5 Essential Elements of Design

Design elements are the building blocks of any design or composition. Artists and designers use them to create visual concepts, logos, illustrations, type-based designs, and more. Lines, shapes, colors, and type are the four main elements of design that must be taken into account when creating a design. Lines are the most basic element of design.

They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Lines can be used to guide the viewer's eyes or make other elements follow a strategic path for greater searchability. They can also divide a space or separate the content of a design. Lines can be smooth, rough, continuous, broken, thick or thin.

When combined, they can form shapes. Shapes offer a variety of ways to creatively fill spaces, support text and other forms of content, and balance a design. They can be created through lines, textures, colors, or an area bounded by other shapes such as triangles, circles, and squares. Color or absence of color is important in any design. Have a basic understanding of color theory as designers can influence your design with the brand identity you create with seamless color integration boldly or with brilliant subtlety.

The saturation and brightness of each color must be taken into account as well as the value of color. CMYK is preferable for the printer while RGB is the color mode for the screen. Type as an element of design is the real way to literally convey a message that you intend to communicate. Text can change a simple text message to a work of art. The use of different fonts combined with custom alignments, spacing, size and color can be captivating in your communication. Visual designers use most or all of these design elements while being guided by a set of fundamentals known as design principles.

Grids are made up of several lines and give structure to a page. Lines have direction; they can be visible or invisible and help direct the eye to a specific point. The thickness of a line can also communicate certain signals. Negative space is an important element to consider when designing a piece. It's the area that is not occupied by any element and provides clarity within the design.

Lack of negative space can result in cluttered design while abundance of negative space results in an open, airy and clear bottom. To create a 3D effect in your design you can add shadows, stack several elements or play with color. Form and shape are mutually dependent because changing one would affect the other. Colors create moods and can say something different depending on the connotations associated with them. Color can create an emphasis on specific areas of the layout of the design.

Gloria Foulke
Gloria Foulke

Wannabe twitter lover. Freelance social media maven. Friendly twitter nerd. Hipster-friendly zombie advocate. Avid zombie practitioner. Amateur baconaholic.