Principles of Design

 Unity
in an artwork occurs when all
elements work together to communicate
ideas or feelings.
 Unity is affected by
• Proximity (creating groups of objects)
• Similarity (making objects or things similar to
one another)
• Continuation (creating a flow of vision from one
object to another)
 Variety
safeguards against too much of
the same thing.
 A composition can be unified, but
uninteresting due to a lack of variety.
 To avoid monotony, artists include
different variations of elements to make
the work interesting.
 Emphasis
• the element or form that is the
focal point of interest in a
 On
your paper, draw a rectangle at least
3 inches long. Now draw 5 different
shapes, but make one shape the
emphasis. What and how did you do it?
 Three
methods for creating rhythm
1. By repeating the same element such as a
shape or a figure
2. By repeating two more elements on an
alternating basis such as circle/square,
circle/square; or
3. By progression, in which an element gradually
changes shape, size, position, or color
John Biggers
 This
concentrates with the illusion of
movement that was made popular in the
Op Art movement. These artist created
art work that was graphically based that
created a visual movement.
 Balance
in art refers to the visual weight
of an artwork.
 4 types of balance:
• Asymmetrical:
• Symmetrical
• Approximate symmetry
• Radial Symmetry
Patterns are the result
from the repetition of
elements or a
combination of
elements in a
organization over the
surface of an area or
Proportion is
the size
of parts to one
another as a
is achieved by introducing
differences in the elements of a
What occurs when the visual
weight in an artwork feels
equally distributed?
is achieved when an
artwork and all its elements work
together to communicate ideas
or feelings?
What type of balance is used
when elements are used equally
on all sides?
 What
occurs when one element in an
artwork, or a combination of elements,
attracts more attention than anything else
in the composition?
 What principle of design suggests that
things or objects are in motion or implied
that they are in motion?
refers to the relative
size of one part of a work to
the other?
What is created when specific
elements (line or shape) are
repeated or used in a certain