The fundamental elements of design are the building blocks that help determine how successful the design is. They can provide a starting point to the creative process of the designer, who can in turn influence a product that may become appealing to the consumer.
Whether or not a person may realize, design concepts can be found in everyday items, advertisements, or even in buildings. Listed below are a few examples of the basic design principles that one may encounter on a daily basis:
Alignment is the adjustment or the connection between the components of a design. This advertisement was taken outside of a Food Lion grocery store. The way the wording is arranged in the top-half creates an appealing look due to its symmetrical and organized nature. The initial message of “Earn Rewards” flows down to the next statement of “On Top Of Your MVP Savings,” in a cohesive and structured manner.
Repetition is the action of repeating a word, phrase or even imagery. This advertisement displays a repeating pattern of the word “Two” to establish consistency and a straight-forward message. It is also creating a rhythm geared towards consumers who may be driving by and do not have much time to absorb the message.
Hierarchy is visually emphasizing the principle message in the design. This advertisement is showing emphasis on the word “FREE” by using larger font than the secondary message. By doing so, the communication and the goal of the ad is clear.
The same ad is also displaying the concept of contrast – which is the juxtaposition of opposing elements. The usage of yellow and black helps to guide the viewer’s eyes to a key aspect of the design – the notion of a free wiper blade installation (with the purchase of wiper blades.)
Color is light reflected off objects. This packaging is exhibiting very strong and vibrant hues such as pink and red to create emotion and visual interest. It is used to emphasize the description of the beverage, which is a “lip smackingly tropical pale ale.”
Space is the area around or between elements in design. This is a church simply called “The House.” The designer has chosen to keep the signage minimal and simplistic much like the overall building.
These are just a few examples of some of the design concepts. Other concepts include proximity, which is the relationship between elements, and balance, which is the weight distributed throughout the design by the placement of elements.