Learn the Basic Theory!?6 Visual Design Principles That Designers Must Master

Label:Graphic Design, Visual Design, Negative Space, Dynamic

Nov 2, 20201300

Learn the Basic Theory!?6 Visual Design Principles That Designers Must Master

Hello everyone, this is JRPanel. The basic principles of visual design are often highly reusable. Even after many years of work, these principles are still used and will not be out of date. I usually find a lot of basic problems when I help others modify the membrane switch graphic designs. In fact, these can be avoided.


The basic theory should go deep into the bones and be integrated into one's daily design. Let's take a look at the article together.

We all know visual design elements like graphics, lines, etc., and we also put terms like contrast, center of gravity, rhythm, etc. into our brains. As a trained graphic designer , I will share some subtle knowledge points that I have learned and are still using. They are not the great theories that are often talked about, but some practical tips. 

1. Gravity

The concept of gravity is often applied to objects and graphics, including visual design. This may sound strange, but it is not about physical gravity in real life, nor can it pull a two-dimensional object downward. But the concept of gravity is very ingrained in our subconscious, so we have also transformed it into two-dimensional objects. Take the following picture as an example. This ball makes people feel that it is possible to land from above at any time, which makes people feel a little uneasy.

Now look at the opposite image below:

The sphere of this structure should not make people think that it will fall, but more like a steady stop at the bottom of the page. It makes people look at ease.

Summary: When you are faced with a visually heavy design, designing it at the top will make people feel depressed and uneasy (of course, unless you do it deliberately)

2. Reading order

In most cases, people’s reading order is from left to right and top to bottom. Because of this, the object on the left is generally considered to be entering the screen, and the object on the right is considered to be leaving.

There is a circle on the left side of the picture above. Because of the influence of our reading order, this circle looks like it is about to enter this picture. The circle in the picture below feels like going out.

You can also use the same way to convey some specific emotions. For example, how do you make an object look secretly? You can design the screen as shown below:

On the contrary, want to convey the feeling of an object (or character) running away? (JRPanel Note: This concept can be used in some emotionally designed pages, such as empty pages, card designs with brand images, etc.)

3. Reading priority

Due to the order of reading, we naturally pay attention to the objects in the upper left corner first, and then move to the lower right corner and other things in the following. Even if everything is the same in shape, color or size, their importance will be different depending on where the object is placed (maybe you want users to see the title first, and then the content).

Let us look at the example below:

If you grew up in a left-to-right, top-to-bottom reading order, then you are likely to see the circle in the upper left corner first, and then the lower right corner.

(JRPanel Note: Arrange important content according to reading habits, the conversion effect is better)

4. Dynamic vs. Static

Static composition is often boring. A simple optimization method is to tilt its horizontal line to make the composition look more vivid. The picture below is a somewhat lifeless static picture:

Now after tilting its horizontal line, the entire cityscape looks more dynamic.

If you want to make the composition more dynamic, you can use the edge characteristics of the object to extend the graphics out of the screen. Refer to the following angled perspective composition:

5. Make good use of negative space

You can activate the negative space to a specific point with a directional shape. If the directional force is too small, the effect between it and the negative space will not be too great. The image below is an example of a graph that draws your attention upward to the right.

But the problem is that when your gaze reaches the upper right corner of the page, your attention is almost over. There is not enough space in the upper right corner to make your eyeballs freeze there. That space is still static. But if you try to crop the image size or scaled re- typeset words:

The space around the image became meaningful and revived in an instant. Hit the point! If you want people's eyes to move on the screen, then pay attention to the static negative space. A simple way is to just point your finger at the object and change it to within the range of motion that your sight will naturally move to. You can try to adjust your typography (perhaps graphics or edge lines) to make the negative space come alive.