7 Principles of Design and How to Apply Them

In the digital age, graphic design is a highly sought-after skill. People care about how things look, and there is a constant need to create good website designs for advertisements, logos, videos, banners, social media, product design, or web content.

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You don’t need to be a designer when making highly shareable content. The key is to develop an eye for what design decisions enhance your work and what detracts from it.

What are design principles

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The difference between design & art is that it must have a purpose. Visually, this is accomplished by ensuring the image has a point of focus, a central point of attention.

The graphic design adheres to rules that work beneath the surface to provide stability and balance. If the design loses this balance, it will be weak and ineffective. In the rest of the article, you learn more about these seven basic principles, different types of design in marketing, and principles of design examples.

What are the Principles of Design and the Principles of Design Examples?

1. Emphasis

Design principles include emphasis, which refers to a design’s focal point and the order in which each element is placed. For example, if you are creating a poster for a concert, you should ask yourself, what information do I need my audience to know first? Is it the band? Or the venue? What about the day and the price of attending?

Emphasis principles of design example

Source: invisionapp.com

Put the band’s name in the center or make it the most significant element on the poster if it is essential information. Let your brain manage the data and arrange your design to reflect that order. Make the band name pop by using strong color combinations and learning about color theory, or by putting it in the strongest, boldest type.

You can’t design a successful composition if you don’t know what you are trying to say. It’s similar to writing without an outline or building without a blueprint. Also, because of the variety in design principles, you’ll be creating emphasis as long as you can create contrast with elements or color.

2. Balance

There is a visual weight to every element that appears on a page. It can range from form to size, color, and texture. The elements need to have a specific scale for a design to feel stable or balanced. For example, the details on the right side are the same in visual weight in a symmetrical design.

Asymmetrical designs have different sides but equal visual weight, making them easier to balance. Symmetrical designs are also more appealing but can also look dull. If your design can achieve balance in asymmetry, you will be able to create a visually attractive, movement-filled design.

balance design principle example

Source: renderforest.com

The image shown above is one of the perfect principles of design examples as it gives us an idea of symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance, and radial balance. If your plan lacks balance, it will appear heavy and empty on one side. It will feel like your design is falling off to one side when it lacks balance.

Experts of a web development Dallas company emphasize the importance of precision when it comes to design principles. They understand that achieving balance is fundamental in web design, ensuring that every element finds its equilibrium for effective user engagement. Whether employing symmetrical layouts or skillful asymmetry, these professionals focus on creating websites that exude stability and captivation.

3. Repetition

A layout that uses repeated elements can be pleasing to the eye. We can call a grid a repetition of lines. It creates consistency in the design because it repeats a single component.

For example, layout design uses repetition in folio placements to assist readers in finding their way through a book or magazine. By repeating the exact folio placement, continuity is created.

repetition design principle example

Source: web.tech.uh.edu

One of the best principles of design examples is shown in the image above, where we can clearly understand the repetition pattern. On a website, repetition is seen in the menu placement, giving viewers a comfortable and familiar experience with consistent menu placement. In a brand development project, one can also achieve repetition by repeating elements in a design, such as a logo or a tagline.

4. White Space

All the other design principles are concerned with what you add to your design. A white space (or negative space) is the only one that deals specifically with what you don’t add to your composition, and it is precisely that—the blank space surrounding the elements in your design.

white space design template example

Source: justinmind.com

It can be a dangerous environment for beginning designers, but giving a composition more breathing room can turn it from mediocre to successful. White space doesn’t just sit there doing nothing. It creates hierarchy and organization. It tells our eyes that objects in one area are grouped separately from objects in another.

5. Movement

Image movement involves the viewer’s eye moving from one element to another. Important elements may lead to secondary characteristics and so on. Movement creates interest and dynamism in a composition that keeps the viewer’s attention.

