1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Focus on This • Emphasis and the Principles and Elements of Design

Use emphasis to create a focal point, draw attention

By

Use emphasis to create a focal point

Emphasize text or graphic elements to draw the eye or create a focal point. | Elements of Design | Principles of Design

Something that is singled out or made more prominent has emphasis. An element of a design that dominates or becomes the center of interest has emphasis.

Within the visual components of a page design, emphasis is applied to individual parts such as a word or phrase by changing its appearance, making it stand out. Sometimes considered a principle of design on its own, emphasis can be created using all of the various elements and principles of design.

Emphasis and the Elements of Design
Create a focal point by making one component of the design more prominent or eye-catching than the others.

  • Line
    In a design composed of horizontal lines, the vertical line becomes the focal point.

     

  • Shape
    A square stands out from a group of circles or organic shapes.

     

  • Mass
    The physically or visually heavier element or piece commands more attention.

     

  • Texture
    Embossing adds tactile interest and emphasis.

     

  • Color
    A splash of color or a strong change in value in an otherwise gray piece will draw the eye.

     

Emphasis and the Principles of Design
Use the arrangement of the page components to create a focal point or visual hierarchy of dominant and subordinant elements.

  • Balance
    A perfectly symmetrical piece may have no focal point because each element is equally emphasized. Radial balance generally draws the eye first to the central point in the design.

     

  • Proximity
    A part of the design that is isolated from other parts can become a focal point.

     

  • Alignment
    The eye is naturally drawn to a point in or near the center of a page, giving elements in that area perceived importance.

     

  • Repetition
    Repeating an image or a word can establish its importance.

     

  • Contrast
    Set words or phrases in a contrasting bold type or italics to give them emphasis.

     

  • White space
    Use white space to isolate elements and give them emphasis.

     

Whether or not classified as a principle of design, emphasis is an important concept that touches on all aspects of graphic design and page composition.

 

Get Started: Basic Guidelines and Requirements for Desktop Publishing
Choose Software: Desktop Publishing and Design Software
Make Something: Things to Make Using Desktop Publishing
Tips & Tutorials: How to Do Desktop Publishing
Training, Education, Jobs: Careers in Desktop Publishing
In the Classroom: Back to School With Desktop Publishing
Use Templates: Templates for Print and Web Publishing

Readers Respond: Your #1 Rule or Best Practice for Page Layout

Related Video
Formatting HTML text
Design an Original PowerPoint Slide Template

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.