Principles of Design:

Emphasis is used to call attention to the focal point of the composition. The size of an object and where it is placed are the key factors of emphasis. Emphasis can be created by directional lines, colors, contrast, tones, and sizes. Sometimes artists create emphasis by arranging other elements to lead the viewer's eye to the focal point. A popular way to attract a viewer's eye to the desired focal point is by unfocusing everything aside from the focal point itself.
Emphasis.JPG[1]In this photo the artist wanted to direct the viewer's eye to the focal point - the pylon. The artist achieved this by focusing the attention in the foreground and catching the word "CAUTION" wrapped around. As said above, size and placement are key factors of creating emphasis. This is clearly shown with the placement of the pylon. The pylon is placed upfront and in the middle which makes it appear bolder and larger.

In this photo, the artist wanted to direct the viewer's eye to the focal point - the lillies. The artist achieved this by taking advantage of the use of colour. The lillies stand out due to the bright and vibrant colour it possesses against the neutral colours of the lily pads and water.[2]

Unity is the feeling that all parts of a design work harmoniously together. There is a sense of completeness and wholeness. Elements in a design of unity have a visual connection with each other. The color composition, shapes and values all fit together.
Ways to achieve unity:

  • Proximity - closely grouping similar objects together is the simplest way to create unity
  • Repetition - repeating colors, shapes, lines, etc. can bring together a piece of artwork
  • Continuation - a continuing line, edge or direction from one spot to another is also a way to unify objects

In this photo, the key elements: proximity and repetition are shown. The repetition of straight lines towards one point display's a fit. In other words, it creates wholeness. As stated, color composition and value are elements that support Unity. In this photo it is clearly shown that the colors are in the same family. (cool colors-blue, black, grey, white)

This is an example of continuation. The curve of the girls back continues around the circular tub, which then leads the eye to the hairbrush sticking out on the table and continues to all the objects on the table.[4]


  1. ^ Photograph by Poornima K.
  2. ^ "Focal Point and Emphasis." Purify the Colors, Purify My Mind. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.. <>
  3. ^ Photograph by Poornima K.
  4. ^ "Principles of Design: Unity." University of Saskatchewan. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.. <>