Design Concepts

Relationship Between Design Elements and Principles

The design elements (line, shape, space, colour, texture, tone) are used in a way to construct the design principles (balance, emphasis (contrast and proportion), dominance, unity (proximity and repetition), pattern, movement).

Design Elements
  • Line

  • Shape

  • Space 

  • Colour

  • Texture 

  • Tone

Design Principles


The design principle that measures the weight of elements on a design. Balance can created through the symmetrical or asymmetrical placement of shapes. 

Balance can also be created through the even use of negative space.


Movement is the flow or the direction of an design. Movement can be created through the repetition of similar sized shapes and through the use of line that allows the reader to track and guide the viewer through the design. 

Emphasis (Contrast and Proportion)

Emphasis is created through size proportion and contrast. Contrast is often shown through the element of colour and can be lowly contrast, use of two similar colours, and highly contrast, the use of two different colours - usually opposites on the colour wheel. 

Proportion is often shown through the size of shapes, text or thickness of lines. The larger the shape of text, the more important the element is regarded in the design, hence is emphasised amongst the design. 

Unity and Harmony

Unity and harmony often go together and refers to the emotions of completeness in the design. Do the elements work together? 

Harmony and unity can be created through the use of a consistent colour scheme (eg warm colours) and repetition of similar sized shapes.