Table of Contents

Knowledge

The elements of design

Definition

element - an essential or characteristic part of something abstract
design - the look and function of an object

The elements of design are a fundamental idea that are a characteristic part an object. The term elements of design are a particular set of characteristics that are used across all fields of design and refer to the parts that make up a design.

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Line

Definition

line - an element of design that is the path of a point through space and that is always has more length than thickness

Shape

Definition

shape - an element of design where a two dimensional area stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of differences of value, colour, or texture

Space

Definition

space - an element of design that refers to the area within, around, above or below an object or objects

Texture

Definition

texture - an element of design that describes the way a surface feels or is perceived to feel and can be added to attract or repel interest to an element, depending on the pleasantness of the texture

Colour

Definition

colour - an element of design that is produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back to the eye

3D form

Definition

3D Form - an element of design where a three dimensional area stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of differences of value, colour, or texture

Tone

Definition

tone - an element of design that defines the lightness or darkness of a colour

The principles of design

Definition

principle -  a fundamental idea or proposition
design - the look and function of an object

The principles of design are a fundamental idea that determines the look and functioning of an object. The term principles of design is a particular set of ideas that are used across all fields of design and refer to the way designers use the elements of design to create an effect or show the designer's intent
Adapted from https://www.thoughtco.com/principles-of-art-and-design-2578740)

The AIT course does not cover a definitive list of all principles of design, and you may find additional principles that are not covered in the course when you visit external websites.

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Balance

Definition

balance - a principle of design that is a state of equalised tension and equilibrium, which may not always be calm

Balance is a sense that the design feels stable and "feels right." Imbalance causes a feeling of discomfort in the viewer.

Balance can be achieved in 3 different ways:

  1. Symmetry, in which both sides of a composition have the same elements in the same position, as in a mirror-image, or the two sides of a face.
  2. Asymmetry, in which the composition is balanced due to the contrast of any of the elements of art. For example, a large circle on one side of a composition might be balanced by a small square on the other side
  3. Radial symmetry, in which elements are equally spaced around a central point, as in the spokes coming out of the hub of a bicycle tyre.

Adapted from https://www.thoughtco.com/principles-of-art-and-design-2578740

Emphasis

Definition

emphasis - a principle of design that creates a focal point in a design and it is how we bring attention to what is most important by using what catches the eye and makes the viewer stop and look at the image

The designer does this by creating an area of the composition that is visually dominant and commands the viewer's attention.

Contrast

Definition

contrast - the difference between elements of art in a composition, such that each element is made stronger in relation to the other

When placed next to each other, contrasting elements command the viewer's attention. Areas of contrast are among the first places that a viewer's eye is drawn. Contrast can be achieved by juxtapositions of any of the elements of design. Negative and positive space is an example of contrast. Complementary colors placed side by side is an example of contrast.
Adapted from https://www.thoughtco.com/principles-of-art-and-design-2578740

Proportion

Definition

proportion - refers to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design

The issue is the relationship between objects, or parts, of a whole. This means that it is necessary to discuss proportion in terms of the context or standard used to determine proportions.
Adapted from http://char.txa.cornell.edu/language/principl/principl.htm

Dominance

Definition

dominance - a principle of design that is created by contrasting size, positioning, color, style, or shape

Compare any two elements in a design. Either the elements will be equal in every way or one will exert some level of dominance over the other. The more dominant element will attract the eye and get noticed first. It might even appear to exhibit some sort of control over the less dominant element.

(Adapted from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/02/design-principles-dominance-focal-points-hierarchy/).

Unity

Definition

unity - a principle of design that exists when all elements are in agreement. No individual part is viewed as more important than the whole design

You want your design to feel unified such that all the elements fit together comfortably. Too much unity creates monotony, too much variety creates chaos. You need both. Ideally, you want areas of interest in your composition along with places for your eye to rest.

(Adapted from https://www.thoughtco.com/principles-of-art-and-design-2578740).

Proximity

Definition

proximity - the process of ensuring related design elements are placed together

Any unrelated items, should be spaced apart. Close proximity indicates that items are connected or have a relationship to each other and become one visual unit which helps to organise or give structure to a layout.

(Adapted from http://www.edgee.net/the-principles-of-graphic-design-how-to-use-proximity-effectively/).

Repetition

Definition

repetition - the reusing of the same or similar elements throughout your design

Repetition of certain design elements in a design will bring a clear sense of unity, consistency and cohesiveness.

(Adapted from https://visscom.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/principle-of-repetition-pattern/)

Pattern

Definition

pattern - a principle of design that uses repeating visual elements such as line, colour, shape, texture, value or image tends to unify the total effect of a work of art as well as create rhythm

It refers to the uniform repetition of any of the elements of design or any combination of them. Anything can be turned into a pattern through repetition. Some classic patterns are spirals, grids, weaves.

(Adapted from https://www.thoughtco.com/principles-of-art-and-design-2578740).

