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The Elements and Principles of Art and Design

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The Elements and Principles of Art and Design
clip art for the elements and principles of design
Dixie Allan

Whether writing a newsletter for your neighborhood, making a poster for a yard sale or creating an impressive painting, it is helpful to understand how the elements and principles of design can help make your projects shine.

Try to think of the elements of design as ingredients in a recipe. If they are used in the proper combination and proportion your final dish will be a success.

  • Line: A line can be a graphic line, a row of dots or a string of text connecting one point to another.
  • Shape: A shape is anything that has height and width such as blocks of text, clip art or a photo.
  • Texture: Texture conveys how something looks or feels. Is it smooth or bumpy, complicated or simple?
  • Color: Color conveys emotion or mood and stimulates brain activity causing relaxation, concentration or restlessness. Color also draws attention to important items.
  • Value: Value is the relative lightness or darkness of tones in a work of art. It is expressed by contrast. Adding white to a hue creates a tint while adding black produces a shade; tints and shades are value of color. As line describes shape, value describes form.

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