The Principles of Design - Clarkstown Central School District

The Principles of Design
• The Principles of Design are the ways in which
the elements of art are organized within a
composition of art.
• The Principles of Design are: Balance, Emphasis,
Rhythm/Movement, Variety/Contrast,
Harmony/Unity, Pattern/Repetition, and
Balance is the arrangement of elements to create a
sense of visual stability in a work of art. Balance in a
composition can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or
Emphasis is a focal point of a design. It is the area
of a composition that attracts the viewer’s eye first,
either because of its size, location and/or color.
Proportion is the comparative relation between
sizes of objects, parts of objects and spaces between
Pattern or Repetition is when elements or
combinations of elements are repeated in a
recognizable organization.
Rhythm or Movement is the organization of
elements to produce the appearance of movement.
Contrast or Variety is the incorporation of
differences in elements to enhance the interest in a
work of art.
Harmony or Unity is when a composition has a
sense of wholeness as result of the successful
combination of all of the elements.

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