Principles of Design

Underlying all good design are some basic principles. These principles are foundational to this course.  Whether you are working with Gimp, HTML, or Microsoft Publisher basic design principles will improve the quality of your final product. 

The principles that will be covered in this project are:

  • balance,
  • unity,
  • contrast,
  • simplicity,
  • and emphasis.
There are more principles of course, but focus in on these five.  You will be required to know several points about each particular principle from memory.

What to do

Using the 5 principles as a guide, you are required to write a paper containing the following for each principle of design):

a) RESEARCH (5 marks):

·       information about each specific principle

·       paraphrase the meaning from your research

·       write in your own words what you think the specific principle means

·       demonstrate that you can explain to me what the principle means

b) EXAMPLE (5 marks):

·       search newspapers, pictures, magazines for resources

·       find an ad that either demonstrates a good use of the aforementioned principle or a particularly bad example of the principle being discussed

·       insert it into the document after you have described the principle

·       this photo/ad should be no more than one page (8.5x11) in size and may be either electronically scanned or simply cut and paste (if you are pasting it into your page, remember to leave room on your page for the ad)

c) APPLICATION (5 marks):

·       tell me why you chose your picture and how it relates to the principle being discussed

·       several sentences are sufficient


·       Please use ads from various genres or subjects (i.e. do not have 5 ads based on snowboarding). Each example should be different

·       Colour or black and white is fine (mixture of both is good)

·       All five of the principles should be addressed

·       Typewritten in Word please (with ads inserted)

·       Introduction and conclusion are NOT necessary

Attach a title page with:

Your Name
Teacher’s Name
Date of submission

See this example for information regarding format. You will have 3 half classes to work on this. You can search the internet for information, and use the library scrap boxes or bring magazines from home as a source for your examples.

 With thanks to Todd Peters for sharing the original version of his assignment.