Design Principles

I’ve alluded to, in recent posts, some of the basic design principles taught in Art that apply to Photography which I try and get through to students early in a Photo class. Many people believe that art has no definition or basis for identification other than in the mind of the creator, but in order to set some guidelines to what is pleasing to the eye we try and define the undefinable…these are the design principles.

Here is a video I discovered outlining some of the basic principles of design as applied to visual arts.

Here is a link to a Google presentation I share with students that outline some of the specific elements of design that apply to photography including image examples.

Google Presentation


11 thoughts on “Design Principles

  1. Whenever I teach art lessons at the start of the school year, I always have kids tell me they aren’t artists. I like that his video shows how some simple techniques can take drawings or doodles to the next level.

  2. I was thinking the same thing, Lauren, as I watched this video. Students are quick to say, “I can’t do it.” This is a great one to share!

  3. When I was enrolled in an MS program in Plant Pathology about 10 years ago, I noticed that my major professor could recognize a particular Hazelnut disease from great distances. My untrained eye, on the other hand, couldn’t see the disease when I was standing next to the trees. With time and experience, however, I too learned to see the disease from great distances (still can). Do you find that a single semester is enough to help students “see” these design principles?

    • Through the use of countless examples in class and assignments that specifically require capturing images that satisfy the requirements of a particular principle, I have seen definite improvement in the way kids compose their own images and recognize principles in the work of others.


  4. I enjoyed both presentations. You had great photographs in your Google presentation. They really illustrated your point nicely. I am a designer for my school district and can’t emphasize how much these basic principles can effect the “learnability” of a document. Thanks for sharing your presentation and the clip.

  5. Excellent Google presentation. Thanks for sharing. Your photos are stunning examples of each design principle and help make the content memorable.

  6. Love this! I think our art teacher would too. I am one of those students who would say “I can’t do this.” I would have felt a little less threatened by the process if I had seen these.

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