Visual element of Graphic Design: Line

In this article I'm going to discuss the first key visual element and discuss 'Line' as a visual element in graphic design.

In this article I'm going to discuss the first key visual element and discuss 'Line' as a visual element in graphic design.

The graphic part of graphic design is made up of visual elements the building blocks of design. Through the harness of artistic expression we choose these visual elements and arrange them on a surface in a layout to convey an idea. The basic visual elements that combine to create graphic design include the following:
  1. Line, 
  2. Colour
  3. Shape, 
  4. texture, 
  5. Space,
  6. Form, and 
  7. Typography.
line, beginners guide, graphic design, visual element,

Whatever work you produce be it for a magazine a poster a website or advertisement these visual elements will play a part in your design.

So one of the most basic visual elements of design is the line and it should not be underestimated as simple as lines are they can be quite versatile and be used as crucial elements of design. Lines can be straight, curved, thick, thin, solid or dashed.

Lines can be used to add structure to a composition to frame information and to divide information. Used consideratly lines can add elegance to a composition at hierarchy and draw the eye to a specific point.

With type lines can be used to emphasise and put stress on a word a phrase or paragraph. Lines can be used to decorate, illustrate and represent information in inforgraphics. If we think about magazines, newspapers and maps one of the most common visual elements is the line as it works very well to structure information.

Here are some simple horizontal lines, here we have some strokes in various sizes and below some alternatives. A line can be made of more than a single stroke it can be made with many individual strokes and even dots. So here are some simple examples of how lines may be used in design.

So the first example is where line plays a role of building infographics this is a simple tree diagram made of lines in different shades. If we zoom into the visual icons they are also lines as illustrations so overall a simple visual with another line below as an anchor point for the associated information.

Next is an example in typography. Here lines are used to divide and draw emphasis to a particular word.

Infographic: 10 Basic Elements of Design
Infographic: 10 Basic Elements of Design
source: creativemarket

Next is an example where lines are used to create a border. In this example there are two stroke lines that create this border a thin and a thick. The type of stroke lines you use in relationship to other elements can define a look and feel to your composition. In this case we
have a boutique feel.

Notice here we also have a line that elegantly divides the type. So next is an example where lines are used to predominantly structure a composition. But at the same time decorate.

This is a simple chapter index page here we have a large dark line running vertically down the page and smaller lines running horizontally across the page. The horizontal lines are passing through the vertical and inverting in colour as they do so creating a lose grid for the type element to exist.

You can see here where the lines are defining and positioning the type elements.

the type elements of line, simple line examples
simple line examples
Next is an example where lines can be used for structure and decoration in a minimal elegant way. Here lines make up the board elements that frame a quote and a line is drawn vertically aligned left creating a base to carry the paragraph next to it. These lines though in black and white could be used to add a bit of colour onto the page as well as structure.

So next is a general example of how lines can divide information. Now newspapers can be very complex and busy media platforms with a lot of information being presented at any time.

Here we can see were lines play a role to divide and decorate information. At the top we have lines to separate that section from the article section below.

In this section we also have small lines, details used to decorate. Now a line does not necessarily have to be a solid stroke a line can be created by contrast of colour or shape on a page.

In the article below we have a big picture. Now even though there is no particular stroke applied the solid colour fill of the image creates a line around it.

Below this we have the main body of text, in this we have an infographic made with lines and lines that break information out such as diagrams, quotes and footers.

line in infographics
line in infographics
So the last example shows lines creating decoration, texture and structure on a page in this example there are various types of lines going on here first we can see the physical line used to create decoration with various stroke effects applied. In this instance the lines also create another white line through the middle of the page as negative space. Here we have three columns of type where the third column is breaking alignment to fit in the space creating an interesting and dynamic layout.

So there are lots of ways line can be used in design. These are just a few examples. So when looking at graphic design be sure to observe how line has been considered and used as a design element.

So that is the first visual element in graphic design. Well I hope you enjoy this article. So the next key visual element is 'colour'. In the next article I'm going to talk about a colour as a visual element in graphic design.

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Dafi Deff Motion Graphics: Visual element of Graphic Design: Line
Visual element of Graphic Design: Line
In this article I'm going to discuss the first key visual element and discuss 'Line' as a visual element in graphic design.
Dafi Deff Motion Graphics
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