The Elements of design play an important role in the creation and success of a piece of art, whether it’s for outdoor, indoor, digital or print medium. These elements are:

Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. It may have two dimensions (length and width), or it may have three dimensions (length, width, and height). Space includes the background, foreground and middle ground.Space refers to the distances or areas around, between or within components of a piece. There are two type of space:positive and negative space. Positive space refers to the space of a shape representing the subject matter.Negative space refers to the open space around the subject matter.

Line is the basic element of art that refers to the continuous movement of a point along a surface,such as a pencil or brush. The edges of shapes and forms also create lines. It is the basic component of a shape drawn on paper. Lines and curves are the basic building blocks of two dimensional shapes like a house’s plan. Every line has length, thickness,and direction. There are curve, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zig-zag, wavy, parallel, dash,and dotted lines.

Color is the most expressive element of art and is seen by the way light reflects off a surface. Color occurs when light hits the surface of an object and is reflected back to the eye and is used to create illusion of depth, as red colors seem to come forward while blue seems to recede into the distance. Color, and particularly contrasting color is also used to draw the attention to a particular part of the image.
There are:primary colors,secondary colors,and tertiary colors.Primary colors consist of red,blue,and yellow.Secondary consist of orange,purple(violet),and green;secondary color is made by mixing two primary colors on either sides of the color wheel.Tertiary consist of red-orange,red-purple,blue-purple,blue-green,yellow-orange,and yellow-green.Tertiary colors are made by mixing a primary and secondary color.Tertiary color always start with a primary color.Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel.Complimentary color are used to create contrast.Analogous colors are colors that are found side by side on the color wheel and analogous colors can be used to create color harmony.Monochromatic means tints and shades of one color.Tint of one color color is to add white to the color and shade is to add black to the color.Warm colors are a group of colors that remind us of warm places and things such are red,yellow,and orange.For example fire,sun and fireworks.Cool colors are group of colors that remind us of cool places and things such as purple, green, and blue.For example ice, cool sky blue, and the sea.

Shape / Form

Shape is an area enclosed by lines. Shapes are two dimensional or in other words flat. Shapes can also show perspective by overlapping. It can be geometric or organic.
Form is any three dimensional object. Form can be measured, from top to bottom (height),side to side(width),and from back to front(depth).Form is also defined by light and dark.There are two types of form, geometric(man-made)and natural(organic form).Form may be created by the combining of two or more shapes. It may be enhanced by tone, texture and color. It can be illustrated or constructed.

In the artistic world,we refer to two types of texture Tactile and Implied.Tactile Texture(real texture)is the way the surface of an object actual feels.Example:sandpaper,cotton balls,tree bark, puppy fur(etc).Implied Texture is the way the surface on an object looks like it feels.Example:Texture may look rough, fizzy, gritty,but can not actual be felt. This type of texture is used by artist when drawing or painting.

Value is an element of art that refers to the relationship between light and dark on a surface or object and also helps with Form. It gives objects depth and perception. Value is also referred to as tone. Basically shading.

Type is the use of letterform to add a message that would be otherwise challenging to create through the other elements.


Design is the organized arrangement of one or more elements and principles (e.g. line color or texture) for a purpose.

Awareness of the elements and principles in design is the first step in creating successful visual compositions. These principles, which may overlap, are used in all visual design fields, including graphic design, industrial design, architecture and fine art.

The principles of design are as varied as attitudes regarding modern design. They differ both between the schools of thought that influence design, and between individual practicing designers.

The principles govern the relationships of the elements used and organize the composition as a whole. Successful design incorporates the use of the principles and elements to serve the designer’s purpose and visual goals. There are no rules for their use. The designer’s purpose and intent drives the decisions made to achieve appropriate scale and proportion, as well as the degree of harmony between the elements.

The principles of design consist of:

Unity refers to a sense that everything in the artwork belongs there, and makes a whole piece. It is achieved by the use of balance, repetition and/or harmony.

Can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical depending on if the right or left side is identical     or not. Also refers to a sense that dominant focal points are balanced and don’t give a feeling     of being pulled too much to any part of the artwork.

Harmony is achieved through the sensitive balance of variety and unity. Color harmony may be achieved using complementary or analogous colors. Harmony in design is similarity of components or objects looking like these belong together. Harmony is when some or many of the components share a common trait or two. A common trait could be: color(s), shape(s), texture, pattern(s), material, theme, style, size, or functionality. The human brain usually likes design harmony; harmony and unity generally make designs more visually appealing, organized, interesting and not hodge-podge.

Areas of interest. Guides the eye into through and out of the image through the use of sequence of various levels of focal points, primary focal point, secondary, tertiary, etc. Emphasis hierarchy may give direction and organization to a design, and avoid subconscious confusion to sometimes improve the design’s visual appeal and style. Emphasis or dominance of an object can be increased by making the object larger, more sophisticated, more ornate, by placing it in the foreground, or standout visually more than other objects in a project.

Contrast is the occurrence of contrasting elements, such as color, value, size, etc. It creates interest and pulls the attention toward the focal point.

Repetition (rhythm, pattern)
The recurrence of elements within a piece: colors, lines, shapes, values, etc. Any element that occurs is generally echoed, often with some variation to keep interest.

Proportion (scale)
Proportion involves the relationship of size between objects.

Variety (alternation)
The use of dissimilar elements, which creates interest and uniqueness. the quality or state of having different forms or types. The differences which give a design visual and conceptual interest: notably use of contrast, emphasis, difference in size and color.


“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”


human perception is a powerful thing. we possess the uncanny ability to infer. when information is missing, we are able to fill in the pieces.

art and design use the principles of gestalt as a very effective device in image making.




artists who employ gestalt:


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s