Basics in Design

Hello there!

This post is pretty self-explanatory. I will be discussing the basics when it comes to design. Now, before I begin, this post is based off of his lovely website.

Now, the basic elements of design include color, line, shape, scale, space, texture and value. Remember that, because we will be going deeper into those topics.

Even if you don’t take interest in my blog and you decide to attend a design course, this topic will surely appear first thing you arrive. If you don’t know these things, how do you expect to design in the first place?


As you may have read in the other “Theory Posts” about color psychology, you will know for sure that color impacts our moods very much. Knowing this, color is huge when it comes to designing various ads or photos. Taking a quote from the website, “Color contributes to the unity of a series of flyers, emphasizes important information and leads the eye through a design.”


You may look at a line and not think much of it. It’s just a line correct? However, a hand drawn line that seems to be a bit thick  tends to lean towards juvenile themes. If you look at a straight and thin line, it will seem more refined, corporate and/or intelligent. When you think about it, it makes more sense. Lines that are drawn the same way, but go in many different ways and sometimes colliding with one another may seem chaotic. I think of it as a traffic map, where the lines represent the routes that cars will take. The many lines collide with one another and move in many different ways which makes the map look a bit crazy, just like a traffic jam. Especially on Black Friday… Now, lines that are created in an orderly fashion can make it look extremely formal and the way they are drawn and set up could add a personality to the design.


A bit crazy, don’t you think?

Different sizes, yet nice.


Just like colors, shapes can bring out different moods within a person as well.  Angular shapes like squares and triangles tend to indicate masculinity, while smooth and curving shapes like circles are more feminine. Researching how shapes can impact people will be great knowledge for when you come to your own designs.

Scale and Size

In your designs, scale and size helps when you are adjusting balance, proportion and contrast. Size is the actual dimensions of an element on the page, scale is the element’s relation to its original. Using these will make the design a lot more formal when everything is in proportion and balanced. If elements in a design are all over the place, the whole message won’t be spread to viewers. It’s kind of like having a messy room. How do you expect to find the things necessary in that room when it’s all over the place?


Space gives the eye “a resting spot”. Sometimes a picture has too many things in the picture, making it seem closed up and claustrophobic. Other times, a picture will have a lack of elements making it extremely empty, almost as if the objects in the picture are floating. All you really have to do is experiment with your skills and figure out a way to space things out and use the “scale and size” tip to help create the best design.


This is super fun when it comes to designing. Texture helps make the photo seem a lot more realistic. We all know the sidewalks to New York City are not smooth and spot clean, so adding a bit of rough texture to the sidewalk in a photo, for example, will make this type of sidewalk look more realistic. Take into consideration the textures given inside the printed picture rather than always creating new ones from the computer.


Value can really add unity to your designs. So basically, keep an eye out for things that could really add to the value of the design. It is also a great way to create a focal point and guide the viewer’s eye through the layout of the photo. Mastering the skill of value will improve the balance within a design you create.

All in all, these skills and elements all connect in some way whether it’s the balance and value of a picture or the moods that shapes and colors create in the viewer. These skills, when mastered, will lead you to complete success when it comes to digital design of any sort.

Posted in Theory.

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