Elements of Design

The Elements of Design

Line

Line

Line varies in direction, defines contour or the edge of an object, creates the illusion of space and form, and
creates a pattern when repeated. Line has varying characteristics, e.g., thick and thin, long and short, and
curved and straight.

Shape

Shape

Shape creates pattern when repeated, can be organic or geometric, can be positive or negative, creates rhythm
when repeated, creates emphasis when varied in size, creates balance when varied in placement, can be
objective or non-objective, can be distorted or extended.

Form

Form

Form is shape with dimension, can be balanced symmetrically or asymmetrically, can be open or closed, when
repeated creates pattern, can be organic and/or geometric, can be studied for its historical and cultural
significance.

Colour

Colour

Colour can be mixed from red, yellow, and blue, can be combined to make new colours, can be mixed for
intensity and value, can express moods and feelings, can be warm or cool, can give the illusion of distance.

Space

Space

Shape can be displayed by overlapping spaces, can be displayed by color, can be two or three-dimensional, can
be distorted, can be positive and negative, can be shown by proposition.

Texture

Texture

Texture can be real or simulated, can form a surface, can be natural or man-made, can achieve emphasis, can
be affected by lighting conditions.

Value

Value

Value can be created by the manipulation of media, can be expressed through a variety of media, can create
movement, can separate a surface, can create an illusion of depth, can be the lightness or darkness of media.

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