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Week 2: Principles of Design - Part 1

In class, we learnt about the principles of design.


  • One of the more difficult principles to define.

  • Visual Cohesion

  • Simple unity and abstract unity

Simple Unity:

  • lines of the same quality

  • monochromatic, or complementary colours

  • shapes that are geometric or organic

  • similar size or textures

  • line: short strokes. consistency of thickness.

  • point of interest: moon. direction of sky towards it.

Abstract unity

  • the shapes bring conceptual meaning

  • discarded. obsolete. bricks. outdated.

  • irony

  • something that is different

Problems with unity. too much unity.

  • Unity vs variety

Unity in brand

Unity across a product line


  • Everything in the design has a weight. stronger visual weights will stand out more.

  • achieve balance by size, colour, proximity, shape, textures

  • visual tension: uncomfortable to look at. Too close to the edge

What is balanced design?

  • symmetrical or formal balance

  • near symmetry

  • inverted symmetry

  • biaxial symmetry (many axis symmetry)

  • radial balance

  • asymmetrical or informal balance

  • imbalance


  • relative ratio of elements that make up a composition

  • The ratio of 1:1.68 is the most naturally pleasing

  • Page design: Tschchold’s Golden Canon of Page Construction

  • great wave:

  • contrast between foreground and background



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