Graphic Design Principles #2: Emphasis

graphic design principles emphasis

This is part two of my eight-part series covering the basics of graphic design. 

Emphasis is defined as the special importance, value, or prominence that is given to something. In relation to design, this is the part that catches the viewer’s attention. Emphasis is usually done by creating contrast within the design. The emphasized element can be different in size, color, texture, shape, etc.

Emphasis creates hierarchy within the design, and gives the user a starting point. If you don't have hierarchy within the design, the audience is lost and may not even begin to read your content. A simple mistake that many people make on their brochures or flyers is trying to emphasize everything. "They have to know the time! and the place! and the details! and our website!"  The problem with this scenario is that now TOO much is emphasized, and once again, your audience is lost. 

Here are two pieces that I've done that show emphasis:

Your turn: Do your pieces have a hierarchy? What stands out to you first – or do you even know where to start? Choose one piece and emphasize the most important thing. If you have too many things calling for attention, reduce the size or change the color. Share a link or photo below after you update your pieces!

Miss out on Part 1? Catch up here!