Capturing your audience’s attention through a visual medium, like a presentation, poster, or even a leaflet, requires creativity. Being unique is not often enough. You want someone to see the design and instantly want to learn more. How can you do that? A good way to start is to ensure the five visual principles of visual design are incorporated into your piece.
What Are the 5 Visual Principles That Are So Important?
Though a range of visual concepts play a role in whether a design captures attention and conveys its message properly, five specific visual principles define the success of your poster, leaflet, or presentation. It is these elements that create a thoughtful visual, and each plays a role in the success of your piece.
Here’s a closer look.
The scale of any component within your design is critical to get right. The eye is drawn to the piece’s largest and most noticeable element. That’s why scale matters so much so. The size of any design component should be relative to the importance of that component.
For example, if something within the piece is the most important visual, it should be scaled larger than details that are backup information (ever wonder why there’s fine print?).
Imagine an axis in the center of the design. Balance refers to the ability to manage the amount and type of design features on either side of that axis. Creating balance helps to create a satisfying arrangement of the design elements.
If there is one small design component on one side of the axis, but there are several on the other side, and they are larger, that feels off balance and create a bit of a disturbing feel. It’s not just about the number of elements on either side but the overall size and relation to each other. Two small components can help balance one large component on the other side of the axis.
#3: Visual Hierarchy
When the design has a good visual hierarchy, it’s easily understood and absorbed by the user. The term refers to the way a person’s eye moves across the design so that attention is given to the specific elements in order of importance. The goal is to make it possible for the eye to travel from what’s most important through other elements to reach the final goal.
Visual hierarchy is achieved through a various series of elements, all of which come together to create the finished look. This includes the spacing of objects, balance, scale, placement, and even the color used. Utilized properly, it helps to maintain control over the experience a person has when looking at the poster or reading the leaflet.
Contrast is a visual design element that helps something stand out. By contrasting two or more items, one of them will likely stand out and, therefore, become more valuable and important to the completed presentation.
Contrast typically focuses on the juxtaposition of items that are not similar to each other, such as they belong in a different function or they work differently. It could be size or color, too.
#5: White Space
White space is not just empty space that is void of value. In many ways, it contributes to the overall functionality of the final piece. While a leaflet may seem more valuable when packed with information, the white space, or areas without any design element, are valuable themselves.
White space helps to position images or statements in a way that they stand out while also giving the viewer a chance to stop and reflect on something.
Each one of these components is valuable to the success of any leaflet, poster, or presentation, even in graphic form.