MA 01 – Design Principles


Throughout life you have seen examples of good and bad design across various platforms. Good design can range from a nice logo, an eye catching poster to an engaging website. But what is it that makes one design better than another and what makes a customer buy one product rather than another? Is it just by chance or are there actual fundamental principles that result in a better design which engage potential customers more? A design that looks good and makes one think, “Wow! What a great product.” As you work through this course, you’ll learn some simple visual principles and you’ll practice how to visualize them. In the first part of this assignment, you will need to to research ideas for each of the nine design principles presented below, include some ideas, sketches or examples you have found. This can be a mood board or a simple list.

A version of a cover for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Figure / Ground

What is in the foreground and what is in the background?

A version of a cover for Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Nasa's Logo


Once the eye begins to follow something, it will continue in that direction until it encounters another object.

Nasa’s logo

Github logo


Viewers can fill the gaps to see the full picture

Github’s logo

Hennig Olsen's logo
Hennig Olsen’s logo


Related elements are grouped together to form a whole. (Grouping: We tie objects that are near each other together.)

Moldejazz 2010 – Used on things like website and t-shirts. Visualizing the mountain and fjord panorama (as seen from Molde), by using soundwaves.


We link similar elements together.

Tine Melk 2016

Starbucks' logo


Elements are arranged equally on both sides of an axis.

Starbucks’ logo

Common Fate

Elements that move in the same direction are seen to be related. Think of a flock of birds.

The Mustangs of Las Colinas

Dyreparken's logo


We tend to reorganize complex shapes into a simpler whole.

Dyreparken’s logo


The repetition of a design element to form a pattern.

Profile header on Pinterest