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What are the main elements of graphic design?

The main elements of graphic design are color, line, scale, shape, alignment, contrast, and space.

  • Color

The modern color wheel for categorizing colors is based on three primary colors – red, yellow, and blue. These are placed at opposite sides of the wheel on which other colors are added as the primary colors are mixed in a variety of ratios. These other colors are considered secondary and intermediate colors. Graphic designers usually select contrasting colors, those located directly opposite each other on the wheel, because the human eye tends to see these as the most pleasing combinations.

  • Line

Lines form the underlying architecture of whatever design you are creating. Depending on their use, they can evoke various moods in those who see them. Use your underlying mood lines to create the base of the design, including your font, and branch out with other lines to accentuate the energy you are trying to elicit.

  • Scale

The scale is the direct relationship between the size of an element in the design in relation to the size of another or others – and vice versa. This impacts how your audience will perceive what components are most important in the design. Use visual hierarchy in the design to make sure that the most important aspect of your message is the most dominant component of your design.

  • Shape

At the most simplistic level, a shape is anything defined by boundaries. Graphic designers work with shapes in two categories - geometric shapes that have defined, uniform proportions (i.e., circles, squares, triangles) and organic shapes that have less defined proportions. These graphic elements that are created are called positive space. The space that is created from the space left around the positive space is called negative space. How all of these shapes and spaces are used is highly impactful in how one views a design.

  • Alignment

Alignment is how all of the components of a design are connected visually, either by their edges or centers. Good design has a balanced alignment, or composition, when all of its components come together as a whole.

  • Contrast

Contrast is how all of the components of the design differ greatly or are opposite of each other (think large and small, light and dark). It is used in graphic design to call attention to something and to create visual interest. Using contrast well is often the difference between impactful and unimpactful design. 

  • Space

Space in graphic design comprises the areas left empty around your design message. In modern design, having a greater amount of space around your visual message is more impactful than having less space.

The graphic designers at Fully Promoted will create unique designs for your business or organization’s campaigns or promotional products based on your goals in combination with their knowledge of the elements of graphic design. No matter how small or large your project is, you will receive personal attention to ensure your complete satisfaction with the final design. Contact your local graphic design experts at Fully Promoted to discuss your next graphic design project.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact us directly or speak with a local branded products expert near you.


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