Basic principles of visual design

Design is a science that studies human habits and thinking. It is always closely intertwined with psychology. Each designer has in stock a variety of techniques and principles of design of their layout.

When a designer is just at the beginning of his development path, it is difficult for him to understand, looking at other people’s work, why some look good and others look bad. Sitting for the development of the layout, in the head begins chaos of thoughts because there is no understanding of the process. The designer opens the Internet to search for inspiration and ideas, but without a clear understanding of how it works, you get an unsatisfactory result.

I have tried to collect the most important and frequent design techniques. I hope that after reading about them, you will learn to notice and distinguish them, so that you can use them further in your work.

This article uses examples of the principles that make a good visual design. The principles help create not only beautiful, but thoughtful visuals for interfaces, and directly affect the user experience.

There are the most basic building blocks of any design. You can use them to create anything from simple icons to complex illustrations. Everything is a combination of these blocks.

In geometry, a point is defined by a value on the X and Y axis. Add the Z axis and you have a 3D model.

If you connect 2 points, you get a line. Any line is made up of many points, just like atoms form molecules. If you add a third point and connect it to the first two, you get a shape.

But in order for a figure to “exist,” something else must be added to it…


The human eye can see more than 10 million different colors, from red to purple, and from an early age we all learn to ascribe certain values or meanings to specific colors.


This point is one of the most important and difficult for novice designers to understand. It’s not just about what you write, but how you present it to the user. Typography is what your words look like.

With the right typeface, even a little text can become a powerful advertising tool. But it’s even easier to ruin text with the wrong font.

Most fonts are designed with a purpose, you just need to understand the purpose of the font. Some fonts are great for large blocks of text, some are suitable for use in headlines and titles, while others are used as a design decoration.


On the right balance of space and content, the effectiveness of the entire project depends.

The designer is constantly deciding how close or how far apart elements should be in order to create the right mood.

But it, like any other tool, must be used wisely. Too much empty space will give the impression that the project is unfinished, too little – that the design is full of elements, overloaded.

Balance, rhythm, contrast

When introducing a lot of elements in the design will be mandatory to maintain a balance between them, taking into account their visual weight.



Scale creates a proper hierarchy throughout the design. Basically, not all elements in a design have the same semantic weight. This is why a hierarchy of elements is created in the design, to show the user what to look for first.

Textures and patterns.

These elements are not as fancy as they used to be, but with them you can add another dimension to your design, making it more three-dimensional and tangible.