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Graphic Design

8 Principles of Graphic Design

These days, where our eye stumbles, we see some art portraying a certain kind of message. This message could be an advertisement for a product or the message represented by the art about a social movement.

A designer has designed the graphical representation of any message you see on your desktop. The design you see is termed graphic design.

In this article, I tell you about the eight fundamental principles of graphic design.

The 8 principles of graphic design are given below:

1. Balance

For me, balance is the most essential thing in design. If the balance is not right in your work, it will be difficult for you to make it look good.

There are a lot of designs where the balance is not evenly distributed but still seems reasonable.

If you are on that level, you do not need to read this article because you are already gifted or experienced enough to pull off challenging designs.

balancing on a slack line

Balance provides steadiness and the foundation for your design. Consider the objects in your creations, such as text, images, and shapes, for better understanding. These are the objects or elements in a design.

These objects need to be distributed evenly or in a way that brings out your design’s message, i.e., balance.

Sometimes, the objects are not appropriately distributed, but the design delivers the message required, which is perfectly okay.

2. Propinquity

Propinquity is similar to proximity; this is a connection between two or more objects in your design. Think about two different shapes, texts, and images for your design.

You need to place them in such a way (I mean the spacing between the objects) that each of the things is connected correctly and complements each other so that the message of your design gets across clearly.

The main job of propinquity is to make the different objects in your design get along with each and be visually appealing to your eye.

3. Contrast

This is one of the fundamental principles that you need to remember.

Suppose you have two design objects like two images or texts of a different color. You should apply contrast to make the objects more pleasing to the eye.

The most common contrast example is where you have a dark object and a lighter one.

The contrast between the objects will lead the viewer to the vital information you want them to get, making the use of all the elements legitimate.

4. Color

It is one of the most basic and vital parts of your design. The mood and setting of your design will depend and be dictated by the color you use.

The colors used in your design stand for the company you will make the graphic design for; whether you use a bright or dull color, it will represent the brand’s mood.

Using bright and joyful colors lets the viewer know the company stands for something fun and exciting.

Also, by using dull ones, you are making the viewer understand that the company stands for the opposite of fun and excitement.

colorful background

The colors you choose depend entirely on the mood you want your graphic design to represent. But select the colors accordingly to the company you are working for; hence the color you choose will deliver a message within it.

5. Recurrence

It is the recurring use of the same objects in a design.

You generally will not use the same objects in the same design, but for exceptions where you need to reuse an object, you should know about this principle.

This principle should be used when you want a viewer to remember the message you wish to convey.

Do not repeat a design element randomly; there must be a certain symmetry to your repetitions so that all the similar objects blend perfectly and create an end masterpiece.

The message you want to emphasize should always be your top priority when repeating an object.

6. Space

We discussed the importance of color, different shapes, texts, images, and many other objects. But another fundamental principle of graphic design is space.

It is the space you put between your objects. The whole balance of your graphic design depends upon the white area you put between the objects in your design.

Spacing entirely depends upon the sort of design you are working on. Some brands convey the message more clearly with a lot of white space around their design elements; others don’t need it that much.

7. Typography

It is the words you use to deliver your message in your design. You can use different kinds of typography that suites the brand accordingly.

I find it easier to convey the right message using typography instead of shapes. Also, it is far more effective.

But the real deal is “How do you apply it?” the more skilled you are in graphic design, the more relaxed you are with using different typography in your works.

8. Rules

In every field, there are some principles and practices. The more skilled and experienced you are at graphic designing, the more you will be familiar with the rules. 

Now, for starting your career as a graphics designer, you should follow these rules. Still, as you gain experience and skills, you can ignore some of the basic ones because, at that time, you will know what makes your design suitable and what does not.

We all need some principles and rules when we are starting something, but the more adept you get at that particular thing, the more confident you become in it.

So, when you become an experienced graphics designer, you can bend the rules to your will and maybe even break them if you feel like doing so.

Now, do not ignore the principles on the first day of your graphic design career because you will probably make a fool of yourself.

If you find yourself in a situation where you made a fool of yourself, don’t be discouraged from trying again and again until you succeed.

Final Words: Principles of Graphic Design

If you made it through all the 8 principles of graphic design, you might be thinking: Why are there only 8 principles of graphic design? Why not more?

There are other principles for graphics design, but I mentioned the top 8 that are most important to a new graphics designer or a person interested in learning about graphic design.

never settle poster

You might find other principles that seem more important to you, and I encourage you to follow those principles. This article is not one size fits all and is tailor-made for people new to graphics design.

The main point of writing this article is to give you an idea of some essential fundamental aspects that will help you grasp this ever-growing industry.

Do not get discouraged if you find graphics designing hard at first. It may look daunting but trust me, it is pretty easy to grasp and apply.

The sole purpose of this guide is to give you some information you didn’t know before and make you a better graphic designer. 

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