If a variation of an element is used repeatedly, designers can create movement with rhythm. For example, curved and diagonal lines make more motion than straight lines. Designers can use lines to trace the path to the focal point.

movement design principle example

Source: inklingcreative.ink

By juxtaposing high and low-key colors to create energy, color can help enhance movement. Using an image that includes motion is one way to show movements, such as a dancer or a hair in the wind. Some artists use optical illusions, where our brains seek to organize information through repetition and contrast.

6. Proportion

When comparing two elements, the proportion has much to do with scale and size. For example, in drawing and art, the proportion is crucial to creating a sense of unity. There is no universal definition of proportion.

proportion design principle example

Source: design.tutsplus.com

It refers to the relationship between two or more elements. Generally, in layout hierarchy, the headline plays the most crucial role. More minor details play a lesser role. A good sense of proportion can make a composition more harmonious and balanced.

7. Contrast

Contrast refers to the variation between design elements, making certain elements stand out more than others to create a visual hierarchy. You can use colors, textures, sizes, and shapes to apply contrast.

The contrast between font sizes is used in layouts to create a hierarchy. Larger text is read first, while smaller text is read last. The contrast between fonts is essential when pairing them. Using the script font and sans serif font in the example below, the script font adds movement to the static sans serif font.

contrast design principle example

Source: govisually.com

You can use an element’s contrast to draw the viewer’s attention and create a focal point; You can also use contrast to create balance and harmony by distributing items well on a page.

What are the Types of Design in Marketing

Numerous types of design in marketing can play a significant role in marketing your businesses and brands. Design principles are universal, but their application to different design communities and practices can differ. Below, we’ve examined the top types of design in marketing –

Graphic Design

As you may know, it is a big part of marketing: social media images, email headers, infographics, PowerPoint templates, postcards, and so on. To create assets that illustrate their brand and communicate with their audience, companies rely on graphic designers to use graphic design principles to create visual content that is highly valuable and engaging.

Branding and Logo Design

types of graphic designing

Source: acil.in

An integral part of it is branding and logo design, which includes logos, typography, color palettes, style guides, and more visual elements that make up a brand and brand identity. A branding designer creates assets that communicate the company’s mission, vision, and values and promote brand awareness.

Web (Front-End) Design

As the name suggests, web design involves creating the front end of a website (public-facing). A front-end designer is a UI designer with coding knowledge — they create static UI mockups for a website and translate them into HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. (This is not the same as front-end web development.)

In addition to creating splash pages, navigation elements, sitemaps, pages, scrolling and clicking features, and content management systems, web designers create assets that produce an appealing and fully-functional website. For businesses looking to elevate their brand identity alongside their online presence, collaborating with a top branding agency in CA can ensure a cohesive and impactful brand strategy across all platforms.

UI and UX Design

UI and UX are considered two different types of design. The purpose of user interface design (UI) and user experience design (UX) is to improve the user experience on websites, apps, and software. While some roles combine both UI and UX design, the two practices are quite different.

For example, web page designers, app designers, and theme designers on WordPress and Shopify create a visually appealing, brand-consistent user experience by designing web pages, apps, and themes.

UI and UX designing

Source: coursera.org

In contrast, UX designers are responsible for testing a product’s usability, designing user flows, and creating digital prototypes to ensure it solves a problem.

Environmental Design

As part of environmental design, which is also known as ecological design, the goal is to enhance an environment’s purpose, whether that’s to be memorable, exciting, informative, motivating, or easy to navigate.

This practice incorporates interior design, architecture, graphic design, landscape design, and industrial design. As an environmental designer, you create assets that connect people to their surroundings, such as murals, office design, branding and store design, event space design, and signage.

Multimedia Design

The term multimedia design (or motion design) refers to creating graphics for various media, primarily video and animation. Historically, this type of design has been reserved for TV and film companies due to its time and cost requirements.

multimedia designing

Source: pinterest.se

However, technological advances and the rise of video content marketing have made motion designs more accessible than ever, but it has become more accessible than ever. Examples of moveable assets that communicate and delight an audience are animated logos, GIFs, animated videos, tutorial videos, and animated websites.

