The principles of design are simple guidelines used to organize the various elements of design (line, texture, color, etc.) in a composition. Five basic principles that we illustrate here are: balance, unity, rhythm, proportion and emphasis. Good art has both elements AND principles of design cooperating well together creating a composition aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Below we show examples of fun wine bottle designs where several of these principles have been applied.
Five Principles of Design
Balance has to do with visual stability, and relates to our physical sense of balance; it is a reconciliation of opposing forces. Strong compositions achieve balance either symmetrically or asymmetrically.
Unity is the root principle summarizing all the other elements in design. It is unity that achieves overall harmony with all the elements for a holistic and consistent composition.
An important element of design is visual rhythm, or movement which is achieved when using the principles repetition, gradation (involving sequence progression of steps) and alternation (repeating pattern presented in turn). The repetitions can be made subtly at a foundational level, or more boldly using distinct elements in a composition.
Another principle of design is Proportion. This is attained when a desirable relationship is found between the elements in the composition relating to size, color, quantity, or degree. Good proportion adds unity, symmetry, or balance among the parts of a design.
Emphasis can be brought about in several ways, often by using contrast, color, shape or texture. It’s also referred as point of focus as it breaks, or interrupts the flow of the composition drawing attention to the intended elements.