Elements of Design Samuel Valls; Period: 0


A mark made by a tool as it is drawn across a surface. Many tools can create lines: pencils, paintbrushes, a computer and a mouse, and more.

Lines help describe shapes and recognize objects.

There are different types of lines that help illustrate logos or objects:

  • Implied Line: A line created by positioning a series of points so that your eye automatically connects.
  • Psychic Line: There is no real/marked line, but you still make a connection between objects.
The Doritos logo has an example of an Implied Line. The Lines help create the shape of the chip.
  • Directional Lines: Lines that take the form of different... well... directions! They can be Horizontal, Diagonal, and Vertical. These can represent many things like motion, strength, activity, etc.
The logo for Super Mario Run uses horizontal lines in the "Run" part to illustrate the fast motion of running.
  • Contour Lines: lines that follow the edges of forms, to describe outlines.
  • Gesture Lines: lines that show actions or dynamics of a pose.
Gesture Lines helps when creating sketches


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


  • Realism: Can show how images as they are really seen.
  • Distortion: Shapes that have a purposeful exaggeration of what is seen.
  • Idealism: They represent something as it “should” be in an ideal world.
  • Abstract: Shapes that show a simplification of natural shapes to essential basic shapes.
This image exaggerates the shape of the mouth to emphasize how the person is feeling. This relates back to distortion.
Shapes that form realism bring life to a painting that connects with our world.


Value is the description of lightness or darkness of a visual element

Value Contrast: the relationship of one element to another in respect to lightness and darkness. It helps identify the separate elements of a design.

There is Higher Contrast on the bridge and shore, while other areas have Lower Contrast

Photography utilizes contrast to differ photos with each other. There are two main types: High Contrast and Low Contrast. High Contrast uses a wide range of values or a huge difference in the lightness and darkness in a design. Low Contrast uses a narrow range of values meaning there is not much difference in the lightness and darkness

Left: Lower Contrast is used. Nothing really differs from light and darkness Right: There is higher contrast, many objects are very distinct from each other through differences of light and darkness.


Texture is the tactile quality of a surface or the representations of surface quality. There are different types of textures.

  • Tactile Textures: They are real. We have the ability to feel them.
  • Visual Textures: These textures are imaginary. They give the impression real textures have.
The texture gives a impression of a tree, despite it not being real. These are visual textures.
Pattern or the repetitive arrangement of elements can create texture. This texture was made with a natural pattern featuring plants and animals.


Color is a very important part of graphical design. It helps express images and designs.

Colors have names, known as a hue. Examples would include colors such as magenta, cyan, and yellow. There is a range of light and darkness for a hue, which refers back to values. There are notable examples of value utilized with hues such as dark blue or light green. Colors can also be expressed with different forms of saturation, the brightness or dullness of a color.

Circle representing color, color value, and saturation

Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) 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.

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (CMYK) 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.


Format is the substrate or support for a graphic design. Format deals with size, shape, material, and purpose. Purpose must be shown when limited to sizes to capture the attention of people.

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

Magazine covers or movie posters need to capture the attention of people with small amount of space. The poster for the martian can make people wonder about the lone man on Mars. Billboards should be big and simple enough to catch the eyes of passengers or drivers on the highway/road. The Rick and Morty billboard catches people with the crashed ship and the picture of a clearly scared Morty.

Budget is also a contextual format.


Contrast. Repetition. Alignment. Proximity. These are important principles that help people in the world of design.

  • Contrast: You want objects to have objects differ from one another in design. You can create contrast with different sized elements, different colors, and shape.
Fruits contrast with each other in color, size, and shape.
Winter and Summer differ In this PICTURE THROUGH cOLOR AND SHAPE OF TREES.
  • Repetition: Repetition is created when you repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire piece. Any element can be repeated: Font, Line, Bullet, Color, Design Elements, basically anything the viewer will visually identify.
Left: The shoes are always repeated in its same form, but they don't get stale when each is shown in different colors / Right:The Pencils are presented repeatedly in the same form, color, and lines; but everything is kept intriguing with each pencil in a different angle
  • Alignment: 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 activity's information is aligned in the right under the expo's name, creating a connection between the expo and what'll be in there.
These are different forms of alignment. Despite how different they are, there is still a connection.

Proximity: This is when you group related items together. Designers group related items so the viewer sees them as one cohesive unit.

Forming buildings together creates proximity and a city.

Items that are not related should not be close to other elements

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