the principles of design: contrast

The principle of CONTRAST:

Contrast is a wonderful way to add interest and visual “oomph” to your page designs. Contrast also helps to emphasize certain elements. You can direct the eye of your audience by using contrast thoughtfully and add impact to your message.

There are several ways we can use this principle in our designs. There is contrast in typefaces, size of objects and colour.

Typefaces can be mixed and matched to add emphasis to areas or headlines on your page. Contrasting serif faces with sans serif faces can add interest to an otherwise dull chunk of text. A Serif typeface has small extenders on every character. A Sans Serif does not have extenders and is rather blocky in shape.

Colour is yet another way of adding drama to a design. Start by looking at the colour wheel and choose colours that are opposite one another. When you pair these colours together, such as yellow and purple, they create a complimentary palette. In other words, they contrast one another, but they look great together!

Another way of adding punch to your work is by contrasting the size of objects, whether they are typefaces or objects. A small object contrasted with a large object sends a message to the audience and draws attention to those objects. Think of having a large picture bust out beyond the trim of a page, or pairing a very large image with a small heading.

Above is an example of using contrasting typefaces, styles, sizes and colours… all in one shot! There are so many ways to use contrast effectively in your designs. Be bold and take a chance!

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