Basic Principles of Graphic Design

There are raw and basic principals in graphic designing that every designer must abide by them and base their designs on. Those principles are the main factor behind separating a good design from a bad one. The best part about knowing those principles is that they all compliment each other forming that well-structured design at the end of the process.

What separates a good graphic designer from others, is how they master and apply those basic principles to implement their designs. A good design is an outcome that is always backed up by tons of layers and substances behind it,

In this article, we will be going through those basic graphic design principles in detail.


By definition, contrast the difference between 2 opposite elements in a design, such as black and white, large and small, etc.

Contrast plays a key role in identifying certain elements in the design, providing vibrancy and more life based on the designer’s preference.


Simply, a hierarchy occurs when the designer puts extra visual weight to the most important element of his/her design. Also, it can be illustrated in many different ways, forms, or shapes. For example, using bolder fonts to highlight the text of the design, or maybe adding extra focus to certain visuals when compared to other visuals in the same design.


This is perhaps the most essential and the most crucial principle to each and every graphic designer out there. Alignment is what separates a professional from an amateur designer. It adds a professional neat value to the design.

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Balance is what adds structured stability to the whole design. This of it this way, Balance is the overall weight behind all the elements your design contains. However, this doesn’t mean that balance is there to distribute the weight of those elements evenly, In fact, there are 2 types of balance, symmetrical balance is when elements are divided equally, and asymmetrical, where it depends on the scale, contrast, and color to enhance the design’s flow.


The Proximity principle is considered to be the relationship between similar elements in the design. Meaning, designs should be consistent when it comes to fonts, color palettes, proportions, and so forth. Proximity is what helps to create that relationship.


This is a fundamental element in Branding designs. It gets the whole design to be tied up together, provide it with a consistent identity, making the design of the brand more catchy and recognizable.


In short, this is refining and re-editing the design till you reach the final outcome that you’re convinced with. Worth to mention that more often than not, in graphic design, less is more. Hence, simplicity plays a very important role in clarifying the design until you reach a cleaner final draft.


This is where at the very beginning of a project you consider your main objective. Then you start to explore, implement, and execute until you reach that objective you have in mind.

These principles will be very effective if as a designer, you start to study other designers’ work. Inspiration is a key factor to get better at anything, especially, designing.

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