elements of design by keilani battee

Line: a mark made by a tool as it is drawn across a surface. The tool can be almost anything - a pencil, a pointed brush, a computer and mouse, even a cotton swab. Also, a line is defined as a moving dot or point, or can be called an open path.

Implied Lines are created by positioning a series of points so that your eye automatically connects them.

Psychic Lines create a mental connection between two elements. There is NO REAL LINE.

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

Shapes can show “idealism” or represent something as it “should” be in an ideal world.

Shapes can show “realism” or images as they are seen.

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

Low Contrast uses a narrow range of values meaning there is not much difference in the lightness and darkness

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

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

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

Pattern or the repetitive arrangement of elements can create texture.


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.

Format: the substrate or support for a graphic design.

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

Budget is also a contextual format

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.

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



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.

Proximity is when you group related items together.

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