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The Elements of Design

Apart from images and typefaces, there are other elements that add to the correct understanding of the message conveyed by a design: the Elements of Design, which are the most basic visual components of any composition. Artists and designers balance these elements to create solutions to certain problem situations. The most important Elements of Design are, among others, color, line, shape, space, size and texture. If the graphic designer is familiar with these elements and its characteristics, he will be able to reduce the margin of error and produce results that are accurate and efficient.

First we mentioned color, which refers to the intensity, value and hue of the colors used in the design. This element has a powerful effect on the work of a designer and on the impression it has on the target. It is important that colors are arranged so that they give the idea of a unified whole. The way in which the eye organizes the parts that make up an image is paramount to the correct understanding of the message it conveys. This means that in order to create a design that is unified and understandable, the designer needs to be able to combine colors according to their similarities in hue, value and intensity.


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The second element, line, refers to the marks that define the edges of objects in artwork. Lines can vary in length, width, direction, curvature and color. Through different combinations and arrangement of lines, the designer can express movement in an image. Lines are used to draw shapes, which are the third element of our list. Shapes are formed from the meeting of lines and the enclosing of an area in a two-dimensional space. Designers draw shapes, for example, when drafting drawings or pictures for a design. Another element in relation to shapes and lines is space. When we talk about space we refer to the empty area that is within objects or surrounding them.

Next we mentioned size, which refers to how small or big something is. This element has an influence on the emphasis given to the objects that compose an image. The size of a certain figure is connected to its proportions and its measure in relation to the other objects that appear in a composition. Changes in size and proportion can convey different feeling, such as uncertainty, admiration, etc. The last element on our list, texture, is related to the way a surface feels or looks: rough, smooth, etc. When working on a design, the professional may strive to imitate the look and feel of real texture in order to produce results that look as realistic as possible. Artists can simulate texture by the way they paint certain areas of a picture.


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