Principles of Design Unity

Unity is one of the most important principles of design. Let me explain what I mean by that. Unity is when all the elements in work are unified or come together as one. It’s the feeling that everything belongs together and works together. Creating a successful design is all about using color, scale, and proportion to create unity in your design. Principles of design unity can help guide you when you’re making a new design.

This blog is about the principles of design unity. The principles of design unity are a collection of guidelines that help incorporate simplicity and focus in your designs. We will show you the most important principles of design unity, how to use them, and how they will improve your designs. Let’s go over some guidelines to help you learn about the Principles of design unity needed for a good design.

What is Unity in Principles of Design?

unity design example

In design, unity is the concept of allowing all other principles to existing harmoniously within a piece of work, allowing the coexistence of all elements to form an aesthetically pleasing composition. One of the primary reasons for the cohesive appearance of a design is its unity regardless of its internal elements’ different scales, colors, or styles.

Every good design demonstrates unity. A successful design outcome occurs when all design elements work in harmony to provide the viewer with a sense of belonging and association. The design will achieve unity when all elements complement each other rather than compete for attention. In this way, the design elements connect together and connect to the painting’s primary theme.

A properly applied set of design principles leads to unity. The composition must incorporate everything selected for use in complimenting the central theme and serving some functional purpose. The only way to create unity in a composition is to practice, know, select, and relate the right visual elements.

In order to successfully achieve unity, designers must use all design principles. The first step is to analyze how all of the design components relate to one another and how they interact. The designer can ensure that their artwork, whether it is a painting, poster, or website, is consumed in the manner in which it was intended.

In essence, unity refers to the agreement between components that make up the entire system. The meaning of unity is the combination of all the elements within a design to create a unique, cohesive vision.

The Unity of Design Serves Two Purposes:

  • A sense of order develops. A design with unity will be consistent with sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns. The purpose of this is to repeat the most important elements within the composition, balance them, and then add a little variety to make the design more attractive. In order to accomplish a good design, it is crucial to know how to juggle the elements and principles to achieve the appropriate harmony.
  • Additionally, it gives the impression that all elements connects as if they all belong together. Unity in composition means seeing all the elements in the painting as one rather than as individual parts. Creating a disorganized, cluttered, and hard-to-understand design using too many shapes and forms is possible. A well-organized design is achieved by using a basic shape within the composition.

In essence, unity refers to the agreement between elements that combine to form a whole. The concept of unity occurs when all of the components within a design come together to reveal a singular and cohesive vision.

Design elements should be visually as well as conceptually harmonious based on the Unity Principle. There are two ways to define unity:

Conceptual Unity

In Putting it simply, conceptual unity is a state of singleness or a state of combining things in order to facilitate the users’ disposal. Developing conceptual unity involves considering content and functionality. An example would be if the functionality or content displayed on one page can be unified with another webpage, form, or step in the user flow. Using this approach, less interaction is necessary on the part of the user to achieve their goals.

For example, one FAQ entry explaining how to save a file may go together with another explaining how to export a file. In spite of the lack of understanding between the two, the user will likely want to read both. Consider an action where the user must log in. In contrast to having the login form by default, and a link to the signup form, it would be more convenient to display the login and signup forms side by side.

It is necessary to group related actions in a natural, forward-looking way to create conceptual unity.

Visual Unity

A design principle in itself, harmony is a good example of visual unity. In some cases, repetition is essential to maintain visual consistency, for example using colors or styles that go well together.

Choosing two different colors that should complement one another, for example, can take into consideration visual unity. Or, if two buttons are of equal importance, choosing the same color.

Importance of Principles of Design: Unity

beautiful design of unity

One of the most important principles of design is unity. By leveraging these other principles, the designer can present compositions that are both harmonious and coherent. In order to achieve unity, a designer must ensure all other principles are in harmony.

It is possible for an otherwise complete design to appear illogical, confusing, or even unusable if it lacks unity. In the absence of unity, elements might compete for attention, thus creating an experience that is contrary to that intended by the designer. Users may feel uncertain or lost in the absence of unity.

Incorporating the Unity Principle into the design process has numerous benefits. These include:

User Experience

The user is likely to find conflicting (or missing) information when content appears on a large website that has not undergone regular maintenance. As users can access information and functions on fewer screens – without getting overwhelmed by the information – they can complete their objectives more quickly.

When considering sitemaps and information architecture at the very beginning of designing, conceptual unity on a larger scale is the best approach.

Visual Hierarchy

By applying consistent styles to related elements, you can create a sense of hierarchy. Displaying similar design elements or components, or letting users know when they’re equally important. Visual hierarchy can even work without unity.

