Principles of Art and Design

Principles of art and design are qualities inherent in the choice and arrangement of elements of art in the production of an artwork. Artists "design" their works to varying degrees by controlling and ordering the elements of art. Considering the principles of art and design is important in order to judiciously assess, evaluate and judge a work of art. While some principles overlap or oppose others, some are viewed as more important, most ideal, relevant or irrelevant than others.


The common principles of art and design are the following:


∙ Movement


∙ Proportion


∙ Pattern (often paired with rhythm)


∙ Rhythm (often paired with pattern)


∙ Variety (often contrasted with unity)


∙ Balance (symmetry, asymmetry, and harmony)


∙ Emphasis (largely synonymous with dominance)


∙ Tension (compared to unity, harmony, and variety)


∙ Unity (largely synonymous with coherence and homogeneity)


∙ Limitation (contrast and emphasis on arrangement of elements)


∙ Eurythmy (a combination of harmony, proportion, and movement)





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