion to each other. In general, repetition means that the design project has to be proportional. Repetitive elements, such as the same fonts, colors, accents, etc., make it easier to orient the eye, and the design structure becomes more structured.

It is very convenient for large projects. It will make it easier for you and people to navigate. So, highlight all headings in the same style, align on one side and highlight important information with a specific color. These are small things at first glance, but in reality, they significantly impact the design work. So don't forget about repetition and use it. It will help you make your work neater and more understandable.

In general, design is an art. So, principles of design are widely used in art and are general rules for creating masterpieces. As you can see, there are many of them. But this is only a small part of the principles of design. There are many others, but these are the most significant. When using them, your work will look professional and attractive. Maybe something seems complicated to you, but this is only at first glance. You must learn at least a little of these principles and try them in practice. It is not necessary to follow all of them at once. You may miss some regulations, but in the future, it is better to use all of them in your work. Designing is not easy, so these principles will help you to make it easier and more effective.

How to Use the Principles of Art and Design in Photography?

Design principles can be used not only specifically for design. You can use them in photography. All the above rules can apply to photos and do the same function. So, let's analyze a couple of principles on how to use them in photography:


This  principle of design is as important in photography as in art. It is done to make the picture look brighter and attract attention. You can use contrast for individual details in the photo. The main thing is not to overdo it and not to sport a picture with too much contrast.


Balance must be present in photography. Each time, you must ensure you have the same number of items on both sides of the photo. Place the elements correctly in the frame, create a color scheme, and do not take too much extra in the frame. In such a way, you can make the photo more aesthetic and balanced.


In photography, the correct placement of objects should also be present. Therefore, you must arrange all the elements in the frame to look right and attract attention. Usually, people browse websites in a very structured way, so don't put anything important in the middle of a photo. It is better to place everything necessary in the upper left corner.


Before creating a site design, you should decide on its purpose and what people should pay attention to on this site. This design principle works the same way in photography. You should know what you are conveying to people in photography and emphasize it. So, place the main thing you need to show in the photo and highlight it. Then, it will be easier for viewers to understand what you want to convey.

So, as you understand, these design principles can also be useful in photography. They will help you draw the attention of others to your bright photos and get unforgettable impressions from them. So if you need help creating a picture, you can safely use these 10 principles.


How do you apply design principles in your daily life?

The principles of design are easily used not only in art but also in our everyday life. For example, you need balance when you organize furniture arrangements at home and want everything to look as balanced as possible. Another example is you use proportionality when you write notes. It helps you write it so that it will be easier for you to orientate in it.

What is the purpose of the elements of design?

Design elements are various geometric shapes, patterns, lines, tables, etc. They are used to make it easier for people to perceive information. Also, they can be used to convey mood and draw your attention to something important.

What is the importance of the principle of design?

There are many principles, and they all play an essential role. It is because each of these rules affects the appearance of the design project. The more rules you use, the more effective your work is. That's why it's so important.

What makes a design good?

To get a good design, you first need to decide on the principles you will use. The next thing you need is to keep your work simple. Do not try to add as many elements and colors as possible. It is necessary to do everything aesthetically and in combination with each other.

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