Brand Identity

In Unity, the user is guided through visual and conceptual mode, gradually gaining an understanding of the product without having to attempt it. Without Unity, users have difficulty performing simple tasks and understanding basic elements.

The case of every button on a website is a different color would inadvertently increase cognitive load and make users negative of their experience. Inconsistent designs decrease the user’s ability to remember and use a brand in the future.

How to Achieve Unity

One of the characteristics of unity is that all its parts have reached harmony with each other in the design. To ensure each element has the intended and desired effect, one must first look at how each of the other design principles applies to the overall design.

Sometimes, a lack of unity occurs when designers fail to realize that the actions taken to fulfill one principle have the opposite effects. The designer may choose to play with the lighting, color, or scale when playing with the contrast between two objects. Those changes, however, could make the objects no longer fit together with the rest of the design if the designer is not careful.

Thus, to ensure a feeling of unity in a designer’s work, they should continuously assess if the core constituents of the design are intact. Consider evaluating your design from the point of view of unity during your next design critique if you are a part of a team. However, you can ask someone you know who is not part of your design team to look and see what they think.

Here are a few ways for achieving unity in your compositions:


To create a visual relationship between the elements, repeat shapes, colors, textures, values, or lines. As a result, repetition creates an overall sense of consistency and cohesiveness, bringing all design parts together.


The same treatment should apply to different elements. The continuity between various forms allows for “family resemblances” to form. This creates an uninterrupted connection or union that helps to link them together.


A design that integrates shapes so that their lines or edges flow into one another helps to create unity. The top, bottom, center, and sides of an element create implied horizontal and vertical axes in a composition. These two axes align sum to one another, and their visual relationship creates unity.


Organize related items into a cohesive group, rather than considering them to be a series of separate elements. The closer two elements are, the more closely they seem connected, and the farther they are apart, the less connected they are. When elements are placed very closely or very far apart in a composition, we learn that there is a relationship between them (or not). In addition to creating a relationship between local elements and distant ones, using a “third element,” such as a road, can help ensure that nearby and distant elements are related.

Principles of Design Unity Examples

many colors represent unity
  • The repetition of design elements like components and symbolic colors. For example, allows the user to become better acquainted with what the elements mean as they are seen each time, thereby reducing cognitive load. Regardless of whether the elements are near one another, it is important to create visually cohesive design elements when they are related to one another.
  • In addition to repetition and proximity, proximity also helps create unity. By bringing objects close together, the user can understand that they are connected or similar.
  • A common axis is used to align design elements. Following one another is said to be the case when elements are aligned. Alignment (or its absence) can indicate the relationship between two or more blocks of text.
  • As such, simplicity is not always synonymous with equality; instead, design principles include a repetition to suggest that one can select several options, each with wildly different outcomes. Color, typography, alignment, and other slight variations all create contrast, which is what sets some options apart from others.


What is the importance of unity in design?

Visually and conceptually, unity makes your design cohesive. It helps your reader understand your message by emphasizing your concept and theme. By keeping your elements in sync, your reader won’t be distracted by other aspects of your message. Each of the elements reinforces the other.

How do the elements of a design show unity?

Two things are accomplished by achieving unity within art. A design with unity will have a consistent shape, size, and color, as well as a harmonious pattern and color scheme. By repeating key elements throughout the composition, balancing them with different elements. And adding a little variety to make the design interesting, you are able to achieve this goal.

What is unity in web design?

As a rule, the unity of style, or the similarity of style, creates the notion that we are left within the same website no matter what page we are on. Not only is this a feature of aesthetic appeal, but it is also a practical necessity. It makes the information space of the site easier to navigate, thanks to the unity of style.

What are the principles of design unity?

The principle of unity permits each individual element of a design to coexist with the other, forming a harmonious design.

What unity reduces in graphic design?

Each element in your design should feel like it belongs there as unity ties all the elements together. There’s no point in having a design with random placement of elements if it doesn’t have a real focus. Unity can be considered an important element of graphic design, as it is an indicator of brand recognition.

Final Words

Design unity is a great way to bring a common thread throughout your design project. By using these principles of design unity as a guide, your design can be unified while still being unique and functional. Everything in the world is composed of a group of objects that serve as a whole.  

A good design is a combination of many elements, each element must strive for unity to keep the overall harmony in design. It would be a very bad design if every element could not blend together. For example, mixing playful elements with serious ones can immediately make readers feel uncomfortable. This factor is crucial when designing a good website layout or any kind of graphics such as posters or book covers, etc.

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