What is the importance of Graphic Design Principles?

Various design elements are mixed into a picture to make a picture look better. The principles of design are made up of different mixes of these elements. As a result, artists can create artworks that amaze people and get good publicity, hopefully benefiting the artist who created them.

As an artist, you need to understand design principles since they will make your images look more excellent and more visually appealing to people viewing these works. They are the devices that you will unknowingly use when creating artwork.

You can make your illustration stand out by utilizing graphic design principles such as contrast, emphasis, repetition, and proportion. At the exact time, you can also use principles of design such as harmony, movement direction, and balance to make your image more visually appealing.

Challenges faced by graphic designers

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There aren’t necessarily many of these graphic design principles in every work, but almost all have at least one; even abstract art or optical illusions use two or more to create images that catch the spectator’s attention and make them want to look at them.

Therefore, the graphic design principles are essential, so your artwork looks visually appealing, grabbing people’s attention.

What are Powerful Marketing Design Tips

Powerful Marketing Design Tips

1. Keep it clean

It’s essential to use a clean marketing design to establish your credibility in the market if you don’t have a pretty famous brand. The recipe would be not to overwhelm your banner with text and graphics.

By doing the opposite, you will create a confusing banner that no one will want to click. To make your structure as clean as possible, you should ask yourself if all elements in your vision are necessary. This should help you determine what needs to be changed.

2. Use Contrast

When communicating online, contrast has the power of making your designs stand out because it holds someone’s attention and makes them engage with them. You can create contrast in your design by using size, color, alignment, repetition, proximity, whitespace, and texture.

Your marketing materials can be more appealing with the right amount of contrast. These are a few ideas to get you started:

  • a. A message should be more prominent than other visual elements if you wish to emphasize it
  • b. Your banner colors should reflect the emotions you want your audience to feel
  • c. Creating alignment in design will help you dictate an element’s value, and it will help you create structure

3. Use Limited Fonts

It is easy to get access to dozens of unique fonts when you use an online design tool. Because of this, you may be drawn to use many of them in your designs, but that may not be the best choice.

Use limited fonts to create uniformity

Source: visme.co

Instead, choose at most two fonts if you do not want to use just one so that the discrepancy between them won’t be too noticeable. In addition, when choosing a font for your business, you should choose one that complements the main font if you want to play with your visuals.

4. Follow Brand Guidelines

Making sure all your materials follow the brand guidelines is also part of great online marketing design. Ultimately, this will keep your brand’s presence unified and cohesive across all of your marketing and communication channels by incorporating your logo, color palette, typography, and any other brand elements that are relevant to your business (such as an icon, pattern, or a specific photographic style).

5. Utilize Color Psychology

Using color theory to design your marketing graphics can help you determine your customers’ responses to your marketing messages, which can significantly impact conversions.

How Color Influences Decisions

Source: fifteendesign.co.uk

To achieve your goals, you need to consider the type of response you want from your audience and choose the right combination of your brand’s colors with those that will help you reach them.

What are Different Logo Types, and How to Use Them?

Although different logotypes combine typography and imagery, each logotype gives your brand a different feeling, So you want to choose the right logotypes for your business, don’t you? There are seven logo types you should be aware of:

1. Monogram logos (or letter marks)

A monogram logo or letter mark consists of letters, usually brand initials, such as IBM, CNN, HP, and HBO. Their names are relatively long, and they’re the initials of some famous companies.

Since they only have two or three words to remember, they’ve all used their initials as a brand identity, so it makes perfect sense that they use monograms as their corporate logos. NASA is much easier to say and remember than the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for example.

monogram logo examples

Source: crowdspring.com

When to use – A monogram logo is a good option if you have a long name for your business.

