What Are the 4 Principles of Graphic Design?

The 4 principles of graphic design are an essential part of any successful graphic design project. The principles are: balance, contrast, emphasis and unity. Each of these principles are essential in creating a cohesive and visually appealing design.

Balance is the foundation of any good graphic design. It is achieved when the elements of a composition are distributed evenly throughout the design area.

Balance creates visual stability by allowing viewers to easily move between different parts of the design. Balance can be achieved through a variety of methods such as symmetry, asymmetry, radial and grid layouts.

Contrast is another key principle in graphic design which refers to the differences between two or more elements in a composition. Contrast can be used to draw attention to certain areas or objects within the design by making them stand out from the rest of the elements.

It can also be used to create visual hierarchy by making certain elements more prominent than others. Contrast can be achieved through size, colour, texture and shape.

Emphasis is an important technique used in graphic design which helps to create focal points within a composition and draw attention to specific areas or objects within it. Emphasis can be created through colour, size, shape or texture and it helps to add visual interest to a composition while also guiding viewers around it.

Unity is the final principle of graphic design which refers to how all elements work together as one unified whole within a composition. Unity helps ensure that all elements within a composition are related and that they work together harmoniously without any discordance or confusion for viewers. Unity can be achieved through repetition, alignment and proximity.


The 4 principles of graphic design – balance, contrast, emphasis and unity – are essential for creating cohesive and visually appealing designs that will draw attention from viewers. By understanding these principles and how they work together you will be able to create effective designs that will have maximum impact.