What Makes Good Composition in Visual Art

Principles and Elements
Of Design

The best designers sometimes disregard
the principles of design. When they do
so, however, there is usually some
compensating merit attained at the cost
of the violation. Unless you are certain
of doing as well, it is best to abide by
the principles (of design).

-William Lidwell

The Elements

The Principles

Basic Composition
The Golden Ratio or Rule of Thirds


Any colour with white added

Any colour with black added

A colour that has been

“greyed” down

The lightness or darkness of

a colour

A colour’s purity, intensity,

or saturation




• Lasquite, Mydee. “What Makes Good Design: Basic Elements and Principles.” Visme, 23 August 2016,

• Bhadauria, Ravi. “Principles of Design.” Slideshare, 3 March 2016,

• Joseph, Julianna. “16 Interior Design Elements and Principles Images.” NewDesignfile, 11 September 2012,

• Munsell Color System, munsell.com/

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