What are the Principles of Design? Why Is It Important to learn?

What are the Principles of Design? Why Is It Important to learn?

Originally posted 2020-08-31 12:43:09.

Good design always starts with clear understanding and follows the basic rules. If you want to become a good designer, you must follow the principles of Design. To convey the message effectively these fundamental principles of design must be followed so that it is expressed properly.

Specially when you want to become a good designer, you must know how to do the implementation correctly.

When I started digging deeper in the Branding field my designers told me to indulge myself more and more into reading books, learning from pro’s so that I can learn all the aspects of design and while learning I got to know there are 7 Basic Fundamental Principles of Design which I must learn to perfect myself in this field.

I’m a businessman and one thing that I have learned is “If I want to achieve perfection, I have to put myself in that particular situation and see how I will perform” So to understand What Design is? I have to start from Zero and starting with the rules is the first step that I have to take.

Today I’m going to tell you The 7 Principles of Design that I learned and want to share with you. This is not a short article so hold on tight because this will be full of knowledge which will help you become a better designer.

Remember one thing

You have to become a problem solver and for that you have to grow your knowledge and change the way you see things.


7 Principles of Design are:


Balance and Alignment





White Space

These are the principles of design that every designer must follow to create a unique and attractive piece of composition.

Design should be inspiring as well as it should function well.

Yes I know design is all about creativity but a good design is like any discipline which is used to make it more stable and balanced.

So let’s start discussing these 7 Principles of Design which will help you to become a better designer and help you stand out in your projects.

1. Emphasis


Let me explain to you that we do while doing any branding project so that you can understand the true meaning of Emphasis in Design. You can also consider this a small trick which can help you a lot.

Let’s say you are a freelancer or a designer in a branding agency who has a new Logo designing project. First thing that you should do is try to understand the requirements and WHY they need a new Logo or want to Rebrand the existing Logo.

Ask as many questions that you can in order to get the clarity from your clients. It will help you in your designing process.

Once you have understood this then ASK YOURSELF:

Q. What is the information that a Logo must convey to their audience? 

Q. What is the meaning behind the Logo?

Q. How much does it cost?

Q. What Problem will it solve?

Visualize a roadmap and let your mind branstorm every possible outcome. Once this is done, start writing everything on paper and let it communicate in a way that all the bits and pieces start organising into 1 whole piece.

Once you get to this point where everything revolves around the center, learn about the color theory, What is the most essential part for that person: Company Name, Icon or Both? Start working on it and build a brand strategy for client. Look for the scalability of the logo from a tiny place to a Hoarding. While Presenting, show your clients how it will look at different places.

If you start this way with a clear idea, have a blueprint with you, this will definitely lead you to communicate your design. Once you started with this practise, you will see yourself becoming a better designer where you will be charging $1 million for your designing projects and your work will get appreciated.

2. Balance and Alignment

Balance And Alignment

Everything that you put on a page has a weight to it. It is the visual distribution of objects, spaces, font and colors in your design. Any asymmetrical design can also be balanced, there is no such limitation to it. In symmetrical balance a same element can be used at one side and on the opposite side too.

An unbalanced design leads to ugliness and missing parts which always feel incomplete.

You can consider a bachelors room which is always untidy which no one likes whereas if a person is married his room will be neat and clean 😉

Without Balance and Alignment, your audience will feel things are incomplete. The Balance is achieved by placing the elements within the design correctly. This is very important to understand when we are discussing the principles of design.

Let us understand the difference between Symmetrical design and Asymmetrical design:

a) Equally weighted elements aligned on either side is known as Symmetrical design whereas asymmetrical design uses opposite weights like One large element with several small elements.

b) Symmetrical designs are perfect to watch whereas asymmetrical designs are bolder, visually interesting and can add a lot of things to your composition.

3. Contrast


Contrast can be defined in various ways and is often described as when two opposite objects or elements are presented together it is known as Contrast. It can be anything like Warm against cool, Dark against Light.

Applying Contrast to design allows you to highlight key elements and can be used to bring emphasis and perfection.

