Aesthetic Design: The Ultimate Guide to Aesthetic Design

In the current digital world, consumers access more brand touchpoints than ever before. Prospects and customers are interacting more with your brand and products and service offerings via websites, social media platforms, and more.

Essentially, good-looking products and user interfaces are perceived as more valuable and have more quality. As such, you need to pay more attention to the aesthetic element when designing your marketing tools, including your websites, company emails, social media pages, and company logos. While it may seem intimidating at first, establishing a design aesthetic for your brand can be easy if you follow the tips outline below.

Basic principles of aesthetic design


When you have several visual elements in a design, you must give the most important message the extra visual weight. This is what is referred to as hierarchy. You can accomplish hierarchy by combining more prominent and bolder fonts, placing your most critical message at a physically higher location than other pieces of information, and leveraging shapes to draw attention to the focal point.


Balance refers to how the elements within a composition are arranged either symmetrically, asymmetrically, or radially to bring an impression of equality in importance or weight.


Scale refers to how big or small something is. In design, the phrase "bigger is better" may not always be the case. There are situations where tiny elements can be used to grasp the attention of the audience effectively.


Repeating colors, fonts, words, or shapes can help tie up your design together to achieve a seamless look. Repetition also helps your audience remember your brand and other crucial information easily. Purposefully incorporate repetition in your overall content by utilizing colors, fonts, brand imagery, and other elements that help your prospects and customers recognize and relate to your brand.


Contrast is a critical aesthetic design element that allows you to draw out the essential elements of a design and add emphasis. Contrast occurs when two design elements are in opposition, for example, putting together black and white, thick and thin, modern and traditional. High contrast can help guide your audience's eyes to the most critical parts of your design.


Proximity helps establish organization on design. It is about grouping similar elements together to declutter the overall design while supporting easy comprehension of the message.


Pattern repositions specific visual elements like a single unit or a multitude of forms. Patterns help create balance, create contrast, and organize surfaces in a consistent manner.

How and when to use aesthetics in graphic design

The following are a few key points on how to use aesthetics in graphic design:

Conduct user research

While some aesthetic choices resonate well with some users, others may not appeal to the visual needs of your audience. For example, red elements on blue backgrounds may not be viewed favorably by all your audience. It is, therefore, essential to know all aspects of your users, such as their religious standing, culture, education level, and age, before choosing any design element.

Ensure the form is following function

This is a several decades-long design concept that means an object's form should originate from the function it performs. In essence, the way you arrange elements in your design should help you accomplish a specific purpose. Ensure you are setting out well-chosen screen elements that bring harmony while making aesthetics consistent with what users expect to see.

Tap into established rules

Leverage timeless rules and principles, including the rule of thirds, the golden ratio, and Gestalt principles, to optimize the use of elements in your design. These principles help guide users into picking the right visual cues.

Keep it simple

Keeping it simple means using the minimum amount of text and fonts while keeping colors under control and the visuals balanced. The secret to an ideal aesthetic design is to avoid stuffing too many graphics and elements into your design.

Aesthetics is an integral design principle that focuses on a design's pleasing qualities. In conventional terms, aesthetics covers elements such as color, balance, pattern, movement, visual weight, shape and scale, and more. Aesthetics usually helps designers to complement their design's usability by enhancing functionality with attractive layouts. Once you have understood how the principles of aesthetics work, you can combine these principles to create designs that are aesthetically pleasing and functional. For example:

  • Contrast and proportion can be used to create emphasis
  • Repetition can be used to develop a sense of rhythm on the page
  • Repetition can also be used to create unity in a design
  • Variety can help develop an understanding of movement in a design

Get professional help

Aesthetic design influences how people think and feel about your brand. It also influences how much pleasure a visitor generates from the product. A well-executed aesthetic design helps establish a lasting first impression while strengthening the bond between your brand and the market. If you are looking to get started on your designs, the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is the ideal design software for you.  At CorelDRAW, we make the tools, processes, and spaces that drive people and teams to improve their designs constantly.

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