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What are the 7 elements of great design?

Design is an essential part of every human-made object in our surroundings, whether it be a piece of furniture or a website. Good design makes things attractive, user-friendly and elevates them from the mundane to the exceptional. So, what are the key elements that make up a great design? In this article, we will discuss the seven fundamental elements that enhance visual design, whether it be in a digital or physical form.

1. Shape

The shape is a fundamental component of design that defines its overall appearance. It is often the first element that catches the viewer’s attention. Shapes can evoke emotions – a circle or an oval may represent warmth and friendliness while a triangle or a square may depict strength and stability. Additionally, different shapes can define different sections of a design by creating visual contrast and guiding the viewer’s eyes.

2. Color

Color is a powerful tool in design that adds depth and meaning. It is an essential aspect of visual communication that can evoke different emotions and create a specific mood. A clever use of color can bring a design to life and make it more aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Color is also an excellent tool for differentiation, and it can help distinguish different parts of a design.

3. Space

Space refers to the area surrounding a design’s elements and can be either positive or negative. Positive space is the area occupied by the design’s elements, while negative space is the empty space surrounding those elements. Proper use of space is crucial in design because it can help create balance, contrast, and harmony. Balance is particularly important to achieve an overall structure that is pleasing to the eye, while contrast can help create emphasis and highlight important design elements.

4. Form

Form refers to the three-dimensional aspect of design and how it relates to space. Designers use form to create a sense of depth and realism in their designs. Form can also be used to evoke specific emotions, such as curves to imply softness and rough edges to suggest ruggedness.

5. Line

Line refers to the visual element that defines the shape and form of an object, and it can be used for many different purposes in design. Lines can be thin and delicate or thick and bold, and they can create different emotions depending on their weight, direction, and texture. The use of lines in design can guide the viewer’s eyes, create movement and rhythm, and help define different components of a design.

6. Value

Value is the range of lightness and darkness in a design, from bright white to pitch black. It is a crucial element in creating a great design because it can create depth, realism, and mood. A good use of value can add complexity, creating more meaning and nuance in the design.

7. Texture

Texture refers to the tactile quality of a design, and it can create depth, interest, and contrast. Texture can be conveyed in physical designs through materials used like wood, marble, and leather. In digital and print, texture can be simulated through patterns and illustrations.


In conclusion, the seven elements of great design (shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture) work together to create attractive, functional, and compelling designs. Each element plays a significant role in the overall appearance, and they should always be used with purpose to achieve the desired effect. It is essential to understand the underlying principles of design to create successful designs that convey intended messages and evoke emotions. By mastering these seven elements, designers can create designs that are memorable, engaging, and impactful.