Monday, May 21, 2012

Elements of Design - Line

Elements of Design - Line
One of the key things I learned in college while studying Interior Design were the Design elements and principles.
 Elements of design are the fundamental building blocks to art or design.  Design principles describe how the design elements come together to create design.

I use the 6  elements of design and 9 principles of design everyday at work and at home.  I wanted to write about each design element and principle to explain how to use them together to create visually pleasing design.  Learn, do, teach

Line is an element of design that is used define shape, contours and outlines.  It is as simple as two connecting point form a line and each line has length, width and direction.

Lines are used in the following ways in design:

  • Contour lines - They describe the shape of an object and defines or bounds an edge,.  
  • Divide space: - A line that defines the edge of space and can also create a gap of negative space.  They create outlines of shapes.
  • Expressive line - Line that are energetic and catches the movement & gestures of an active thing.
  • Implied line - Lines that are not actually drawn but created by a group of object seen from a distance.

I love mid century design which uses crisp clean lines.  The image of the bathroom above shows a wonderful use of straight lines to create order, unity and defines the space.

I will write more often now as I touch on these fun key design elements and principles.  It is fun to share ideas and I hope you can learn to look and understand design better after I write about the elements and principles.


  1.  Saw, James. "Design Notes" Palomar College.
  2. Lovett, John. "Design and Color"
  3. Bartel, Marvin. "Composition and Design".

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