You can see Contrast everywhere, in Building, Colors, Texture(smooth vs. rough), Fonts, Lines(Thin vs Thick) and it is important to use it. It brings a sense of Balance and Alignment to your design. The best example of contract can be The Typefaces used in a logo design.

They are always 2 different typefaces –

One for the Main Logo which is Bolder or Bigger and another one is the Tagline which is smaller.

As more fonts are added, it will add confusion and will not resolve the purpose of design.

4. Repetition


Have you ever wondered how things will look if you limit yourself from using too many elements? You were given an option to use only 2 or 3 colors only? What will be the results?

Let me tell you, they will be amazing and trust me on this. Its Ok to use two strong typefaces or three strong colors to create a masterpiece. Things will get repetitive and strengthen your design. It’s a conscious effort to unite all your elements into one piece.  You can repeat any element from your design, it can be color, fonts, shapes etc. or even a texture.

If you are into business and you might be understanding this, a logo is the first thing that is seen by your customers. It is repeated in your business card, envelope, website, social media, T-Shirts and more. By doing this you are creating consistency and building a strong brand identity.

5. Proportion


Over the years I’ve learned that visualizing size and weight of elements is very important. There are some points when I’m wrong but I’m glad to be with very good designers who help me understand that if I’ll use elements properly in a composition it can stand out of the box. 

The main purpose of proportion is to organise all the related elements together. It helps you see how the scalability of design will be which means it is looking better in large space or in tiny places.

It takes time to master everything but once you have practised and perfected yourself the art of alignment, balance, contrast and proportion no one can stop you.

Let take an example of a Soap Packaging and Labeling

It has everything to do with color, scalability, contrast of fonts and how every element is placed perfectly. The designer knows which information should be placed correctly so that the person can know where the price tag is, which brand the soap is, what are the contents etc.

6. Movement


I’ll continue with the same example of Soap Packaging

Suppose you were in place of that designer who is designing the packaging of soap bars, then you have to decide which is the most important piece of information which should be displayed when it is on the shelf or in the customer’s hand.

How would you design it? How will you communicate with a person’s mind where there is so much competition in the market and more over when so much money is going to be invested in setting up the whole thing?

YOUR ANSWER IS MOVEMENT. It is the art of controlling the elements so that everything that you have designed is properly seen, it is eye-catching and stands out on a shelf. If you do this, no matter if you are designing for a Startup who wants to enter the Soap Market, it will SELL.

If you know your work and audience, know how to align everything, you will definitely progress towards your goal.

7. White Spaces

Always remember one thing


It adds more value to your design and gives you more space to work and let elements breathe. It organises your design and creates hierarchy. It tells your audience which elements are grouped together.

Think of a poster design, everything has its own space perfectly organised.

On a website, White spaces or Negative Spaces are more useful. It has a lot of information, images, different elements combined together and adding white spaces to it, enhances everything.

Now that you know there are 7 Principles of Design which are very important to learn for every designer, you should also learn how to use these 7 Principles Of Design effectively. 

There are many awesome designers which have ignored one or two principles but they have mastered themselves and know what they are doing. Same can be the case for you too. Whenever you design something for your clients, for your portfolio, or just to relax yourself, just remember how YOUR AUDIENCE WILL FEEL when they will see. How they will communicate with your designs.

Always remember practise makes a man perfect and always go for the Quality not Quantity.

I’m always there to help you and this is my small attempt to help you grow from my learning experience that I learned while working for clients. Hope you have learned and enjoyed a lot. 

Let’s connect with each other and let me know what you think.

You can always connect with me on social media, or commenting down below and you can support Mount Woods Studio to build a design community.

Your support is what keeps us motivated and moving further. We have also started our Mount Woods Studio Design Academy where designers can learn a lot and improve their skills.

You can share your knowledge with others and help them grow to become a better designer and stop them from committing those mistakes that you did.

Focus more on practical skills and teach everyone what you have learned in your designing career.

Also, we have a good news for you. If you think YOUR VOICE MATTERS and should be heard to the masses, we have our own Mount Woods Studio Podcast channel where we discuss many things related to creative fields, design, talk about the innovations happening and lot of things with Industry leaders.

What are you waiting for?

Contact us and be our guest on our show


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