Basic Principles of Graphic Design

Author: Rakesh Kumar


An attractive and effective composition always requires some basic fundaments of design principles.

The best graphic design outcomes use these principles to communicate its message successfully, making that message more impactful yet easy for viewers.

Here are basic design principles to keep in mind when working with illustrations and creating graphics.

Balance and alignment
Every element you place on a page has a weight and its impact on the design. This weight can come from line, texture, color, or size. As you create a living room aesthetics by placing furniture at the right places. You don't put all your furniture in one corner of a room, and also you can't crowd all your heavy elements in one side of your design workplace. If balance was not kept in mind while creating a design, your audience will feel a discomfort with your composition or design outcome.

A better alignment of the objects appropriately will remove the disorderedness and eliminate the disarray or chaos that can occur when graphic elements are placed aimlessly.

By these alignment principles, we can decide that elements should be kept in line horizontally, vertically, and across all linear planes.

Symmetrical designs are always attractive, if not rarely boring.

White space (also called negative space) is exactly the empty page around the elements in your composition. This white space allows the human eye to read easier.

It does not mean exactly space filled with white color, but every area of the design, which is only filled with the background color or patterns.

This white space or negative space gives the feeling of better breathing space and, it offers light and an open feeling. The lack of white space will make your composition a cluttered one (also called primitive).

A relation between the visual size, weight, and its other elements in a composition and their relation among themselves.

Authority, importance, and proportion work in tandem to assure the user sees the information properly on a graphic composition.

Proportion is important and helps representing the scale of elements compared to each other. It is true that those larger elements have a stronger impact on the user than the small ones.


Rakesh Kumar
A media professional with a diploma in film making and multimedia. Have experience in multimedia and a keen interest in Graphics, specialization in 3d Lighting and Rendering in Maya Software. Currently he is working as a Graphic Designer with eWandzDigital Services.