Design Theories And Principles

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Emphasis - Focal Point

One of the first tasks in designing a space is to choose the focal point and then apply your chosen form of balance and the remaining design principles. Remember, a room where everything gets equal importance will seem either scattered or boring.


When things are balanced, everything feels right. Yet even within this 'simple' principle, there are three options: radial, symmetrical and asymmetrical balance.

Radial Balance - Items are distributed and arranged around a central point.

Asymmetrical Balance - Different elements with similar weights on the opposite axis.

Symmetrical Balance - Used in traditional focused designs, symmetrical balance is the easiest form of balance to apply and can be executed with form or colour.


Rhythm in design is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest to help move your eye around the room.


Harmony is achieved when all the elements act together to create a unified message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony creates a sense of restfulness.

Proportion and Scale

The ancient Greeks came up with the Golden Ratio - 1.618. Nature seems to repeat this ratio whilst spaces and objects that contain this ratio are thought to be more pleasing aesthetically. The Golden Ratio is a way to create negative space and apply balance, harmony and emphasis. It is the culmination of all the design principles.

Authored date: 22/08/2022