CA 01 – Design Principles


The Eight Design Principles


This report is written as part of the Graphic Design education
at Noroff – School of Technology and Digital Media.
I have been through a process of researching ideas from 8 design principles and I have illustrated 3 by myself.
I found very interesting to learn about the different principles.

Explainations and examples of the 8 design principles

1. Figure / Ground

Understanding how to use and figure-ground will help you build strong relationships and differences between elements in your designs.Look at the negative space just as much as the positive space to discover interesting forms. Play around with removing elements in the foreground and use the negative space to form shapes instead. Finally, mix visual elements such as contrast, color, size, position and focus to create both stable and unstable figure-ground relationships.

Article : Smashing Magazine 10.05.2016

2. Continuation

The human eye follows the paths, lines, and curves of a design, and prefers to see a continuous flow of visual elements rather than separated objects.

Article : 20.01.2020

3. Closure

The closure design principle is where positive and negative space work together. So that your eyes automatically completes shapes from negative space. Negative space is the white area or the background colour of a design. It is basically the canvas color. The way that this works, is that shapes in positive space are spaced far enough apart, but close enough together. So that your eyes will automatically complete the connection for you.

Article : 30.05.2014

4. Proximity

The principle of proximity states that items close together are likely to be perceived as part of the same group, sharing similar functionality or traits.

Article : 02.082020

5. Similarity

The human eyes tends to build a relationship between similar elements within a design. Similarity can be achieved using basic elements such as shapes, colours and size.

Article : Interaction-design org 02.07.2020

6. Symmetry

Symmetry adds balance to a design. When elements are the same on both sides of an axis, the design feels harmonious. An example
of symmetry is the arrangement of music covers in the Rdio app. Elements on both sides of the screen are the same format.

Article :

7. Common fate

Common fate is a powerful principle for designers to wield because it involves movement and animation. Movement can be used to clarify relationships between elements, helping users to see how different elements group together. As well as to guide attention to where we want it. When elements move in the same direction, they are perceived to be more related than elements that don’t move or that move in different directions or at different speeds.

Article : 23.05.2016

8. Pragnanz

The word pragnanz is a German term meaning “good figure.” The law of Pragnanz is sometimes referred to as the law of good figure or the law of simplicity. This law holds that objects in the environment are seen in a way that makes them appear as simple as possible.

Article. 05.11.2019

My three own principles

Figure / Ground

I chose to make a moon with 2 faces inside. If you see in the black side,it looks like a man ́s face, but if you see in the white side, it looks like a woman ́s face. I chose black and white colours because it is easy to see and understand the concept.


I chose to make “A” with the star because I want to make the meaning like “ The starting point that will take you to your goal”.

A = Start ( “A” is the first letter of all characters)

Star = Goal

I chose black colour on the letter and white colour on the background because it looks clear to see.


I chose to make a bug because it has 2 wings and it is easy to see that is symmetry. I use black and red colours because it is natural colours of the bugs.


The sources of my report were found in different articles and images on the internet. My study of eight design principles. Through reading and studying the design principles. I have learned about new ways how to think about making different designs. I have also found a favorite in symmetry. This is because in early phases of my study. I find this the easiest to understand, but this will very likely change in the future. My chosen design principles for myself made illustrations are Figure/ Ground, Continuation and Symmetry.