2. Wordmarks (or logotypes)

Similar to a letter mark, a wordmark or logotype is a font-based logo that focuses on the business name, like Visa and Coca-Cola. As Google’s logo illustrates, a brief and distinctive character makes wordmark logos work well. As the term is memorable and catchy, the logo helps build strong brand recognition combined with strong typography.

wordmark logo examples

Source: modus.medium.com

When to use – A wordmark is an excellent option for a new business looking to get its name out. Just ensure that your name is short enough.

3. Pictorial marks (or logo symbols)

Pictorial sign logo types are icons or graphic-based logos. They’re often the image that comes to mind when you think of symbols: Apple’s logo, Twitter’s bird, Target’s bullseye. Each stamp is so iconic, and each brand is so established that it is most immediately recognized.

pictorial logo examples

Source: thelogocreative.co.uk

Choosing an image for your pictorial mark is the most important thing to consider since it will carry your company throughout its existence.

When to use – Pictorial marks are effective only if you already have an established brand, but that’s not a strict rule.

4. Abstract logo types

It’s an abstract geometric shape representing your business, rather than being a recognizable image — like an apple or a bird. Some famous examples include the BP starburst-like logo, the Pepsi divided circle, and the Adidas flower.

Abstract marks offer the benefit of conveying your company’s message symbolically without being constrained by the cultural implications associated with specific images. By using color and form, you can create emotion around your brand.

abstract logo examples

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When to use – You may use abstract marks to create a unique image for your business, but you should leave them to professionals who understand how color, shape, and structure are combined to create meaning.

5. Mascots

A mascot logo, one of the most prominent logo types, features an illustrated character. They are often colorful, sometimes cartoonish, and fun; they can help create their brand spokesperson.

Mascots are illustrated characters that represent a company, like the Kool-Aid Man, KFC’s Colonel, and Planters Mr. Peanut.

mascot logo examples

Source: tailorbrands.com

When to use – A mascot may be an excellent tool for social media marketing and real-world marketing events, especially if you are attempting to appeal to young children or families.

6. The combination mark

Some of the most well-known combination marks combine a wordmark or letter mark with a pictorial mark, abstract mark, or mascot. They can be placed side-by-side, stacked on top, or integrated into one image.

Combination marks are versatile because they combine text and icons or mascots to strengthen your brand, with your name becoming associated with your pictorial mark or mascot as soon as people see the combination mark.

combination mark logo examples

Source: visme.co

When to use – Almost any business can benefit from a combination mark.

7. The emblem

Emblem logos consist of fonts within symbols or icons; think badges, seals, and crests. Often, emblem logos are chosen by schools, organizations, or government agencies because of their traditional appearance, which makes them the go-to choice. In addition, emblem logos are also trendy in the auto industry.

The traditional emblem look has been modernized by some companies with modern logo designs (such as Starbucks’ iconic mermaid emblem or Harley-Davidson’s famous crest).

emblem logo examples

Source: webizona.com

When to use – Despite being favored by many agencies and schools, an emblem can also be helpful for any up-and-coming private company, especially those in the food and beverage industry, such as Starbucks.

What are the Graphic Design Basics?

There are distinct marketing design types to help you excel and become more familiar with the elements and types of design. Still, the graphic design basics consist of seven components: line, shape, color, texture, type, space, and image. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Master these essential elements, and you will take your portfolio to the next level.

graphic design basics

Source: visme.co


One critical graphic design basics are lines; lines go far beyond simply connecting points. Depending on their form, weight, length, and context, they can help organize information, define shapes, imply movement, and convey emotions. Designers have many options when choosing the appropriate lines for projects. Lines can be:

  1. Horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.
  2. Straight, curved, or freeform.
  3. Zigzag or create other patterns.
  4. Solid, broken, or implied.


Another essential graphic design basics are colors, which can communicate a mood or evoke a feeling in your viewers. Color theory and the color wheel provide graphic designers with a practical guide for choosing a single color or combining multiple colors in a harmonious—or intentionally discordant—way. In addition, graphic designers categorize specific colors based on their characteristics.

