The principles of design are concepts for organizing visual information. They are not rules so much as definitions for what works. The reason for studying the design principles first is so you can start using them now and improve your understanding of them over the remainder of the semester.

Design is the organization of visual information. Design principles are descriptions of how we perceive and process visual information and are the ideas for creating order in two-dimensional images. The design principles will help you make decisions about how to use the design elements (Part II and Part V) to create your compositions.

A designer must know how to control what the viewers sees. The design principles help to do that. Knowing them puts you in charge and helps you create images that say what you want to communicate. The intellectual knowledge of these concepts will reinforce what you know intuitively and give you a basis for rapid development as a designer

In this section you will explore some of the most important of the design principles:

  Figure/Ground how form (figure) relates to the format (ground)
  Balance distribution of visual information
  Gestalt how the parts relate to the whole
  Emphasis controlling attention


© 2000 James T. Saw
Do not copy or reuse these materials without permission.