Storytelling With the Principles of Graphic Design

Visual Storytelling with the Six Basic Principles of Graphic Design in 2022

Art is personal. And beauty is indeed subjective. Yet, you’ll be aware of bad design if you’ve ever encountered a perplexing parking sign or an outdated website.

Similar to any other profession, graphic design includes strict rules that work behind the scenes to balance and harmonize the work. 

For aspiring and experienced designers, understanding design principles and how they interact is essential. The key to creating visually beautiful and useful designs is to put them into practice intentionally.

In this post, we’ll examine the six basic principles in turn and see how they work together to help you communicate effectively with your intended audience:

1. Accessibility

Also referred to as barrier-free design.

Let’s discuss the lift in my building to show you an accessible design. It contains two sets of controls easily accessible from a seated position, two sets of broad doors that make it straightforward to enter, and a few handrails on either side to help individuals get support.

 Feedback is provided visually and vocally, and the floor numbers are redundantly coded with numerals, icons, and Braille. Also, it features a phone system for emergencies that enables access to professional aid.

An ideal accessible design should possess the following four characteristics: perceptibility, operability, simplicity, and forgiveness.

Anyone can perceive a design, regardless of their sensory ability, when it is perceptible. When a design is accessible by everyone, no matter their capabilities, it is said to be operational.

Each person, regardless of knowledge, literacy, or level of focus, may easily understand and use a design when it is simple. When a design lessens the possibility and consequences of mistakes, it is said to be forgiving.

Designs must be adaptable enough to be used by people of all abilities without special changes. Accommodating persons with impairments has always been the aim of accessibility in design. Yet as time passed, it became clearer that we could benefit everyone if we made many of the required modifications.

2. Emphasis

Certain design elements stand out when there is an emphasis on them. On the other hand, it can also be utilized to lessen the prominence of specific elements. In our daily lives, we convey information using this approach. 

Consider a speech delivered in public without any words being emphasized. The audience will need help understanding the message the speaker is attempting to convey.

Design elements like focus draw the user’s attention. It serves as a focal point, in other terms. This should be the most important design component, whether it’s the headline, a photo, or a Call-to-Action (CTA). Occasionally website designers stress the incorrect components, confusing users.

Users should be able to locate the necessary information or actions to finish a task easily. Consider how you can make it simple for consumers to execute the activities they have to undertake as you look at your user journey. 

This can entail modifying the navigation of your web design in accordance with the findings of any usability tests you carry out. You should devise a better technique to emphasize a crucial aspect if someone is having trouble identifying it right away during the study.

3. Whitespace

The remaining design guidelines are all related to the components you use in your work. White space is the only one that specifically addresses what you don’t offer.

White space in a design refers to areas without visual features and areas with extra space surrounding those things. It relates more explicitly to the empty spaces, voids, and other places in your design where nothing is present. 

White space, which doesn’t contribute any aspects to the composition, highlights a simpler design approach. Certainly, less is more. The idea that white space must be white is a widespread one. Well, maybe only sometimes. Any color is possible for it.

4. Hierarchy

A page’s elements are arranged according to their priority using the visual design idea of hierarchy.

How does hierarchy differ from emphasis at this point? Although the two ideas are connected, hierarchy is the arrangement of a group of components according to importance. On the other hand, focus aims to distinguish one aspect from others.

Why is a hierarchy necessary? Because nothing on your website looks to be significant, everything appears to be of equal worth. Visual hierarchy is a crucial component of effective design. 

By providing visual cues, we strive to constantly make it clear to the user where to place their initial attention and what to do. The initial step users should take in their journey is indicated by hierarchy.

5. Contrast

When two or more design elements are placed close to one another, the contrast significantly influences how different they are from one another.

Nevertheless, the only contrast that comes to mind when you hear the word is one of color. But, you can use contrast in your designs by varying the elements’ sizes, shapes, or other attributes.

6. Alignment

The term “alignment” refers to how visual elements are structured, positioned, and grouped concerning one another and the overall design. 

It is a method for visually connecting related elements to give the design a more cohesive appearance. The alignment of different visual components helps guide the viewer through the design. 

For instance, paragraph text with left- and right-aligned text blocks provides better alignment cues than paragraph text with center-aligned text blocks. 

Text blocks aligned to the left and right provide an invisible column that appears as a visual cue for where to position other design elements. On the other hand, center-aligned text blocks provide more unclear visual alignment cues and may need help to connect with other elements.

There are additional, more complicated alignment methods, even though rows and columns are the most typical approach to achieve alignment. For instance, when aligning items diagonally, the unseen alignment lines should be at least 30 degrees apart; any variation less than that is too slight to be discernible.

Final Thoughts:

When I was initially introduced to these concepts, I wondered whether I could get by without them. Adhering to a few standards restricts our ability to see design as an abstract art form. 

Yet as time went on, I saw that structured creative direction usually wins out over abstract art when it comes to usability or comprehension measures. 

It normally takes a lot of trial and error and intuition on the part of the designer to create something that looks good and offers the optimal user experience.

Before creating a professional website design, consider the importance of visual storytelling and simplicity, and consider employing a designer to create such a website for you.


Aman Mehra is a skilled SEO specialist with over 4+ years of experience in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how search engines work and how to optimize websites for maximum visibility. Aman Mehra has worked with a variety of clients, from small businesses to large corporations, and has helped them achieve significant results in terms of website traffic and conversions. He is passionate about helping businesses succeed online and is always up-to-date on the latest SEO trends.

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