  1. Primary colors (red, yellow, and blue)
  2. Secondary colors (violet, green, and orange)
  3. Tertiary colors (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet)


Generally, shapes are defined as areas, forms, or figures within a boundary or closed outline for graphic design purposes. Graphic designers should be able to distinguish between geometric and organic shapes.

Geometric shapes can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Generally abstract and simplistic, geometric shapes consist of straight or curved lines that connect points, such as triangles, pyramids, squares, cubes, rectangles, pentagons, hexagons, octagons, decagons, circles, and ellipses.

Shape Psychology in Graphic Design

Source: zekagraphic.com

There are many forms of organic shapes, including leaves, crystals, and vines, and abstract forms, such as blobs and squiggles, that can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.


When designing a graphic design project, choosing a font or creating a legible and appropriate typography for the subject matter is essential. To create a positive mood, consider whether your letters should be printed or scripted and if they should have sharp or rounded angles.

Type, an essential part of graphic design basics, affects the general mood of a design. Therefore, it is also vital to consider the weight of your lettering, which conveys the importance of the words it represents.


An essential part of any designer’s toolkit is spacing. When a design lacks enough space, it can risk becoming too visually cluttered for your audience to understand or increase its visual impact. On the other hand, it can balance heavy visual elements and emphasize images or messages.

An object’s spacing can tell us whether it has a strong relationship with another of the elements or whether it is not related. The narrower the gap between two components, the closer their relationship, whereas the more comprehensive the opening, the less related they are.


The texture of a surface can be furry, smooth, rough, soft, gooey, or glossy. Most graphic designers use illusions to suggest what work might feel like if touched. However, mastering texture is essential when making designs look polished and professional.

physical quality of a surface

Source: edu.gcfglobal.org

Thanks to the variety in design principles, your design work can be textured in various ways. For example, when nature inspires you, you may want to experiment with organic textures, which include leaves, tree bark, stones, fur, flowers, grass, and soil.


It doesn’t matter if graphic designers use photographs or illustrations; they rely on images to capture attention and convey specific messages. A photo works simultaneously on several levels: it means the designer’s statement, adds drama or action and creates a mood at the same time.

Finding a picture that tells the right story and maximizes visual interest is crucial when incorporating images into your work. For example, to keep audiences engaged, you might choose an image featuring various contrasting colors and textures, providing viewers with a visual feast.

The power of pictures lies in their ability to convey powerful messages. They can make your work more impactful than you’d ever imagined when used thoughtfully.


Compositions are built upon the principles of design and elements of design and art, which serve as a foundation. Using these principles and types of design in marketing, you can better understand how other design pieces and artworks are constructed.  

In addition, you can use it to determine whether a composition will succeed or find out what’s missing. We hope in this article, we have answered your questions like what are the principles of design and how to implement them.

By thinking about these principles and how they are applied in design compositions, you’ll be able to decode the most complex designs and understand what works and what doesn’t.

Frequently Asked Questions

The use of variety in design principles allows the user to engage in the design. On the other hand, a design without variety becomes monotonous, causing the user to lose interest very quickly.

The five fundamental principles of design are Emphasis, Balance, Contrast, Proportion, and White Space.

The three main types of logos are wordmarks, monograms, and combination marks.

Marketing design involves developing and iterating visual assets for advertising, branding, and other promotional activities to improve a brand's perception, visibility, and commercial success.

An effective digital marketing design influences the customer's decision-making process and builds brand awareness.

The graphic design comprises seven basic elements: line, shape, color, texture, type, place, and image.

Visual variety in design principles refers to using different visual elements throughout a work, whereas unity refers to the feeling that all the parts of a work are harmoniously integrated.

Hiba has extensive experience writing articles, blogs, sports content, and social media campaigns, and a keen interest in traveling, reading, and photography.


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