To create a successful piece of design that engages with its audience you need to hold a grasp on the key fundamentals of design. It doesn’t matter what you are creating when it comes to graphic design , you need the basics in order for your work to be effective. Read our list of six key design elements that every graphic designer needs to create a successful design.

Six Key Design Elements

1. Space


For our first fundamental on this list, space is an important one. Especially when it comes to composing your design elements together.

Space is key when it comes to attracting attention to your design. When used correctly it can help other elements of your design, to be drawn into the viewpoint of its consumer. It allows your design to breathe, if you don’t utilise space properly your composition can look far too busy and its message can become unclear.

2. Colours

Sticking to a limited colour scheme can be very important when making a design. For example, if you are designing for a brand, you should stick to the branding colour scheme and not venture out using other colours. It is essential that if you are designing for a specific brand you need to stick to the colours the brand already has. This helps the consumer identify what brand/company it is. You need a business to be recognised by its brand and make it rememberable through the colour scheme.

Make sure that when you are selecting colours for your brand, to see what the colours you are choosing associates with and how it affects your audience. You want the selected colours to best represent what the brand is and how you want the audience to react to the UX and design aspect of it.

3. Alignment

Make sure that all the elements of the design are aligned, this is simple but yet so crucial. For example, if the title on the design is slightly out of line, this can have a big impact on the final design which leads to future alignment issues, having this covered at the beginning really is important.

This is a quick fundamental to achieve the best well-organised design you can possibly have. No matter what design software you are using whether it’s Adobe Illustrator , Sketch or Canva , all of these have alignment tools built into the respective software, making this process ten times faster for you.

4. Repetition

It may not be the most important design principle to feature on this list, but it’s certainly a helpful one to know and can be advantageous when taken into account.

Creating multiple designs for the same brand with either the same size canvas, colour palette or layout, can help create a cohesive set of designs. Tying pieces of work together can be a useful tool to have in your arsenal, especially when you are wishing to create brand recognition or wanting to link the same message to both designs.

5. Imagery

Imagery can be a major element in your design, especially as images are visually impacting. In a lot of cases, it can be the focal point and is the key element in which to present the message you wish to deliver onto your audience.

You need to make sure to do the following when using imagery for designs:

  • Match the overall style of the piece
  • Fit the colour scheme
  • Sit well with your chosen typography
  • Can be placed comfortable inside the canvas
  • and not take up unnecessary space

For example, if you were to create a design with two photos or more, it is important to make sure that those photos match each other in both tone and composition. This can of course depend on what you are creating and what its purpose is for. It all depends on context but there is no harm in knowing.

In today’s industry, we are at a huge advantage when it comes to this. Using software such as Adobe Photoshop can be an extremely useful tool when using imagery to fit these requirements.

6. Typography

Typography shouldn’t need an introduction, it’s crucial when it comes to making your message clear (Literally).

Having text on a design is a clear way to get your message across to your audience. Typography is an advantage. You can make text stand out or even blend in with other elements of your design. Like the colour scheme, it is another route to making the message with appearance alone. You can use an endless amount of fonts to get your consumer to emote the way you want them to. Remember that typography is an area of design with which you need to be very consistent with, this can be used as a tool to create brand recognition when used correctly.


The beauty of graphic design and design, in general, is that there are endless possibilities for what you can do and get creative with. Yet when you are designing for a business these are some key fundamentals that every serious designer must take into consideration. We hope that by reading this post you can go wild and free on your next design, and oh, don’t forget those spacings!