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Emphasis in Design: How to Create a Focal Point

So far, we’ve discussed proximity alignment, repetition, contrast, and balance. This next one will help the viewer of your design focus on the most important element.

Principle of Design: Emphasis

Emphasis definition: Making the most important part of a design stand out boldlyGood emphasis helps the viewer instantly know what the design is trying to communicate. 

The emphasis is usually either the first place the eye looks or where the eye is drawn to due to other elements in the design. 

Black Designers
Design By Sean Valies

For example, in this design the first place the eye looks is the word “black” in the middle. The designer used a bold, black, contrasting font to achieve this.

Design by Stefani Rumanto
Design by Stefani Rumanto

Whereas this design leads the eye to an emphasis using color and line.

When trying to consider what to make your emphasis, consider all the information needed and make a list and decide what is most important. 

Design by MD. Al-AMAN
Design by MD. Al-AMAN

If it is an advertisement for shoes, it might be the shoe itself!
Design by Vision Arty

If it is a hangtag for a piece of clothing, it may be the company name.

Here are some great tips for adding a solid emphasis to your design: 

  1. Make an outline of all the information needed and decide on the most important element
  2. Use any of the elements to help you create the emphasis
  3. Avoid making more than one emphasis


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