Design Elements



Designpractices are guided by principles of design that represent theessential assumptions of the world and address the arrangement ofobjects in different compositions. This is achieved by the use ofdesign elements, which are the basic components utilized as part ofdifferent compositions (McClurg, 2005). In other words, designelements are objects that need to be arranged to create a givencomposition. In most cases, elements of design can be used to buildone another, where former elements facilitate the creation of thelater elements of design. This paper will compare and contrast themajor elements of design, including line, point, texture, form, andcolor.

Thefive major elements of design have three similarities. First, each ofthese elements builds on each other (McClurg, 2005). This impliesthat a combination of one type or more elements is used to constructdifferent types of elements. For example, a combination of color andpoint can be used to show texture. Secondly, elements can be usedindividually or in combination with other elements to give differentimpressions (Taheri, 2013). For example, different types of lines andcolors can be combined to give various impressions. Third, the fiveelements can be combined to give the sense of texture, value, anddensity. This implies that all design elements can be applied indifferent compositions to achieve some goals.

Differentelements of design have special features that distinguish them fromeach other. A point has no extension like other elements and it has alimited location (McClurg, 2005). This means that the use of a pointas an element of design limits the designer’s ability to make anymovement or take any direction from the location on which the pointhas been placed. Unlike point, a line has length and direction. Linesare used in the design to create certain perspectives or a sense ofcontinuance in a given composition. Form or shape can assume eithertwo or three dimensions. For is derived from a combination of line,point, and shape. Unlike other elements, form is defined by closedcontour and it has a perimeter (Lovett, 2014). Texture is both atactile and a virtual phenomenon, which is used to create surfaceappearance. Color is a special element of design that is used tocreate mood and give more information about a given brand.

Designelements cannot be regarded as universal regardless of the mediumused. This is because different elements are used to achieve varyingobjectives and their application is determined by the medium indifferent ways. For example, color space determines how the colorsused in the design are mixed depending on the medium in which colorsare applied, while other elements (such as point) are mainlydetermined by intended purpose and not the type of medium (McClurg,2005).

Inconclusion, design elements are used individually or in combinationin order to achieve some goals. The composition and combination ofelements of design are mainly determined by purpose and not themedium used by the designer. The main elements of design bear somesimilarities in terms of their combination to give certainimpressions, one element being built on other elements, and theirgrouping to create the sense of texture, value, and density. However,each element of design has its own distinguishing features that makeit different from other elements.


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McClurg,J. (2005). The elements of design. DigitalWeb.Retrieved July 19, 2014, from

Taheri,M. (2013, December 2). Basic elements of design. CreativeMarket.Retrieved July 19,, 2014, from