Making a design that stands out goes beyond just creativity. It is also a result of careful technique and a proper understanding of design elements. From the skillful use of colors to clever spacing, how you use design elements can impact your creative work.
But then, there are so many design elements, so which should you focus on?
In this guide, we walk you through some of the basic elements of design and how to stand out using them. Whether you are making a simple flyer or a complex smart mock up design, these tips will change how you create.
6 Important Design Elements to Stand Out
Now, let’s delve into some of the top design elements that will make your work stand out from the crowd. They are:
As a designer, understanding shapes is the first step to making powerful logos and other graphic work, hence it is the first on the list.
A shape is typically any line that encloses an area.
There are shapes known as geometric shapes while others are organic shapes. As the name implies, the geometric ones are the mathematical shapes. In design, they can be used to add certain attributes to the design, for example, a triangle can direct viewers’ attention to a specific point in the design.
Organic shapes on the other hand are shapes that look like everyday objects around us. They have a curvy, asymmetrical flow which lets you get as creative as possible— the limit is endless.
Lines are the most basic of all the design elements. Every complex logo or 3D design starts with a shape and a shape starts with a line.
At the lowest level, a line connects one point to another. But it is also used to add character and mood to a design piece depending on its thickness, direction, and texture. For example, a straight line conveys seriousness while curly lines give off more fun, artistic, and informal vibes.
The more subtle context you add to design, the more unique they become.
Colors in design goes beyond aesthetics. They also evoke emotions, feelings, and moods within the audience. For example, warm colors like red and orange can create a sense of excitement or warmth, while cool colors like blue and green can convey calmness or serenity.
Colors can also guide the viewer’s attention and establish a visual hierarchy within a design. You can use bright or contrasting colors to highlight important elements while less critical information can have muted tones.
To use colors in such a way that your design stands out, you must understand the characteristics of this element.
- Saturation: It refers to the intensity of a color. You make your design stand out by skillfully combining both vibrant and muted colors.
- Hue: It refers to a color in its purest form.
- Shade: It is the intensity of black in a color. This attribute is crucial especially when trying to determine the overall mood of the design.
- Value: It is how light or dark a color can be. Colors closer to white have a higher value than darker ones. Knowing how to use value helps you create emphasis on certain areas of your design.
- Color Scheme: There are two major color schemes in design; CMYK or RGB. CMYK consists of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. It is the most suitable choice for printing. RGB on the other hand comprises red, green, and blue. It is best used for digital designs as the colors will remain consistent even after sharing it online.
Texture is all about the appearance and quality of the surface of your design. It is such a crucial design element because it helps you add unique details and characteristics to your work which subsequently makes it standout.
Using the texture element, you can represent roughness, smoothness, and even edges on a surface. It injects a sense of realism and visual depth into the elements within your design, creating a 3D illusion.
Nevertheless, the best results only come from using texture correctly. Avoid overloading your design with multiple textures as it disrupts visual harmony and confuses the viewer. You can buy high-quality PSD mock-ups with distinct textures on platforms like Yellowimages.
Typography is a crucial factor in creating a design that stands out. It is concerned with the fonts and overall text placements within your design. This design element is used to set the tone and ambiance of the design. For example, Helvetica is often associated with simplicity and minimalism which makes it widely used in corporate branding.
Comic Sans MS, on the other hand, exudes a playful and informal personality. It resembles handwritten text and is often seen as casual and friendly. You’ll find this font on comic books, children’s artwork, etc.
If you want to go beyond conventional fonts to something more creative, you can find an extensive library of fonts on platforms like YellowImages.
Additionally, typography constructs a visual hierarchy within your design. It guides the reader’s path from commencement to conclusion.
When it comes to making unique designs, the content you omit is just as important as the ones you use— this is where space comes in. Space represents the unoccupied areas in a design. It accentuates a design’s focal point, enhances its readability, and makes it aesthetically pleasing without excesses.
For the best results, you must understand how to balance positive space and negative spaces. Positive spaces are the regions with the major elements like objects, texts, and shapes. They represent the focal point of the composition.
Negative space, on the other hand, is the region in between design elements. While it may appear “empty,” negative space is far from insignificant. It serves to define and balance the positive space, providing contrast and aiding in the overall composition’s readability and aesthetics.
When it comes to making your design stand out, you have to skillfully combine creativity with the proper understanding of design elements. As you learn the principle of design, ensure that you experiment with different color schemes, shapes, and other elements because the more you do this, the better you become. We hope the highlighted basic elements help you get started in making breathtaking designs!