The Principles of Design



Designers use unity to make elements in a composition appear to belong together. When each elements has a clear visual relationship to one or more other elements, the composition is unified. When unity is achieved:

  • a composition does not become cluttered or confusing.
  • a concept can be communicated more clearly.
  • a design evokes a sense of quality and organization.

Some of the ways to achieve unity include:


Repeating colors, shapes, values, textures, or lines creates a visual relationship between elements, called correspondence.

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Treating different elements in the same manner also ties them together. This is called continuity.

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When and element is placed in a composition, it creates an implied horizontal and vertical axis at its top, bottom, center and sides. Aligning other elements to these axes creates a visual relationship which unifies them.

Implied axes
Align to an axis Unified alignment



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