The Simple Six for Great Design Every Time by Jacqui E Smith

It doesn’t matter whether you are a new creative or a seasoned veteran in your field. Our goal is the same. We all want to create great design. Time and again I come back to the same six simple yet powerful principles. I want to share these with you today so you can add them to your tool kit. Great design is the careful balance of these principles. While you won’t use them all together, you will rarely apply only one.

The 6 principles of great design, or as I call them The Simple 6, are:


This is the way you group items together. Related items go together indicating a connection. They become one unit. Unrelated items should not be part of this relationship. Proximity is a great place to start when something just isn’t quite working.


It matters where you place items in your design. Alignment connects elements visually. There may be physical space between elements to indicate relationship (proximity). Aligning these elements to the center, left or right helps to show all objects are part of the whole design. Alignment does not always have to be obvious to communicate strongly.


Repetition requires you use an element more than once. It also means being consistent and that never gets old. Actually it unifies your design and makes it more interesting. Don’t over do it though. Too much and you will undo what you are trying do to. Using some variation in your repetition keeps the readers interest. It is a great way to guide your reader through your design.


Contrast is created by using two different strengths of an element such as type, lines, colour, textures, space and shapes. The strength of the effect is all in how you uses these elements of design. You have to go extreme to be effective. If the element strengths are similar to each other you won’t have contrast. The more different they are the stronger the effect and the more interesting to your reader.


Space is the distance around or between the positive elements on your page. It is also about the negative, or white space, on your page. How you use space can have a positive and negative outcome. When space is used well your eye is not fatigued and even a busy design can be easily processed. Let your design breath.


Your design doesn’t need to be symmetrical to have balance. Actually our work would be quite boring if we worked only this way. Balance requires a harmonious relationship between your elements of your design. It means the design sits right. People feel comfortable looking at it and are able to absorb your message. Great balance considers the weight of the design elements and gives priority or greater attention to the focal point.

Having these six design principles in your tool box will ensure you have the best opportunity to create great design. Next time you are designing, pull out The Simple 6 and you will be on your way to great design in no time.

The Simple Six for Great Design free wallpaper at

Success comes when you { Take Action }

Look over some of your most recent creations and review your work using The Simple 6 design principles. Download your free printable on The Simple Six Design Principles –  PDF infographic and wallpaper to help you use these simple design tricks.


Grab your FREE planner printables + creative goodies + join the community!

Pin It on Pinterest