Six Basic Elements of Design
In Graphic Design there are six basic elements that are used in order to have a good design. The six elements are space, line, shape, value, texture, and color. Each one is used to create an image that is pleasing to look at as well as to convey a message to the onlookers. Each of the elements will now be explained further.
First element is space. It is the foremost element used in design. Space can be positive or negative. It can be thought of in size and scale such as what is the design going to be displayed on. Space can also be thought of as a 3-D image.
The next element is line. Perhaps when thinking of lines the first image you see is a grid. Which is typically an intersection of horizontal and vertical lines. That is a correct assumption. But lines can be much more than a grid. Lines can be curvy, zigzag, implied or dotted. Line is the boundary that defines a shape.
Next we have shape. Shape is used to build elements on a page or create patterns. Shapes can be either positive or negative. A shape is an area that is enclosed by a line. Shapes can either enhance an object or move the viewer’s eye through and around the design.
After shape we have value. Value is the lightness and darkness of an object. Different degrees of value can be achieved by varying the lightness and darkness of a color which bring contrast to the design. Mood can also be created with value. Lighter values bring about positive moods where darker values are associated with negative moods.
Texture can be used to give life like details to an image. It can be used to make an empty space more interesting to look at. Texture can be used to simulate a specific surface. Texture can also be over used and take away from the intended look of the design.
The final element is color. Color has several properties; hue, value, and intensity. Hue is the actual color. An example of this would be the actual hue for pink is red. Value is the variation of the lightness and darkness of a color. Finally the intensity refers to how saturated the hue is (or its richness). Color can be used to bring about a certain emotion in a design. And it can also make one object stand out from surrounding objects. Color has an array of uses in design.
These are the basic elements of design. I have barely scratched the surface of what can be accomplished with each of these elements. Used individually they may not have much impact. But when combined, each element can have a significant impact on a graphic design project.
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