THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR DESIGN-A- DRESS PROGRAM PowerPoint Presentation 4 Principles of Design: Balance Emphasis Rhythm Harmony Proportion

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Lesson #3 Principles of Design


PowerPoint Presentation 4

Principles of Design:


Balance concerns whether the space on both sides of a central line (real or imaginary) appears equal or not.

balance can be created by both amount of fabric and visual weight such as heavy, dark fabric on one side

symmetrical balance is when both sides of the centre are equal. It gives the illusion of stability and formality

asymmetrical balance is when the garment is visually different on each side of the centre line. It gives the illusion of informality and youthfulness.


Emphasis is the focal point of a design.

emphasis can be used to draw attention to better features and diminish the worst

emphasis can be accomplished with details such as trim, accessories etcetera.

poorly planned emphasis confuses the eye. For example, too many accessories and the eyes do not know where to look.


Rhythm moves the eye gently from one area of the garment to another and ties the design all together. Types of rhythm include:

Repetition a pattern repeats. For example, rows of stripes, pleats, colour used in top and bottom

Radiation - lines or patterns flow from a central location. For example, gathers in a skirt, going from a smaller point (waist) to a large area

Gradation - when a pattern changes gradually in size or colour. For example, ombre.

Harmony Harmony in a design has visual harmony when design elements and principles complement each other.

when harmony exists, each part looks like it belongs and is well planned out

when harmony is absent, the design is not as pleasing (of course this is subjective as we all like different outfits for different reasons)

Proportion is the relationship of one measure to other measures in nature, art, architecture and fashion.

the Golden Ratio (golden mean) is a ratio that occurs in nature and is applied in many areas such as photography, art and 2/3 architecture. A sculpture, a shape, a building has the golden ratio if the longer part divided by the smaller part = the whole length divided by the longer part. Think of the Eiffel Tower and its 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. 1/3

applying the Golden Ratio to fashion means dividing an outfit into thirds and having a ratio of 1/3 : 2/3 for the most flattering looks