The Elements of Design are the pieces, the components, the building blocks of design. Elements are like the ingredients in a recipe, the parts of a machine or the notes in music. On their own, these elements may do little, but put together skillfully, they create a cake, a car or a concerto. Put together skillfully, they create effective visual communication.


A line is a mark between two points. There are various types of lines, from straight to squiggly to curved and more. Lines can be used for a wide range of purposes: stressing a word or phrase, connecting content to one another, creating patterns and much more.


Color is used to generate emotions, define importance, create visual interest and more. CMYK (cyan/magenta/yellow/black) is subtractive; RGB (red/green/blue) is additive. Some colors are warm and active (orange, red); some are cool and passive (blue, purple). There are various color types (primary to analogous) and relationships (monochromatic to triad) worth learning more about as well.


Texture relates to the surface of an object; the look or feel of it. Concrete has a rough texture; drywall has a smooth and subtle texture. Using texture in design is a great way to add depth and visual interest. Texture can be physical or visual; printed material has actual tactile texture (physical) while screen material has implied texture (visual).


Height + width = shape. We all learned basic shapes in grade school – triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles. Odd or lesser seen shapes can be used to attract attention. There are three basic types of shape: geometric (triangles, squares, circles, etc.), natural (leaves, animals, trees, people), and abstract (icons, stylizations, graphic representations, etc.).


Value is how light or how dark an area looks. A gradient, shown here, is a great way to visualize value – everything from dark to light, all the shades in-between, has a value. Use value to create depth and light; to create a pattern; to lead the eye; or to emphasize.


Write a response which answers the following questions:

  1. Which element of design do you find to be the most important?
    1. Why do you find them to be most important?
  2. What (or which) elements of design were you aware of?
    1. How did you learn about them?
    2. Which were you unaware of?
  3. How do you think you can integrate these elements into your work?
    1. What can they include?
    2. After reading about these elements, have you thought of any new ideas for your work?
    3. What are they?

Your response must be at least 3 paragraphs.

You may decide which questions to answer as long as you have fully and thoughtfully responded to at least 3 of the questions and meet the required text length.

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