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Visual Design Fundamentals

Visual Design Elements

Visual design elements are the building blocks of visual design. Designers decide which elements to include, how to style them, and where to place them on the page.

Common elements include line, shape, color, form, texture, space, and typography.

Visual Design Principles

Visual design principles are guidelines for creating visual designs that are effective, cohesive, and appealing. Common principles include scale, hierarchy, balance, contrast, gestalt, dominance, and unity.


In visual design, layout refers to how components are organized on a page. To create effective layouts, designers may consider factors like hierarchy, eye movement patterns, visual design principles, and gestalt principles.

Example of a web page layout that aligns with the F-pattern eye movement. Our eyes scan from left to right, then down the left side. From there, we scan from left to right again. We'll repeat this pattern as we review the whole page.

Visual Design

Visual design is a digital design discipline that focuses on creating a strategic aesthetic for a product interface. The primary goal is to create an aesthetic that supports usability and provides visual appeal.

Gestalt Principles

Gestalt Principles describe how the brain processes visual information. Designers can leverage these principles to create visuals that align with people’s natural way of processing.

Common gestalt principles include figure-ground, similarity, proximity, continuity, and closure.

Layout Grid

A layout grid is a tool that helps designers create precise alignment and consistent spacing. Common layout grid types include columns, rows, and uniform grids.

A diagram showing different types of layout grids. There's a column-style grid (divides the page vertically), a row-style grid (divides the page horizontally), and a uniform grid (looks like graph paper).