Principles Of Design

Principles of Design

Definition: A feeling of visual equality in shape, form, value, color, etc.  Balance can be symmetrical or evenly balanced or asymmetrical and un-evenly balanced.  Objects, values, colors, textures, shapes, forms, etc., can be used in creating a balance in a composition.
Definition: Contrast refers to the arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes, etc.) in a piece so as to create visual interest, excitement and drama.
Definition: Emphasis(center of interest) is an area that first attracts attention in a composition. This area is more important when compared to the other objects or elements in a composition.  This can be by contrast of values, more colors, and placement in the format.
Definition: Proportion refers to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. The issue is the relationship between objects, or parts, of a whole.
Definition: Repeating visual elements such as line, color, shape, texture, value or image tends to unify the total effect of a work of art as well as create rhythm. Repetition can take the form of an exact duplication (pattern), a near duplication, or duplication with variety.

Rhythm and Movement
Definition of Rhythm: A movement in which some elements recurs regularly.  Like a dance it will have a flow of objects that will seem to be like the beat of music.

Definition of Movement: is the path the viewer’s eye takes through the artwork, often to a focal area. It can be directed along lines, edges, shapes and color. Movement is closely tied to rhythm.
Definition of Unity:Unity occurs when all of the elements of a piece combine to make a balanced, harmonious, complete whole. Unity is another of those hard-to-describe art terms but, when it's present, your eye and brain are pleased to see it.

Definition of Harmony: Harmony brings together a composition with similar units.  If your composition was using wavy lines and organic shapes you would stay with those types of lines and not put in just one geometric shape. (Notice how similar Harmony is to Unity)

Definition: Variety refers to a way of combining elements of art in involved ways to achieve intricate and complex relationships. Variety is often obtained through the use of diversity and change by artists who wish to increase the visual interest of their work. An artwork which makes use of many different hues, values, lines, textures, and shapes would reflect the artist's desire for variety. Unity is the principle which is its variety's opposite; but when there is too little variety, the result is monotony.