Learning the Basic Elements and Principles of Graphic Design

Site Inspire also uses the negative space on the sides and combines it with a well-suited typography.


These are the basic elements a beginner graphic designer should know about. Having this knowledge will allow you to think more user-focused and design with a better style. However, this is not everything.

Let’s talk about design principles.

The Basics of Graphic Design: Principles

In the first part we covered the basic elements of graphic design with shapes, lines, textures and color among others. In this section we will go a bit more in-depth and will take a look at the principles of design, which are very important to know because they’re what separate the good designers from the amazing designers. Some of the principles we’ll cover today are applied unconsciously, but they definitely exist and we will show you examples from the web to illustrate the concepts.

1. Balance

Balance is how the elements of a design are distributed throughout a layout. If the balance is good, then stability is assured, although lately many designers go for unbalanced designs because they are dynamic and offer a totally different perspective. The personal pages are the most suitable for slightly off-balanced layouts, and you will see some examples soon.

To be able to notice what kind of balance a website has, you need to know the three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. The first one takes place when both sides of a design are the same in shape, lines, texture and so on.

Because this is the way we design today, this happens most of the time along a vertical axis, so when we talk about the two sides of a design, we talk about left and right. There are also examples along the horizontal axis and sometimes even along both of them, but these are rare. The symmetrical designs are pretty much most of the websites on the internet until 5 years ago.

The second type of balance occurs when the two sides of a website do not look like each other, but still have elements that are similar. Although it is called asymmetrical, they still provide some symmetry, like the first type of balance, only at a lower level. Asymmetrical websites are becomimg more and more popular nowadays (see WordPress layouts with content on one side and sidebar on the other).

The radius balance takes place when design elements are placed in a circular pattern. They give a sense of movement, dynamism, but it is not seen very often on the internet, because even the most experienced designers have problems laying out such a design. As said earlier, balance is achieved through shapes, colors, textures, lines and the other elements we’ve talked about in the first episode.

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