The Elements of Design: An Introduction to the Basic Building Blocks of Good Design

The Elements of Design: An Introduction to the Basic Building Blocks of Good Design

When you hear the word “design”, the first thing that may come to mind is the drawing or sketch before creating a product. But it is more than that, as design combines creativity and functionality. It is almost present in our everyday lives. The objects we use, the websites we browse, and the mobile games we play – are all products of design. 

Creating a design from scratch is never easy. You need to know and understand the fundamental elements that make up a good design. These elements are building blocks of any design that can help you create something aesthetically appealing and functional. 

So for this article,, as a product design company, will introduce you to the basic elements of design and explain how they can be applied to create a well-designed product, website, or any other design project. 


A line is the most basic element of visual design, which is made by connecting two points through strokes. Lines can be vertical, horizontal, curved, zigzagged, or any other form. Moreover, they can be continuous or broken. Lastly, they can also be varied through width and texture. 

Being a basic element of visual design, lines are important in defining shapes and forms and allow people to differentiate between the different elements in the design. Moreover, varying the width, length, and texture of lines can create visual interests that may emphasize features and components of the design. 


Did you know that 90% of people’s judgment relies on color alone? Thus, in product design, especially in designing websites and apps, it is vital to prioritize the proper use of color balance in design. However, it is not only about what color to use but also about where and how to use the color in the design. 

Furthermore, based on a study, color logos have a significant impact on how consumers view the brand as a whole. The result of the study finds out that the colors of logos convey different feelings, as listed below: 

  • Blue – confidence, success, and reliability
  • Green – environmental friendliness, toughness, durability, masculinity, and sustainability
  • Purple – femininity, glamor, and charm
  • Pink  – youth, imagination, fashionable
  • Yellow – fun and modernity
  • Red – expertise and self-assurance

Colors can shape the products’ aesthetic appeal, functionality, and user experience, which are all vital considerations in designing a product. 


The shape is a significant aspect of the functionality of the product. For instance, in creating a sofa, the shape of the sofa plays a vital role in providing comfort to anyone who sits in it. Meanwhile, for the product design of the cooking pot, the shape can determine how heat is evenly distributed in the pot. 

Aside from functionality, shape also affects the user experience (UX). For example, a well-designed mouse can allow users to easily reach all the buttons and scroll the mouse’s wheel without straining too much of their fingers and hand. Businesses invest in enhancing UX since about 74% of them agree that UX is vital for boosting sales. 


Texture pertains to the feel, appearance, and consistency of a surface. There are two types of texture, namely tactile texture and visual texture. Tactile texture or also known as the actual texture, can be perceived through the sense of touch. Running the hand through an object, you can feel its ridges and dents. Meanwhile, visual texture, as its name implies, can only be conceived through sight. It is an illusion of real texture on a 2D surface. 

In terms of visual design, it can be used as background in websites and graphics to add visual interest, appeal, and depth to text elements. It can also enhance the meaning of a previously static image. 


In visual design, value refers to the lightness and darkness of a color or shade. It creates contrast, depth, and dimension, which produce different moods and emotions in a design. 

For instance, high contrast and sharp shading can create a bold and dramatic effect. On the other hand, low contrast and subtle shading can produce a softer and more peaceful effect. The value adjustments help create a visually appealing design. But it should complement the business’s theme and identity. 

Final Thoughts

The elements of design are line, color, shape, texture, and value. By understanding these basic elements, designers can create visually appealing and functional designs. Whether you are working in graphic design, web design, product design, or any other design-related field, you may apply the presented elements whenever necessary. 

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