The Building Blocks of Visual Design (part 4)


Balance is the principle about the way to distribute the elements of a design evenly. Balanced designs make us feel stable, calm, and natural, while imbalanced designs tend to appear unstable. We can achieve the balance of design by having symmetry in the design, for example, having a webpage with centralized images and text.

However, you can also gain balance without symmetry – this is known as asymmetrical balance. We can achieve asymmetrical balance by arranging differently sized elements so that they result in unity. We can identify a center point of the design and distribute the elements so that they create balance.


We can use contrast to help an element stand out from the other ones by manipulating differences in value, size, color, and other factors. For example, designers like logo designers, UI designers often use the color red to make the notable elements stand out. In iOS of Apple, the color red usually appears in the “Delete” action to signify that an irreversible action is about to happen. Meanwhile, the color green is often used in positive actions like “Go” and “Accept”. This highlights that we can’t ignore the cultural and traditional meaning of colors when designing for contrast. Therefore, if you’re designing for a client in a far land, adjust your work to fit with the cultural considerations. For example, learn about  “Is their black funerary or businesslike?” or “Is their red angry or lucky?”


Scale is the principle of design to show the elements’ relative sizes. You can emphasize an element by using scale to make it larger than the others appearing with it. This way help you make an element stand out. Moreover, you can use scale to create a depth sense because to the human eye, nearer objects appear larger. Exaggerated scales of images can also add a certain level of drama and interest to them.