Design Principles

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Elements and Principles of Design

Design elements are the basic units of painting, drawing, design, or other visual art. The best designers sometimes disregard the principles of design. However, when they do, there is usually a good reason for it. Typically, it is best to abide by the principles of design when creating art.

The following are the principles of design: Line, shape, form, space, color, and texture. With graphic design, direction is also included.

Line:  A line is a fundamental mark or stroke used in drawing in which the length is longer than the width. A line is formed when two points are connected. Every straight line has a length, width, and direction.

Lines can define an edge or fold or color change. Also it can define the edge of space and can be created by a gap of negative space. Lines can be used in linear shapes and patterns to decorate many different substrates. They can be used to create shadows and representing tonal values (hatching).

Color:  Color is a very important element of design. The color wheel includes 12 major colors and is used as a valuable tool to come up with interesting color combinations. Color theory provides guidance to color mixing and the visual impact of specific color combinations.

Color includes primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Primary colors cannot be achieved by mixing any other color. A secondary color is achieved by mixing two primary colors. A tertiary color is achieved by mixing a primary and secondary color. Tertiary colors always have two names associated with them. There are three primary colors, three secondary colors, and six tertiary colors. Some examples of these distinctions are: Red is a primary color, green is a secondary color, and yellow-orange is a tertiary color.

If you go under my tab, Color, you will find numerous terms regularly used to describe color.