The Graphic Design Elements and Principles You Need to Know | Blog | Synapse

Today, businesses use visual elements such as billboards, logos, high-quality images, etc. in their branding strategies. There’s a lot of work that goes into creating attractive visuals for all of these when promoting our businesses and/ or products and services. And obviously, someone has to work on them, right? This kind of design work is known as graphic design and those that work in the field are graphic designers.

Brand building absolutely requires graphic design services. Therefore, every graphic designer must learn and understand basic design principles before they start working on any project. Keeping this in mind, let’s get details about graphic design and all that it entails. In this article, we’ll get to know what graphic design is, who a graphic designer is, the different elements of graphic design, and, the basic design principles that one working at a graphic design agency must know and follow. Basically, we’ll attempt to tell you everything you need to know about graphic design services.

What is Graphic Design?

The simplest way to explain graphic design is that it’s the creation of visual elements such as typography, imagery, color, and form which can help solve problems, communicate ideas, and garner specific emotions and reactions from the target audience. 

Visual elements such as colors, typography, clear images, other imagery, etc. help to enhance your message and also give it credibility. This means that there’s a very real need to use graphic design to create something that the target audience will engage with, leaving behind all distractions. Graphic design is not just a profession but also a skill that takes years to hone. It’s not easy to just take on a graphic design job without any experience. This is why most companies engage a graphic designer or a graphic design agency to handle their branding work with the utmost care. 

Who is a Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer is someone who is skilled in visual communication and knows how to create concepts manually or by using specialized graphic design software. If you need customized design work done for your brand, this is the person (or team, in some cases) that you go to. A graphic designer understands how to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers using both physical and virtual art forms that include images, words, or graphics. They constantly communicate with clients, customers, and other designers. This ensures that their designs don’t just reflect their message but also effectively express important information.

What does a Graphic Designer do?

A graphic designer plays a vital role in helping to make the company that hired them recognizable and prominent. They turn ideas into something tangible by using text, images, and a variety of media, which are then used in advertising and promotions. The media used is extensive and may include fonts, sizes, shapes, colors, print design, photography, animation, logos, and billboards.

A graphic designer’s job can’t always be a one-man show. Graphic design projects can be either short-term or long-term. Depending on the type of project, a graphic designer has many people to collaborate and coordinate with. These can be other graphic designers, digital marketing specialists, multimedia animators, programmers, art directors, and web designers. They’ll even work closely with copywriters who specialize in writing text for a layout and decide whether this text will be put into headlines, paragraphs, lists, or tables.

But before they do this, they must learn and understand two sets of essential information. These are 1) the different elements of graphic design and 2) the basic principles of graphic design.

What are the elements of Graphic Design?

Every design structure is made up of basic units of any visual design that help to attract the target audience and convey its message. These are called elements of art and play an important role in graphic design. They are:


The line is the most basic of these design elements. There’s no strict rule on how to use them in your design. They can be drawn curved, straight, thick, thin, two-dimensional, three-dimensional – whatever you like! A line is basically an element of design that is defined by a point moving in space.


How do you create a shape? Draw lines to create a two-dimensional defined area, that’s how. Shapes can be created in different forms such as geometric, abstract, and organic shapes, all of which are basic elements of design.


In graphic design, Color is a vital element and plays a major role in attracting attention. This is especially because colors tend to evoke certain reactions in people. Color psychology helps to prove this. Color has three main characteristics: hue (the color family), value (how light or dark the color is), and saturation (the purity of the color).


Typography is the art of carefully arranging text in a way that makes it easy to read, clear, and visually appealing to anyone that sees it. It’s a critically important element. Given that it can greatly affect the design’s messaging. Graphic designers that work with typography need to be extra careful. There are so many aspects of typography such as different weights (bold, regular, or light), combined with varied sizing, colors, and spacing that can add power to the concept or idea the designer is trying to convey.


When you look at an object in design, you may wonder if you could touch it and how it would feel. We refer to this as texture in design. There are different types of textures such as rough, smooth, glossy, soft, hard, etc. It’s yet another element of design that works well in attracting attraction. You can add texture to other elements like shapes, colors, images, and type.


Size is simply a way to describe how small or large something is. In design, it’s typically used to indicate how important an object or piece of text is. Graphic designers usually use it to create visual interest in a design by using contrasting sizes.


You can’t clutter up any design with objects and text entirely. You have to leave some areas of the design blank. These areas refer to any distance or areas between, around, below, or above other design elements. Designers intentionally keep spaces to add emphasis to different areas of the design.

The 7 Basic Principles of Graphic Design

Design is all around us, and it has a profound impact on our lives whether we realize it or not. Great design makes things look better, work better, and feel better. It can make us more productive, more efficient, and more effective. And it can make us happier and healthier too.

There are seven basic principles of design that positively essential for creating anything that’s not just functional but also beautiful and inspiring.


Balance is all about creating a sense of stability and harmony in a design. It’s about using different elements in a way that makes them feel equal and balanced.

Balance is of two types: symmetrical and asymmetrical. If you arrange elements in a mirror image on either side of a central point, it is
Symmetrical balance. On the other hand, if you arrange elements in a way that creates a sense of visual stability even though they are not actually mirror images of each other then it is Asymmetrical balance.


Contrast is all about creating visual interest and tension in a design. It’s about using elements that are different from each other to create a sense of visual excitement.

This design principle can be created using different colors, different shapes, different sizes, different textures, or different levels of light and dark.


Emphasis is all about making sure that the most important elements in a design are the ones that stand out the most.

It’s about using contrast, positioning, and other design techniques to draw attention to the elements that you want people to notice first.


Movement is all about creating a sense of visual interest and excitement in a design. It’s about using elements that are in motion to create a sense of dynamic energy.

The best way to create movement is to use animation, video, or even just carefully placed images that suggest motion.


The pattern is all about using repetition to create a sense of visual interest and excitement. In order to create a sense of visual rhythm, you use repetitive elements in the design.

You can create a pattern simply by using shapes, colors, textures, or even just words or numbers.


Proportion is all about using the right amount of each element in a design. It’s about making sure that the elements in a design are in proportion to each other and to the overall size of the design.


Unity is all about creating a sense of cohesion and coherence in a design. It’s about making sure that the elements in a design work together to create a sense of visual harmony.

You can create unity using color, texture, shape, or even just a consistent style throughout a design.

You don’t have to do it yourself

These are the elements and the seven basic principles of design. By understanding and applying both elements and principles, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful and effective designs. However, you don’t need to struggle if you still don’t feel experienced yet. At Synapse, India’s leading graphic design agency, we offer all sorts of graphic design services and have worked with different industries across the country. If you’d like to discuss how our design team can help you, please get in touch. Our no. is 1800 121 5955 (India) and our email address is Call or write to us. We’d love to hear from you.