The central visual element, known as element of design, formal element, or element of art, constitute the vocabulary with which the visual artist compose. These elements in the overall design usually relate to each other and to the whole art work.


The elements of design are:


Line — the visual path that enables the eye to move within the piece

Shape — areas defined by edges within the piece, whether geometric or organic

Color — hues with their various values and intensities

Texture — surface qualities which translate into tactile illusions

Value — Shading used to emphasize form

Form — 3-D length, width, or depth

Space — the space taken up by (positive) or in between (negative) objects


The artist determines what the center of interest (focus in photography) of the art work will be, and composes the elements accordingly. The gaze of the viewer will then tend to linger over these points of interest, elements are arranged with consideration of several factors (known variously as the principles of organization, principles of art, or principles of design) into a harmonious whole which works together to produce the desired statement – a phenomenon commonly referred to as unity. Such factors in composition should not be confused with the elements of art (or elements of design) themselves. For example, shape is an element; the usage of shape is characterized by various principles. (Wikipedia)