Alignment: Order from chaos

Resist the temptation to plop text and graphics into a concept wherever there happens to be room, without considering other elements. After all, you don’t to end up with the Old MacDonald effect: a headline here, a tagline there, E-I-E-I-OMG! Use alignment to bring order to visual chaos. Alignment is a conscious choice resulting in a strong cohesive design. Even …

Repetition: Consistent and Unified Design

There’s value in repeating particular design elements. Consider magazines as an example: what makes multiple pages appear to belong together? Aha! It’s repetition! One of the four basic design principles, repetition of certain elements (a bold font, thick lines, a particular bullet) makes designs appear consistent. Let’s explore repetition and they ways it’s used to unify all parts of a …

Contrast: Stand out from the crowd

Imagine you’re on a commuter train, skimming the front page of a daily newspaper. What piques your interest and makes you want to look more closely? If you answered contrast, you’re right. One of the four basic design principles, contrast is an effective way to add visual interest and create an organizational hierarchy among different design elements. For contrast to …

The Four Basic Design Principles

Effective design centres on four basic principles: contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. These appear in every design. This article provides a brief overview of the basic principles discussed in this series. Although the companion articles explore each principle separately, they are all interconnected. Design projects rarely apply one principle. Contrast When a design uses several elements (e.g., type, colour, size, …