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7 Principles of Design in art you need to know


The principles of design in art are some, or better 7, rules that the designer needs to know to create something harmonious. The 7 principles are: emphasis, Balance and Alignment, Contrast, Repetition, Proportion, Movement and White Space.

Of course, it’s not a rule to use each of these 7 principles in your creations. But knowing them can help you make more creative and attractive designs for your target audience.

In this article, you’ll look at the 7 principles of design in art and how to apply them to your creations today. Ready? Let ‘s go!

Principals of design in art

1. Emphasis

When we talk about design in art, we bring creation to a more commercial side. So we’re not talking about abstract art here.

Therefore, creations within design need to have a direction, an emphasis. This emphasis will communicate exactly the message that needs to be conveyed to your audience.

For example, if we need to promote a theater play, this design needs to communicate exactly that event to the audience.

That is, the work needs to emphasize the “play”, so that it is understood as the focal point of the advertisement.

But for the emphasis on a specific theme to work the right way, it needs to be aligned with other elements, as we will see below!

2. Balance

Every element in your design has a weight. And this weight can be associated with color, size or texture. And as you might imagine, these elements need to be in balance.

You wouldn’t put all the objects in your room in just one corner, right: there is a balance between the furniture, decor, and paint in your room (or at least we hope to see that).

Likewise is a design.

And this balance doesn’t necessarily need to be associated with symmetry. There is a certain balance in asymmetric creations, where we use elements with different weights to contrast each other.

When used purposefully and well placed, asymmetrical balance works just as well as symmetrical.

3. Contrast

The third rule within the principles of design in art is contrast.

As much as the word is associated with a lack of harmony, using this technique correctly has the opposite effect on the design.

For example, contrasting the background color with the main element color indicates the central purpose of the design.

Also, different fonts or fonts with different weights indicate which text is more important for the ad.

Furthermore, the contrast is what brings the design to life. Finally, it is what makes the image remain in the memory of those who saw it.

But be careful not to overdo the contrast. After all, a design with multiple elements, colors and typography can be strange to the public. So, use contrast wisely and cautiously.

4. Repetition

Continuing on our journey through the principles of design in art we arrive at repetition!

As mentioned in the previous topic, you need to use design elements wisely. After all, filling your ad space with too much information can put people off.

But then we come to a new question: if you limit yourself to using a few elements, you will have to repeat some.

And that’s a fact! And there’s no harm in that. You can and should repeat some elements. This is even a question of reinforcing the visual identity of the design.

Also, you can repeat elements with different intonations. For example, if you are going to use a single typography in your design, try changing the weights of that typography.

Maybe you can use black italic sans-serif in a part of the text and then just use black sans-serif, for example.

5. Proportion

The next point in the principles of design in art is proportion!

Proportion is the weight and size of elements and how they relate to each other. This principle helps to divide the design into sections or parts, making it easier for the audience to see.

In addition, grouping related elements in specific spaces within the art brings them their due importance within the message to be conveyed.

But clearly, if you can master the art design principles outlined above, the proportion between elements will likely come naturally.

6. Movement

When we see an advertisement, our eyes are almost magically guided by the elements of the image, from the most important to the least important.

That is the function of movement. It creates a hierarchy between the texts, colors and images to create a path that the eye will follow when viewing the design.

A tip is to ask the following question when analyzing your creation:

“Do my eyes feel like they’re wandering or are they just stuck anywhere?”

If the answer is yes, then you better review your design and improve the movement of elements.

7. White space

Finally, we come to the last rule of our design principles in art: white space, or negative space.

Every other design principle in art we’ve seen so far deals with what you add. By contrast, white space is about what you don’t add.

At first, this principle may appear to be some useless piece within design. At last, negative spaces don’t introduce any information…

Really? Maybe not.

Using white space the right way can highlight the elements that matter most to your ad. In addition, it creates hierarchy and organization.

Also, our brain associates arts with ample negative space filling a focal point with importance and luxury.

So, before filling your design with lots of meaningless elements, try to understand what is most important and focus on that.

Of course, you shouldn’t take away any information that is missing from the overall set, but be careful not to over-compliment your artwork.

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”


Now, you know the 7 principles of design in art.

The next step is to start using them in practice in your creations. Stay tuned and start identifying which principle you should use to achieve your goals.

Also, be aware of other types of design and start looking for these principles in them.

And, finally, it is not a rule to use these principles to the letter. You can leave another one aside, or even use them differently to dare in your creations.

Now, if you liked this article, we invite you to visit our blog with other content like this. We are waiting for you there!

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