Design Elements You Should Be Aware Of | Wave Interactive

No matter the art form, the basic elements stay the same. However, how they influence art, can change. Let’s take a look at the design elements that impact not only visual art as a whole, but also graphic design in particular.

Tweet: #Design elements impact every genre of art, but do you know what they are? Take a look:

Color

You may recognize color as light reflecting from your eye. Or, at least that’s the scientific definition behind this element. However, in design, color is more than adding a pop of fun into a logo or whitepaper. Color means emotion – brand recognition. For example, red is seen as fierce or strong. Whereas yellow is seen as happy and bright. Understanding how these colors work in conjunction with your company’s brand/mission is key. The right, or wrong, color combination can make all the difference.

Characteristics of Color

  • Hue. Pure spectrum colors.
  • Saturation. The brightness or dullness of the color.
  • Tints and shades. Adding black or white to a color to reduce saturation.

In Graphic Design:
Color is one of the trickiest aspects of design, and one of the most important. Each color communicates or evokes different feelings in people and it’s important to choose what best represents your brand or campaign. A great example of using color in design, comes from a case study by a branding firm called Mucho. They explored redesigning the currency of the United States. Their use of color, imagery and text really helps distinguish between the different denominations of the bills and really makes them stand out, more so than the green bills we all know and use today.
Mucho

color hue example

Lines

A line is a line, is a line. They can go any which way, be any length, width, and more. Cross, zig-zag, break, and connect. But in design lines help to create one important thing – perspective. They are the beginning of shapes (more of those later), create 3-dimensional bodies, and give illusions of a horizon.

In Graphic Design:
Lines are a great element to add for direction, texture, pattern and visual interest. One clever use of line is by Tall True and Tangled. Not only do they utilize a type crafted from lines, they also use a line to extend from the logo, and lead you down the page, as if you are planning out your adventure. The background is also a texture of topographic linework to add visual interest.
Tall True and Tangled

Point

Much like a line, a point is the beginning of it all. A point serves as the focus of something visual, and therefore draws attention. Even if there is only one point or mark on a blank page, our brains will make it mean something.

In Graphic Design:
Point, often referred to as the focal point, is where your attention is drawn to in a particular place or piece of work. This is an example of how an exhibition uses an image as a focal point.
Exhibition

point design element example

Shape

A shape can be defined as two or more areas that stands out from the space next to it due to a defined or implied boundary. These shapes are usually composed of other elements of design such as lines, colors, and more.

Types of Shapes

  • Geometric. Shapes that can be drawn using a ruler or compass.
  • Organic. Complex and resemble shapes that are found in nature.
  • Curvilinear. Composed of curved lines and smooth edges.

In Graphic Design:
Using shape in your campaign/designs can add so much more visual interest. One example of this, that really utilizes shape and makes a fun campaign is Azerbaijan. The “A” is composed of two shapes, a circle and half circle, that are then filled with different images/patterns to flow together and represent the ever changing landscape of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan | Brand Firm

design element example

Texture

Texture usually refers to the physical and visual qualities of a surface. Do you ever see a photo and can just “feel” the grass or brick wall? That’s what texture does. It brings the visual aspect to life in a way that makes it connect with your other senses.

Types of Texture

  • Tactile. The physical three-dimensional texture of an object that can be perceived as touch.
  • Visual. The illusion of a real texture on a two-dimensional surface.
  • Pattern. When a motif is repeated over and over again in a surface.

In Graphic Design:
A well-designed pattern can really make an impact on a company. Burgess is a great example of this. You can see in their logo, they use lines to form the “B”. These lines are then used throughout the site to create fun, intricate and eye-catching patterns. These patterns also help create a texture throughout the site to compliment the solid purple that makes up a majority of the site.
Burgess | Brand Firm

texture design element example

Space

When it comes to proper design terminology, space is the area that your design resides in, your canvas. How you interact with this area makes all the difference in how the objects you create are perceived, ultimately resulting in unique perspectives.

In Graphic Design:
Deciding on how to use the space given is a very important step in the design process, as it can drive your entire campaign. Do you want a cleaner site with more space? Patterns or photos that leave little space? One example that encompasses the “space” design principle is Endo at the Rotunda. Their site is very simple, and has a lot of “space” around the elements, yet incorporates a textured background so that it doesn’t seem too stark or bare. This combines the best of both worlds, in terms of how to use all of the space provided, yet still keeping it clean and uncluttered.
Endo at the Rotunda | Brand Firm

space design element example

Form

Form is defined as the shape or visual quality of something. It refers to aesthetics, how a piece looks. Form can suggest emotions and feelings, as well as being functional and environmental.

In Graphic Design:
This is a really fun installation design that uses form and animation to interact with the viewer.
Installation

When all these elements (or just a few) are combined properly, they make for an amazing piece of art. So true is it that when creating a logo or image for you business, these design elements needs to be taken into consideration to best represent your brand and engage with your audience.