Graphic Design Elements & Principles
Line Is the path of a dot, point etc. through space and that is always has more length than thickness. Lines are not all the same, especially in art.
Design Elements Basic components that artists use in producing artworks, the "building blocks" of all designs to express ideas
Shape An enclosed space de ned by line, color, value, or texture. Circles, squares, and triangles are the three basic shapes used in graphic design
Color Wavelengths of light as interpreted by the human eye, ultimate tool for symbolic communication
Texture Refers to surface quality; smooth, rough, soft. Elements of art can be used to create the illusion of texture on a printed piece- i.e. the look or feel of a surface.
Space The distance around, between, above, below and within an object on a surface. (i.e. perspec- tive-size relationship, overlapping to create the illusion of space)
value Value is the relative degree of lightness and darkness in a design element
Hue technical term for "color"
Primary Color These 3 colors are the base colors for every other color on the color wheel. Cannot mix any other colors to achieve these colors. (blue, red and yellow)
Secondary Orange, Green, Purple (made by mixing 2 primaries)
Complimentary Colors Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel
Intensity Purity and strength, brightness or dullness of a color
Cool Colors olors like blue, green, and purple (violet). These colors evoke a cool feeling because they remind us of things like water or grass.
Warm Colors Colors such as red, yellow, and orange. These colors evoke warmth because they remind us of things like the sun or re.
Neutral Colors White, Black, Gray, Brown. They tend to lend a classic or "retro" feel to a design
RGB Color based upon light. Your computer monitor and television use RGB. The name “RGB” stands for Red, Green, Blue
CMYKaka Process Colors Color method based upon pigments (ink). “CMYK” stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. This is the method used by printers the world over. The "K" is for "key" ink.
Pantone (PMS) Colors The Pantone Matching System is a book of formulas for standardized color matching throughout the graphics industry. Also referred to as a "spot" color.
Design Principles The di erent ways that the ELEMENTS OF ART are ordered and arranged within in a design.
Balance Refers to the way the art elements are arranged.
Assymetrical Balance informal balance, which is uneven in the distribution of visual weight or activity on each side of the center of the artwork.
Symmetrical Balance formal balance, which is roughly even in the distribution of visual weight or activity on each side of the center of the artwork
Radial Balance elements radiate out from a center point in a circular fashion
Emphasis Refers to the focal point or center of interest. May be achieved by central location, contrasting elements, pointers, unusual subject matter, lighting, and converging lines.
Proportion Refers to how the size of one part relates to the size of another part. Proportions may be realistic, or exaggerated and distorted (for expressive reasons).
Movement the design element that operates in the fourth dimension
Contrast Making a specific element stand out or draw attention to the eye.
Repetition simply means the reusing of the same or similar elements throughout your design. Repetition of certain design elements in a design will bring a clear sense of unity, consistency, and cohesiveness.
Alignment Nothing should be placed just anywhere – everything should line up with something else on the page.
Proximity Items that are related should be placed close to each other.
Variety Refers to the use of an art element(s) to achieve diversity and change. Too much variety is chaotic; too little is uninteresting.
Unity One of the most important aspects of a design. A work of art has unity when its parts are balanced and organized in a harmonious way-all the elements and principles work together.
Message Analysis Process of analyzing things that will in uence the design such as the target audience, men or women, age, location of the design, billboard, magazine, etc.
Rule of 2/3rds Most designs can be made more interesting by visually dividing the page into thirds vertically and/or horizontally and placing the most important elements within those thirds.
Line Length The best length for a line of text is one that is the most comfortable on the reader’s eye. Lines that are too short increase the number of eye movements, while long lines make it hard for the eye to stay on the correct line.
Optical Center This is slightly to the right of and above the actual center of a page. Placing important elements or the focal point of the design within the visual center of a piece is another design trick.
KISS Principle EEP IT SHORT & SIMPLE; states that design simplicity should be a key goal and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided
Eye Movement The path the eye follows through a design. Movement in a visual image comes from the kinds of shapes, forms, lines, and curves that are used.
Thumbnail Sketch Small, simple, rapidly drawn designs for various ideas of a layout
Rough Layout Actual size, redrawn version of a thumbnail sketch with re nement that is truer to design
Camera Ready Shows how the printed piece will look when nished. Typically printed from a laser printer with all artwork and typography.
White Space The distance or area between or around things.Areas free from type and art is called white space, and it creates a rest for the eye.
Graphic Design Cards1

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