Elements of Graphic Design [2021 Updated Guide]

Finan Callaghan
July 16, 2021

Are you figuring out the key elements of graphic design? You are on the right page, you won’t have to look anywhere else.

Whether you are a startup or an established firm, you need to inculcate the elements of graphic design to scale up your communication with your target audience. But before I get there, I just want to know are you all absolutely clear with the concept of graphic designing?

What is Graphic Designing?

I am just going to walk you through the definition in layman’s language. So, even if you know nothing about it, there’s no worry. 

Graphic Designing is a form of creative visual content to communicate with people. You, as a brand, can create eye-grabbing visual and textual content to meet the user requirements. 

A few ways in which you can do so:

We are done with the gist of it. Now should we get to the elements of graphic designing?

Elements of Graphic Designing

If you intend to grab the viewer's attention, here’s a drill for you. Formulate these key elements of graphic designing and master the art.


Typography can work wonders to make your brand visually appealing. It is more than choosing alluring fonts. It is a body language, which enhances the character of your visual content. It is an art and technique to adjust the text within the design. 

An example of a good Typography: Garamond and times.

An example of bad typography: Comic sans is highly unprofessional.



A good graphic design depends upon the layout size. Size can express the right amount of importance and surely attract attention. When you design a piece, size will play a major role in making the layout captivating and categorized. Size is simply how small or big the element is. You must use variations to expect the desired reaction. A particular graphic design with different sizes can surely create a hierarchy of supremacy.

There’s no right or wrong in this aspect. It’s totally on how and what you want to convey.


Ideally, color is one of the most powerful elements of a graphic design. It’s really magical. It can build up the mood,  enhance the look appeal, evoke a pleasant feeling, and create affiliation. Color can help you create a great piece of artwork. Every color has a different story to tell. So, I would say play along smartly and create the impression you want to.

Pro Tip: Use Yellow when you want to channelize the energy and grab attention. All colors are beautiful. Ensure your color scheme ain’t ugly. 


Shapes are used to add substance to your piece of work. It can be used to create a sense of pattern. Shapes could be in the form of geometric, natural or abstract. Geometric shapes include circles, triangles or squares. Abstracts include graphic representations. Naturals include human figures. Mixing up any two elements is a great idea. Make sure you are clear about what you are representing. 


Space is definitely an important element of a good graphic design. It is the factor that separates a group of information. In graphic designing, white space is called the negative space. This concept is totally misunderstood by most people. White space can connect or separate elements in a design. Here’s a tricky part, despite being known as white space it does not really need to be white in color. It can actually be any color. If you have similar visual elements, the white spacing will help the viewer distinguish easily.


I am sure you know what exactly a contrast is. Light vs dark, big vs small, Black vs white. Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Contrast basically involves two elements that strongly differ from each other. Contrast is capable of drawing quick attention. This is one element of graphic design which is far away from being boring. It can be slightly challenging but it is sure to make your design look highly professional.

What are the most polished types of contrast?


  • Black and white vs color
  • Shapes and sizes
  • Background and foreground
  • Light and dark


I am sure you are thinking what is the big deal in cropping, right? But let me tell you, cropping is an art. It has to be done just right. Discarding the unnecessary part of an image can make a huge difference. You can crop an image to emphasize one particular part, which is the most important part. Cropping should be clever and smart.

How can cropping benefit?

  • It will create great emphasis.
  • It will create a direction.
  • It will remove the parts which add no value to your image.

Pro Tip: Enlarge the detailed small portions which hold a lot of meaning. Be careful about not cropping too much. 

Create Imagination

What’s a graphic design if there’s no power of communication with the viewer? If you ask me, this is the most important element of graphic designing. No matter what your design is,  your audience should be able to connect to it. Imagination is the fastest way of grabbing attention and can stay in the mind for a long time. It can develop an emotional wallop. Two-third of the people are visual learners. So, make the most of this. Choose the right image, which will speak to your audience. 

A piece of advice: Hearing takes a long time to process the information. However, the information through an image can be grasped in no time. 


Wrapping Up:

Take everything with a pinch of salt and apply it wherever necessary. Let me tell you something very honestly, this is not it. There are more elements of graphic designing, which can do wonders. If you are just getting started, this should be good for you. But if you want to get deep into it, there’s a lot more that you ‘can’ and ‘should’ know. 

All you have to do is, get in touch with me.

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