The Elements of Design By Kristen Martinez

The Elements of a Good Graphic Design are based off of structure and the necessary details of creating art.

L I N E

A line, is specifically a mark made by a tool as it is drawn across a surface. The tool can almost be anything. For instance, the tool may be a pencil, pointed brush, computer mouse, or a cotton swab as well. Furthermore, a line is defined as a moving dot/point, also known as an open path.

- Lines may describe shapes, so we are able to find them.

- Implied Lines are created by arranging a series of points, so your eye can immediately catch the connection.

-Psychic Lines create a mental connection between two elements. There is absolutely no real lines.

- Horizontal Lines implies quite and repose, tranquility.

- Vertical Lines have potential for activity or movement. It also represents strength and nobility.

- Diagonal Lines suggest motion.

- Contour Lines follow the edges of forms to define outlines.

- Gesture lines show action or dynamics of a pose like actions line in a comic book.

This picture of a tattoo, is an example of how a line can describe a shape. For this particular picture, the lines are representing a rose.

S H A P E

A shape, is a visually perceived area created either by an enclosing line, color, or value changes defining the outer edge.

- Shapes can show "realism" or images as they are seen.

- Shapes can show "distortion" or have an explicit eggageration of

This particular picture, "Starry Night", by Vincent Van Gogh, demonstrates a realistic feeling.

V A L U E

A value, is a description of lightness/darkness of a visual element.

- Value Contrast is the relationship of one element to another in respect to lightness and darkness.

- Value Contrast helps identify the separate elements of a design.

- Low Contrast uses a narrow range of values meaning there is not much different in the lightness/darkness.

- High Contrast uses a wide range of values or a huge difference in the lightness/darkness in a design.

The picture represents each and every contrast due to the colors and representation of the flames.

T E X T U R E

Texture is the tactile quality of a surface or the representations of surface quality.

-Tactile Textures are real. We can actually feel them.

- Visual Textures are illusionary. They allow to give the impression of real textures.

- Pattern or the repetitive arrangement of elements can create texture.

The picture represents "texture", by showing realistic features of a female that may give off the illusion of her appearance.

C O L O R

- Hue is the name of the color. Example: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black.

- Value is the range of lightness or darkness of a hue. Example: Light Blue, Dark Blue.

- Saturation is the brightness or dullness of a color.

- RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue which are the three primary colors when working with light. All colors seen on a monitor or screen are created using the RGB model.

- Red, Green, and Blue are additive primaries because when you mix equal amounts of Red, Green, and Blue you create white light.

- CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black which is used for offset printing or four-color process printing.

- Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow are subtractive primaries because when these are mixed they create black.

- Subtractive Primaries deal with ink or pigment while Additive Primaries deals with light.

This picture details specific colors to represent a sun setting.

F O R M A T

A format substrates or supports a graphic design.

- Format deals with size, shape, material, and purpose.

- Contextual Constraints can be where and how the designs will be seen.

- Magazines are seen up close.

- Billboards are seen while driving and at a distance

- Budget is also a contextual format

The picture represents the format/outline of what the picture will intend on being.

C O N T R A S T

Contrast is created when two elements are very different.

- Size - Use various sized elements to create contrast.

- Color - Complementary colors are easy ways to create contrast. Use colors that are very different from each other.

- Shape - Use different shapes to create contrast.

The image represents contrast by creating multiple females that are not the same.

R E P E T I T I O N

Repetition is created when you repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire piece.

- Any element can be repeated.

  • Line
  • Bullet
  • Color
  • Design Element
  • Format
  • Spatial Relationships
  • Anything the reader will visually recognize
  • Font
The image represents a title with a specific font that is continuously repeated.

A L I G N M E N T

Alignment is placing items on a page so they have a visual connection with something else on the page.

- When items are aligned it creates a stronger, cohesive unit.

- Even when elements are physically separated from each other, if they are aligned there is an invisible line that connects them.

- Alignment tells the reader that different elements belong together.

The image represents alignment by aligning the magazine with the person who is behind it.

P R O X I M I T Y

Proximity is when you group related items together.

- Group related items so the viewer sees them as one cohesive unit.

- Items that are NOT related should not be close to other elements.

This image represents proximity, by using the same girl repetitively.

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