Principle of Design Emphasis

Emphasis is one of the basic principles of design. That some elements in a design should stand out and be more important than others is practically self-evident, but differentiating these elements from their background can be a difficult thing to do. Emphasis is used to draw the viewer’s eye to key points in the design and can be used to enhance the overall message of the design. The principle of design emphasis is a design principle worth paying attention to. It can help you achieve the effect that you are going for whether it be emphasis, contrast, or visual hierarchy. This article will discuss practical tips about how to use emphasis in your designs.

A principle that is always present, but often forgotten in the design process is emphasis. It would be easy to assume that every piece of a design is trying to catch your attention but that doesn’t have to be true. This guide will get you thinking about ways you can use emphasis in your designs and what it means to emphasize certain things. In this article, we will go over all the aspects of emphasis. Don’t miss out!

What is Emphasis in Design?

The concept of emphasis or dominance is closely related to the concept of unity. Rather than emphasize how various parts of a design correspond, the emphasis is on how a single feature can catch the viewer’s eye. Sometimes, when designing a web page layout, you want to highlight a particular piece of content or the design itself. It could just be a button for them to click or an error message to read. By making that element the focal point, you can achieve such an effect. If something on a page draws the viewer’s eye, rather than blending into its surroundings, it is known as a focal point. The same methods work for achieving a focal point, as they do for unity.

There are many ways to emphasize, including size, weight, position, color, shape, and style. Emphasis and contrast could be the same, but they aren’t. Contrast is when two objects are compared, and emphasis is when the object makes an impact. The best way to create a visually confusing effect is to use contrast to emphasize objects, for example, by placing a black ball on a white background. High contrast creates a strong impression: The focus of the viewer’s attention is immediately drawn to the heavy shape.

In order to create a focal point, an object must gain emphasis, which will capture an audience’s attention. To ensure that viewers are attracted to your design, it should be the center of attention but should not overpower the design (or it would appear out of balance). If you are in a long corridor or hallway, your eye is automatically drawn to the end of those. Think of a bright wall at the end: it will serve as your focal point.

Design elements to Create Emphasis

Principle of Design Emphasis

Designers have a wide array of tools to emphasize their designs. Here are some of them:


For determining the general direction of the page, many designers use a linear flow. You draw attention to the broken part of the flow when you change this. For example, using horizontal lines in your design and using a vertical line to break the pattern will draw attention to the point. As the human eye notices this automatically, you need to make it meaningful, making the distraction more effective.


An eye will automatically focus on a circle if you have used a group of similar shapes (such as rectangles) on the page. Eyes tend to go straight to something new. We can find many puzzles and funny memes on the internet that challenge us to find the different shapes from among many shapes that are nearly identical to each other.


Changing the color of a design can create a focal point. Contrasting changes help draw the viewer’s attention; the more contrast, the better. Gradually shifting emphasis can be achieved by using softer contrasts. Choosing the right color for your page should correspond to your intended user experience. If your colors are too bold or dramatic, their eyes will jump; when your colors are softer, they will move more leisurely, so you will be able to keep your information flowing.


You can also draw attention to certain website design elements with the texture. An embossed effect will allow you, for example, to highlight specific areas of text. Another way to emphasize a particular area on the page is with drop shadows.


Through symmetry, subtle color palettes, and similar sized and shaped elements, artists create balance in their artwork. They may, however, also create imbalances intentionally to highlight certain aspects of a design. Viewers usually notice that disrupted areas of art appear more obvious than the work’s other parts when an imbalance occurs. Artists can also emphasize the area of imbalance by adding a focal point.


Due to their experience and culture, many people accept these standard proportions. Using disproportionate imagery to emphasize a point can make the viewer feel that the artist is trying to make a point. Artists should make sculptures that show the human mind’s potential, like sculptures of people with huge heads.


Through repetition, a work of art gives the impression that it is moving o an activity within it. The repeated element gives prominence, which instills a sense of its importance in the viewer. A repeating color, image, or design element is an effective technique for encouraging viewers to observe it and find meaning in it.


The concept of alignment helps people organize text in word processing documents and stack plates neatly in cupboards. The alignment of ideas creates flow and unity, making it easier to step back and look at an idea from a holistic perspective rather than concentrating on a specific concept. To convey a message or feeling, artists sometimes use alignment in their work. In order to encourage viewers to look at specific aspects of the artwork, artists sometimes intentionally use asymmetry rather than symmetrical alignment.


Color or shape may also help to express “heaviness.” The use of a dark-colored element on a brightly colored page, for example, may cause the user’s focus to be drawn to the dark-colored element. In written content on almost every website, you will find this in headlines and title texts.


What is emphasis and subordination?

Subordination allows backgrounds and other objects to fade in importance and recede in importance, while emphasis draws our attention to specific points or subjects within a work of art. Photography employs these principles to draw our attention to specific points within a photograph.

What is emphasis in art?

Emphasis helps to draw attention to a particular subject or focal point in an artwork. A portrait artist, for instance, usually wants you to focus on the subject’s face first, so the artist employs color, contrast, and placement to draw your attention to the subject.

What is emphasis drawing?

Using visual elements, emphasis is the process of directing attention to a particular area in artwork, most commonly the focal point. Using emphasis in your art can take a variety of forms. It most often involves placing different elements in contrast to one another.

Which is an example of emphasis?

A focus is something that is given special attention in order to make it more significant. An excellent example of emphasis in a document is bolding a particular word to draw attention to it. Using a low-cut shirt to emphasize her cleavage is an example of emphasis.

What is emphasis used for?

Art emphasizes a specific area or object to draw the viewer’s attention. Art emphasizes a particular area or objects to draw the viewer’s attention. Portrait paintings, for instance, usually start with the person’s face.

Final Words

This principle of design is the one that attracts most people towards it. Some call it power and some others may call it attraction. So, Emphasis is a concept that can be understood as the intensification of an object’s inherent meaning. It helps to guide the viewer’s eye and direct their understanding of a design’s message. The principle of design emphasis is a very important principle that can apply to any design. The obvious examples are headlines or titles, but the concept of emphasis extends beyond headlines and titles. 

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