I have started the design learning road from scratch using Teach Yourself Graphic Design: A Self-Study Course Outline. In the first section it mentions design principles.

The first link : Principles of Design says the principles are

  • Balance
  • Proximity / Unity
  • Alignment
  • Repetition / Consistency
  • Contrast
  • White Space

while another says the following

  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Proportion
  • Dominance
  • Unity

Are the principles generalized such that they can be used under different terms or is there a standardized set of principles one should examine ?

1 Answer 1


You can study each single principle in depth (it is useful), but the only way that you are to achieve good design: it is experience. 1) Trying to make something everyday, and make it judge by others (it is good if "others" are people expert in design so they can give you an objective point of view, and not a subjective point of view based on taste). 2) Look constantly at good design of others, until you get the "eye" to recognise which work it is good because it feels that someone has spent hours and hours to find the right balance between various principles.

If you are looking for a more detailed and scientific approach have a look at this book: Universal principle of design. http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Principles-Design-William-Lidwell/dp/1592530079

I personally learnt by bombarding myself by images that feels that have a right proportion, balance and know how to break the rules.

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