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10 Basic Design Elements for Graphic Designers to Know, How to Use Them

It is essential to understand the fundamentals of designing along with creative ideas and inspiration. As a beginner in graphic design, you will first study the basic elements of graphic design. This article will help you get a head start by reviewing several essential design elements

1. Color

With colors, you can convey your message, evoke emotions, or make a statement. It is always important to use color cautiously when telling a story.

You can identify and use various color combinations with the color wheel, including triadic, analogous, and complementary schemes. 

The colors red, blue, and green each evoke a specific emotion. Consider the colors that reflect your intended message.

 2. Shape

Any space surrounded by lines is a shape. Geometric and free-flowing shapes, when combined, can convey emotion and tell stories. Such shapes are vital to the creation of professional and appealing content.

Geometric shapes with rounded edges can evoke a more natural and calm look. Using sharp-edged shapes can catch viewers' attention, though.

A shape is anything that appears on the canvas. As such, you must understand how the shapes will interact before you use them.

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  3. Line

Every design starts with a line. Connecting two points forms a line.

As a contrast, implied lines refer to the lines that appear when the shapes change hues, textures, or tones. You can distinguish lines by varying their smoothness, thickness, and continuity.

Additionally, lines with different directions will appear, such as horizontal, vertical, curved, diagonal, and zigzag. Using lines, you can highlight the focal point of a design.

  4. Space

A design canvas consists of spaces that help you create harmony among lines, shapes, and colors. A blank space can appear below or above your design's objects.

A shape placed near another one conveys a sense of connection. Independent shapes imply separation. The use of white space is crucial to maintaining consistency.

 5. Texture

Textured backgrounds and shapes can make your designs more appealing. Digital ads, social media posts, and mobile apps restrict your viewers' ability to see your graphics.

However, natural or artificial textures give your online content a sense of life and help it to be more appealing to your audience.

You can also use textures to create contrast between objects, balance your design, and turn attention to the central message.

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 6. Harmony

Your design can achieve visual satisfaction if all of canvas elements are in harmony. If you arrange analogous colors and place similar shapes close together, you can create an attractive design. Maintaining consistency with patterns and textures is also helpful.

 7. Hierarchy

Your design canvas follows using this design principle. Having too many objects, shapes, and texts will result in a cluttered final product. It is better to prioritize which elements stand out in your design.

You can also guide the audience with hierarchy in mind. Shapes, images, and text play a vital role in establishing relationships between the components.

Mobile apps and websites use hierarchy to draw the user's attention to call-to-action buttons.

  8. Balance

Harmony and hierarchy go hand in hand in designing. These principles also inspire the notions of asymmetry and symmetry.

For a clear visual, your design canvas must be symmetrical. Alternatively, you can use asymmetrical patterns if you want to experiment with a more chaotic look.

A larger audience may take notice of unbalanced designs. These designs feature asymmetrical shapes, the use of opposing hues, and eye-catching effects.

  9. Scale

You can learn to understand objects, shapes, and text by understanding their scale. Make a meaningful statement by sizing objects appropriately.

You can create a visual journey by scaling each element appropriately. In turn, this creates harmony in the overall design.

10. Contrast

Contrast helps you emphasize a product, message, or idea. Having no contrasting elements or colors within the design could lose your audience.

The use of opposite colors or varying shapes can create contrast.


Use These Elements to Create Appealing Designs. In either case, you'll find a lot of elements, principles, rules, and guidelines. Using these tips, though, you can create attractive designs. Follow these 10 basic principles of graphics and layout.