Design Rules of Thumb

Principles and Elements of Art/Design

Rule of thumb 1. a general or approximate principle, procedure, or rule based on experience or practice, as opposed to a specific, scientific calculation or estimate. 2. a rough, practical method of procedure (Webster's, p 1680).

The following are basic rules of thumb in each area of art and design. Use these as a good place to start. Feel free to bend these rules, but only when you understand the spirit of the rule.

Design Rules of Thumb

Audience - gives a little insight into designing for your audience.

Image - addresses types of images and elements that support your message.

Layout - provides information on how to use elements within your page layouts for easier readability.

Typography - one of my favorites elements of design, this page addresses definitions and how to use type effectively.

Elements of Art and Design

Andy Goldsworthy - Beneath the Surface Appearance - An overview of Andy Goldsworthy and how he creates works in nature that use line, shape, form, space, value, and texture to help focus our attention.

Color - gives definitions with examples of how to use color, as well as compositional effects of color, uses and psychological effects, printing and computer color, spot color, and a color study chart.

Principles of Art and Design

Balance - gives definitions with examples of the forms of artistic balance, symmetry, approximate symmetry, asymmetry, and radial symmetry.

Contrast - gives definitions with examples of how to use variations in patterns, edges, value, intensity, temperature, texture, size, and shape to show visual relationships.

Emphasis - gives definitions with examples of using focal area, color dominance, value, visual movement, difference, and shape to provide the viewer with context and content.

Rhythm and Pattern - gives definitions with examples and a process for creating and using rhythm and patterns in art work.

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