Overview of visual design principles and elements of design:*
Line & Shape
Value & Contrast
Color & Saturation
Light & Form
Staging & Composition
Scale, Space & Depth
Symmetry & Balance
Rhythm & Movement
Harmony & Discordance
Through the unique interrelationships of these basic design components
different visual dynamics arise, creating visual tensions that move a viewer's eye across an image and shape their eaesthetic experience.
Design can be considered the conscious use of these design components to craft a visual hierarchy that guides the viewers eye in a way that conveys meaning and shapes a more conscious visual experience according to an artist's intent.
Breaking down these visual components and examining their application in examples of fine art, illustration and graphic design, is a reminder of their importance and utility as fundamental design tools.
*These specific elements are referenced from Visual Forces: An Introduction to Design, by Benjamin Matinez and Jacqueline Block, a good primer on how design choices create visual tension.