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What are the Principles of Design?

There’s no good design without learning about the principles of design. You’re in luck; here’s your first lesson on the principles of design.

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The Principles of Design for Starters

Although some people think that design is a branch of art, it stands out with its own rules and principles, as the design needs to look eye-appealing in most cases, unlike art. If you got an education in the design area, you must have had principles of design class at the beginning. Because, unlike art, design principles are essential to bringing out an aesthetically pleasing design.

Thankfully, you don’t have to finish a design class to create basic designs like social media posts, product mockups, ad banners, and even YouTube thumbnails. But still, it’s good to have the gist of the principles of design as design principles serve as guidelines to create better designs. As a modern-day design tool that eases the design process, we thought it’d be a good idea to list the principles of design so that you can create better designs for your future projects. Here are the elements and principles of design.



One of the basics of a good design is balance, and it can be achieved in various ways.

Source: Interaction Design Foundation1

For a design piece to look good, it needs to have balance; it’s in our DNA to be drawn more to balanced sights. The balance of a design can be achieved by symmetry, asymmetry, or by an equal distribution of elements. Symmetry is when a design has two halves that are mirror images to each other.

Asymmetry, on the other hand, is when there are no perfect mirror images in the design and is more challenging to get right.

Source: UX Collective2

Equal distribution is when all elements are evenly spaced throughout the design, with the perfect negative space ratio.


Negative Space

One of the lifesavers of designers, negative space, can also be hell for inexperienced designers. The right use of negative space can turn your design into a masterpiece, but if we’re talking about simple stuff, going with the basics like centered image, cornered elements, and reflection in balance are the most convenient paths to follow.



One of the main elements in graphic design is undoubtedly contrast, as it can be used to create a focal point and to direct attention. There are many ways to create contrast. You can place two opposite but complementary colors side by side, use a light background with dark text or use two different textures on the same surface, or most basically, you can center a product in the center, using a background that highlights the centerpiece.

Source: Plural Sight3



While creating designs that need to put things in order, the hierarchy principle comes into the picture. Especially in areas like UX design and menu design, creating a hierarchical flow is essential, as you want the viewer to see something first and the other thing later.

Source: Digital Synopsis4

So, if you’re working with a design that has more than one element, always think about the first thing you want people to notice and try to highlight it with the proper sizing and contrast to bring out a balanced hierarchy.



While creating harmony within a design, repetition is one of the most applicable principles of design. You can use repeating elements with the consideration of the balance principle, fonts of the same font family, and repeating colors in your design to emphasize an object or an idea.

Source: Marcos Torres on Giphy5

We usually see the best examples of repetition in pattern designs with hypnotizing effects. Also, repetition is one of the most used principles in short videos to create loops that appeal to the eye.



With the rise of minimalism, unity has become one of the key elements in the design to create designs that look perfect. Designers apply the unity principle to create a visual language between different elements of a design.

Source: UX3606

Although it was not the favorite principle of pre-millennia designers, it’s now one of the most focused-on principles of the digital design world, especially in UX and UI design, where the visual tone of the brand needs to communicate in its own way to the user.


Enhance Your Design Skills on Artboard Studio

Now that you have seen the fundamentals of design, it’s time to apply them to your designs. Because you know, practice makes perfect. Whether you’re designing social media posts, Google ads, GIFs, or product mockups, Artboard Studio is the place to be.

With Artboard Studio, you can reach a massive library of social media templates, mockups, and fonts that you can tinker with. And the best part is, it’s a browser-based design studio, so you don’t have to install anything on your computer. Create an account on Artboard Studio for free now to take your design skills to the next level.




1- https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/visual-design

2- UX CollectiveThe importance of Design Principles and how they impact good designs | by Falodun oluwatoyosi | UX Collective

3- https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/creative-professional/just-black-white-using-contrast-get-attention-graphic-designs

4- https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/visual-hierarchy-graphic-design-principles/

5- https://giphy.com/gifs/wtf-cool-pink-26ni7nKLEw6Wb3UCk

6- https://ux360.design/unity-design/

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