Principles and Elements of Design

The principles and elements of design…” apply to every art form, flower arranging included. The elements are the components that make up the design; the principles are the ways in which the elements are combined. Taken together, they might be compared to a recipe in a cookbook. the elements of design…are the ingredients…The principles of design…are the directions, telling one how to prepare and mix the ingredients to achieve an artful result…The principles of design…are the plan by which the elements of design are organized.  How the elements of design are arranged to the principles of design is the measure of success in flower arranging.”

Quote credited to Betty Belcher, Creative Flower Arranging, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

 Principles of Design: RECIPE DIRECTIONS

  • Balance – visual stability
  • Contrast – use of unlike or opposite elements
  • Dominance – greater force of one or more elements
  • Proportion – ratio between areas as they relate to each other and to the whole
  • Rhythm – a dominant visual path of line and color through design.
  • Scale – size relationships of components to each other


Elements of Design: RECIPE INGREDIENTS

  • Light – illumination necessary for vision
  • Line – one dimensional visual path through design
  • Space – open area in and around design
  • Size – apparent or actual dimension
  • Pattern – design formed by solids and spaces
  • Texture – surface quality of material
  • Color – how eyes see wave lengths of light
  • Form – three-dimensional object