Visual Design Basics And Principles

Visual design is the implementation of images, fonts, colors and other related elements to enhance the look of a given site in a strategic manner. It simply focuses on a site’s aesthetics. A good visual design shouldn’t portray a different message that doesn’t match with the content on the function or page. Instead, it should enhance the content by engaging different users as well as helping to build interest and trust in the brand. So, what are the basic elements of visual design? Well, they’re as follows: Lines – They connect two points and they are therefore important in visual designing because can it be used in defining shapes, creating textures and making divisions. All straight lines have a direction, length, and width. Shapes – These are self-contained areas. As a graphic artist, to successfully define an area, you must use lines, color and/or texture or even differences in value. All objects are composed of shapes. Color palette – Their combinations and choices are used to make a difference between items, add emphasis, help organize content and create depth. The theory of color examines how different choices affect users psychologically. Texture – This refers to how a given tangible surface feels or imply perceived to feel. To create a good texture and form a pattern as well, an element should be repeated. Based on the application of a texture can be used in a strategic way to deter or attract attention. Typography – This is based on the type of fonts used, their color, spacing, size, and alignment. Form – This mainly applies to all objects in three dimensions. It also describes their mass and volume. To create a form, simply combine two or more shapes. It can be enhanced by different textures, colors, and tones.

What are the Principles for Creating a Visual Design?

For a successful visual design, the following principles apply to the above-discussed basic elements and also bring them together in an effective way that makes sense. The following are important to consider when using basic elements to create a visual design. Unity – This has to do with each basic element of a given page or function conceptually or visually to appear that they belong together. A good visual design must give a balance between variety and unity to avoid an overwhelming or dull design. Gestalt – This principle helps users in the visual design, perceive the overall design as strongly opposed to all individual elements. If elements of a design are properly arranged, the overall design’s Gestalt will be clear. Space is also another important principle for creating a good visual design. Therefore, to incorporate space into a design greatly helps increase readability, reduce noise, or even create the illusion. Other principles for creating visual design include hierarchy, which is important in showing the differences between items, contrast, balance, dominance, and similarity in the design. Basically, basic elements and principles discussed above are very vital in the creation of a successful visual design. It can be a good if all of them are taken into proper consideration when creating a design.


Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)