The Basic Components of Design

It is easy to spot the difference in designing done by a professional versus someone who is just starting out. Designing can take years to master and perfect there is no way around that but here are some tips that you can use that will surely make a difference in the way you design and become better as a designer.

The Basic Components of Design

The fundamentals of design can be seen in all forms of visual mediums. From fine arts to fashion and even web designs. Even the little details like the fonts that frame most compositions make use of the basic components of designs.

The basic components of any design can be broken down into the following elements:

  1. Line
  2. Shape
  3. Form
  4. Texture
  5. Balance

They might not look like a lot of on their own, however, when used together they are a part of virtually everything we see and make in the world of designing. The fundamentals might initially seem discouraging and boring, particularly if you do not consider yourself as a creative person. However, there is a ton they will teach you regarding working with different creative assets and making simple visuals from scratch.



A line could be a form that connects 2 or additional points. It can be fat or thin, wavy or jagged. Every possibility gives the line a slightly different feel. Lines appear frequently in design; for example, in drawings and illustrations and graphic elements, like textures and patterns. They’re also common in text compositions, where they can add emphasis, divide or organize content or even guide the viewer’s eye. When working with lines, pay attention to things like weight, color, texture, and style. These subtle qualities can have a big impact on the way your design is perceived.

Look for places where lines are hiding in plain sight; for example, in text. Even here, experimenting with different line qualities can give you very different results.



A shape is any 2-dimensional area with a recognizable boundary. This includes circles, squares, triangles, and so on. Shapes fall into two distinct categories: geometric (or regular) and organic (where the shapes are more free form). Shapes are a vital part of communicating ideas visually. They give images heft and make them recognizable. We understand street signs, symbols, and even abstract art largely because of shapes. Shapes have a surprising number of uses in everyday design. They can help you organize or separate content to create simple illustrations or just add interest to your work.

Shapes are important because they’re the foundation of so many things. Learn to look for them in other designs, and soon, you’ll start seeing them everywhere.



When a shape becomes 3D, we call it a form. Forms can be 3-dimensional and exist in the real world or they can be implied, using techniques like light, shadow, and perspective to create the illusion of depth. In 2-dimensional design, form makes realism possible. Without it, a bouncing rubber ball is just a circle. A 3D building is just a series of rectangles. Even flat designs use subtle techniques to hint at form and depth. In everyday compositions, the purpose of form is the same, but on a smaller scale.

For example, a simple shadow can create the illusion of layers… or give an object a sense of place. Basic forms can bring a touch of realism to your work a powerful tool when used in moderation.



Texture is the physical quality of a surface. Like form, it can be 3-dimensional -something you can see and touch – or it can be implied, suggesting that it would have texture if it existed in real life. In design, texture adds depth and tactility to otherwise flat images. Objects can appear smooth, rough, hard, or soft, depending on the elements at play. For beginners, textures make great background images and can add a lot of interest to your work. Look closely, and you may find texture in unexpected places, like distressed fonts… and smooth, glossy icons. Just be careful not to go overboard—too much texture in a single design can quickly become overwhelming.



Balance is the equal distribution of visual weight (in other words, how much any one thing attracts the viewer’s eye). Balance can be affected by many things, including color, size, number, and negative space. Mastering balance can be tricky for beginners because it does take some intuition. Luckily, the design world is full of examples that you can help you understand its different iterations.

Symmetrical designs are the same or similar on both sides of an axis. They feel balanced because each side is effectively the same (if not identical). Asymmetrical designs are different, but the weight is still evenly distributed. The composition is balanced because it calls attention to the right things.

Many people use a strategy called the rule of thirds. This imagines your work area divided into a 3×3 grid. The focal point of the image is placed on or near one of these lines, creating visual balance with the rest of the space. We find this type of composition appealing because, according to studies, the human eye naturally follows this path when scanning a design. The fundamentals of design are all about the bigger picture – in other words, learning to appreciate the many small details that make up every composition.

This insight can be applied to almost any type of project, whether you’re creating your own graphics or just looking for simple ways to enhance your work.

Creating a visual identity

Branding and identity are all around us. On websites and merchandise packaging, on different types of advertising and even on personal things, like documents and business cards. Simply put, a brand is what people think about you, your company, your product, or your service.

Visual identity is what that company appears like, from your emblem to your color decisions and then much more. Strong visuals are often persuasive.

Think of your own experiences as a client. Have you ever chosen a product just because you liked its look?

Understanding visual identity will assist you to build additional thoughtful style choices, regardless of your role, medium, or ability level. Visual identity is a preview of your company. Each part of your style could be a clue that tells the viewer what they will expect. Your tone is often classic and refined or a touch additional out there. No matter what, each part works along to indicate specifically what your brand is. Of course, it is not all business. You can apply the construct of identity to nearly any form of project, massive or tiny. Whether you want to change your resume or are trying to find ways to reinforce your website.

The main elements of visual identity are:

  • Logo
  • Color
  • Typography
  • Images


A logo is what identifies your company employing an explicit mark, style, or both. The most effective logos tend to be fairly simple something viewers can acknowledge and keep in mind. Every part of your logo contributes to your company’s identity, together with your font selection, colors, and different images. Change even one among these elements and it will have an enormous impact on how the brand is perceived.

Logos are all over. Look closely, and you will notice them in company settings representing small businesses, freelancers, and different entrepreneurs. A logo that is pixelated, distorted, or too tiny to browse may provide viewers the incorrect impression. Create a logo that is sharp, top quality, and massive enough for any project. That way, you are ready for all kinds of print media.

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COLORColor is a very powerful method to communicate information. The use of colors will not only build a powerful impression on the viewer, but it will also create a unified brand when used across multiple platforms. Most brands derive their main colors directly from the corporate logo. Additional colors will assist you to outline your brand’s personality and elegance.

Just watch out to not go overboard or ignore basic style standards. Avoid common pitfalls like colors that vibrate or threaten to overwhelm your style. Make sure to incorporate neutrals in your color palette, like black, grey, white, or off-white.


TYPOGRAPHYText is one among the easier aspects of identity, and it is an amazingly effective method of establishing context. All it takes could be a completely different font and you’ll be able to subtly or vividly amendment the complete look of your company. Most brands opt for two to three fonts often galvanized by the logo for basic, everyday use.

Creative fonts ought to even be chosen with care and will be a mirrored image of your distinctive visual identity. There are sure fonts that professionals recognize to avoid fonts that were once fashionable, but are currently thought of noncurrent and overused. Your font selection ought to complement your company, but still be current and professional.


imagesImages are a huge part of building a unique identity. Every photo, graphic, icon, and button is a chance to showcase your brand and shape the way that it’s perceived. In professional settings, images are usually created specifically for the brand; for instance, pictures in a catalog or graphics in an app. Beginners can get similar results by choosing images with a subtle through-line, like a signature color, a shared subject or a consistent graphic style.

Most importantly, avoid images that feel generic or obviously staged. This is difficult if you’re relying on third-party stock, but there are ways to set your brand apart. Avoid images that lack context or appear frequently in other brands’ designs. Instead, choose images that seem genuine and feature authentic people, places, and things. Visual identity isn’t just a marketing tool. It’s a way of looking at a design that removes a lot of the guesswork.

With a clear vision of your brand, you know exactly what colors, fonts, and images to use. You can create consistent works that viewers will remember.

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