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Design Elements (U1)

Applied IT (Year 11) - Design Concepts (U1)

Christian Bien

Design Elements

The design elements are as follows:

  • Line

  • Shape

  • Space

  • Colour

  • Texture

  • Tone

The design elements are used to demonstrate the the design principles in the next page.

We also encourage you to have a read of Canva's interpretation of Design Elements and Principles using the link below:

Design Element #1: Line

Lines are strokes that can encompass anything in an image. They can be think or thin and curvy or straight. The nature of the line can invoke movement or emphasis.

Design Element #2: Shape

The use of shapes in an image can invoke certain design principles and emotions. For example, the use of shapes with soft edges can invoke calmness, with the use of shapes with hard edges and corners can invoke a sense of criticalness or urgency. In the above image, the sharp triangles represent an image that is fierce or dangerous.

Design Element #3: Space

Space can be used to direct the viewer's attention to a certain item. Filling an image with too many elements could confuse the viewer when trying to navigate the image. In the above image, the use of white and grey space allows the viewer to focus on the individual walking through the art gallery.

Design Element #4: Colour

Colour can be used to provoke emotions in the viewer. The use of cool colours for example can invoke calmness, the use of warm colours can be used to invoke excitement and the use of dark colours can be used to invoke danger or urgency. In the above image, the use of light warm colours in the oranges and pineapple contrasting with the yellow background create a feeling of excitement towards the prospect of summer around the corner.

Design Element #5: Texture

Texture in the image can be used to provoke emotions, a soft surface can appear inviting and pleasing, while a rough surface can appear dangerous or unapproachable.

Design Element #6: Tone

Tone is simply the lightness or darkness of an image. A lighter tone can be more pleasant while a darker tone can be more dangerous or fearful. While the above image may just be a simple photo of a crowd, the dark tone invoke a sense of danger and fear in the crowd.

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