Principles of Design Vocabulary

This includes all of the vocabulary specific to the Principles of Design.

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Principles of Design Vocabulary

7 Principles of Design

Movement- is the path the viewers eye takes through the work of art, often to specific focal areas. Such movement can be directed along lines, edges, shape and color within the work of art. Click here for a drawing that may help to illustrate movement.

Pattern-is the repeating of an object or symbol all over the work of art. Here is a drawing that will help to illustrate pattern.

Rhythm-is created when one or more elements of design are used to repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement. Rhythm creates a mood like music or dancing. To keep rhythm exciting and active, variety is essential.

Balance-is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture and space. If the design was a scale, these elements should be balanced to make a design feel stable. Here is a drawing that might help to illustrate balance.

              Symmetrical balance-the elements used on one side of the design are similar to those on  the other side.

              Asymmetrical balance-the sides are different but still look balanced.

              Radial balance-the elements are arranged around a central point and may be similar.

Emphasis-is the part of the design that catches the viewers attention. Usually the artist will make one area stand out by contrasting it with other areas. The area could be different in size, color, texture, shape, contrast, etc. Here is a drawing that might help to recognize Emphasis.

Proportion-is the feeling of unity created when all parts (sizes, amounts or number) relate well with each other. When drawing, the human figure proportion can refer to the size of the head compared to the rest of the body.

Unity-is the feeling of harmony between all parts of the work of art, which creates a sense of completeness. Click here for a drawing that illustrates Unity.