Movement

Definition

movement - a principle of design that occurs when objects seem to be moving in a visual image and comes from the kinds of shapes, forms, lines, and curves that are used

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Relationship between the elements of design and the principles of design

Definition

relationship - the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected
between - indicating a connection or relationship involving two or more parties
elements of design - the basic units of any visual design which form its structure and convey visual messages
principles of design - principles that. when applied to the elements of design. bring them together into a single design

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Additional Information

https://www.canva.com/learn/grid-design/

Typography

Definition

typography - the style and appearance of printed matter, can also refer to the art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it

Typeface

Definition

typeface - an element of typography that is used to describe a set of one or more fonts each composed of glyphs that share common design features

Size

Definition

size - an element of typography that refers to how large or small the typeface that has been used. It can be used to create headings, sub-headings and paragraph text

Alignment

Definition

alignment - an element of typography that is the setting of text flow or image placement relative to a page, column (measure), table cell or tab

Format

Definition

format - an element of typography that refers to how the characters on the page are organised and includes margins, line spacing, paragraphing, and pagination

Spacing

Definition

spacing - an element of typography that refers to the use of spacing inserted between words, between letters within a word and between words and other elements

Compositional rules

Definition

compositional - relating to the production of a creative work
rule - one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity

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Rule of thirds

Definition

rule of thirds - a compositional rule that aligns a subject with the guide lines (vertical and horizontal lines at thirds of a page) and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section

The Rule Of Thirds

Reading gravity

Definition

reading gravity - a compositional rule that describes the way in which we start to read at the top left corner of a page (the Primary Optical Area) and work across and down going from left to right and back again until we reach the bottom right corner (the Terminal Axis)

Form and content

Definition

form - a design's style, techniques and media used, and how the elements of design are implemented
content - a design's subject matter, or what is being depicted

Grid and alignment

Definition

grid - a structure (usually two-dimensional) made up of a series of intersecting straight (vertical, horizontal, and angular) or curved guide lines used to structure (align) content
alignment - an element of typography that is the setting of text flow or image placement relative to a page, column (measure), table cell or tab

Skills

Identify and explain the elements of design and the principles of design in an existing digital product and/or digital solution

Definition

identify - recognise and name
explain - relate cause and effect; make the relationships between things evident; provide why and/or how
elements of design - the basic units of any visual design which form its structure and convey visual messages
principles of design - principles that. when applied to the elements of design. bring them together into a single design
existing - in existence or operation at the current time
digital - storing information such as sound or pictures as numbers or electronic signals
product - an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale
solution - a means of solving a problem (e.g. for a client)

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Modify a digital product and/or digital solution to meet a design need/consideration

Definition

modify - make partial or minor changes to (something)
digital - storing information such as sound or pictures as numbers or electronic signals
product - an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale
solution - a means of solving a problem (e.g. for a client)
meet - fulfil or satisfy (a need, requirement, or condition)
design - the look and function of an object
need - a thing that is wanted or required
consideration - careful thought, typically over a period of time

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Apply the elements of design and the principles of design developing a digital product and/or digital solution - create accurate visuals/layouts, apply principles of layout and composition

Definition

apply - use, utilise, employ in a particular situation
elements of design - the basic units of any visual design which form its structure and convey visual messages
principles of design - principles that. when applied to the elements of design. bring them together into a single design
develop - start to exist, experience, or possess
digital - storing information such as sound or pictures as numbers or electronic signals
product - an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale
solution - a means of solving a problem (e.g. for a client)
create - make, invent something
accurate - providing a faithful representation of someone or something
visual - a picture, piece of film, or display used to illustrate or accompany something
layout - the way in which the parts of something are arranged or laid out
principle -  a fundamental idea or proposition
composition - the action of putting things together; formation or construction

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Apply the elements of design and the principles of design relevant to a particular design brief

Definition

apply - use, utilise, employ in a particular situation
elements of design - the basic units of any visual design which form its structure and convey visual messages
principles of design - principles that. when applied to the elements of design. bring them together into a single design
relevant - closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered
particular - an individual item from a specified group or clas
design brief - a document for a design project developed by a person or team in consultation with the client

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Develop and apply detailed annotations for digital designs relevant to a design brief demonstrating the following considerations: elements of design and the principles of design, use of appropriate typography, visual composition, rule of thirds, form of content, grid and alignment

Definition

develop - start to exist, experience, or possess
apply - use, utilise, employ in a particular situation
detailed - having many details or facts; showing attention to detail
annotation - a note by way of explanation or comment added to a text or diagram
digital - storing information such as sound or pictures as numbers or electronic signals
design - purpose or planning that exists behind an action, fact, or object
relevant - closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered
design brief - a document for a design project developed by a person or team in consultation with the client
demonstrate - show by example
following - about to be mentioned
consideration - careful thought, typically over a period of time
elements of design - the basic units of any visual design which form its structure and convey visual messages
principles of design - principles that. when applied to the elements of design. bring them together into a single design
use - be or become familiar with something through experience
appropriate - suitable or proper in the circumstances
typography - the style and appearance of printed matter, can also refer to the art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it
visual - a picture, piece of film, or display used to illustrate or accompany something
composition - the action of putting things together; formation or construction
rule of thirds - a compositional rule that aligns a subject with the guide lines (vertical and horizontal lines at thirds of a page) and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section
form - a design's style, techniques and media used, and how the elements of design are implemented
content - a design's subject matter, or what is being depicted
grid - a structure (usually two-dimensional) made up of a series of intersecting straight (vertical, horizontal, and angular) or curved guide lines used to structure (align) content
alignment - an element of typography that is the setting of text flow or image placement relative to a page, column (measure), table cell or tab

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Additional Information