#BlogchatterA2Z : “E”- Elements Of Design (A2Z of Image Management)

Hi Everyone,

This is my fifth post for #BlogchatterA2Z challenge, here I am talking about “Elements of Design”. Technically this should be my first post. We often hear or read “Watch out for the messages your clothes send,” or “Be careful about the statement you make with your clothes.” But almost no one knows what’s doing the talking. It’s the “elements of design”, the lines, shapes, colour, texture and patterns. They speak before you do. In fact they never shut up, Change one detail of dress and you change the message or statement you make.

All clothing is a combination or composition of lines, shapes, colour, texture and pattern that is called “Elements of design”. Below is the brief description of all the elements-

Line: It is an elongated mark that connects two or more points. Line divides and encloses space, creating shapes and forms. Seam lines decides and enclose space on a garment. The characteristic of lines could be straight and curved.

Shapes: It refers to the area or empty space enclosed by a line, creating the outline or outer edge of an object. The outer edge or silhouette of a garment is a shape. Shapes or forms within a garment might include sleeves, cuffs, pockets, shirt yokes and plackets, skirt, gores and so forth. The characteristic of a shape could be angular and rounded.

Colour : It is an internal sensation experienced when coloured light waves stimulate the eye. The eye perceives colour and the brain interprets colour. Light waves may emanate from a light source or to be reflected from the pigmented surface of an object such as clothing fabric. Colours in the visible spectrum include red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Characteristic of colour could be warm and cool.

Texture : It refers to the surface quality of something, such as fabric, the way it looks , feels, hangs or drapes and possibly sounds when rubbed together. Characteristic of a texture could be hard or soft and firm or pliable.

Pattern : It is an arrangement of lines, shapes and colour printed onto or worked into a fabric such as woven or knitted. Characteristic of pattern could be naturalistic, stylized, geometric and abstract.

Design is the process of using or arranging the elements. In dress, the garment is the product of the design process. Each element of design has its own exciting set of characteristics that no other element provides or can imitate. Each element can be expected to communicate typical message, perform specific functions and to create certain illusions and can be considered singly, yet all the elements are interrelated in the whole composition, influencing the effects of one another. In all artistic composition, viewer attention goes to contrast among the elements of design.

There are something called as advancing and receding elements. Closely related elements of design that are used in ways that appear to move towards you or jump out at you, are said to advance or to be advancing. They are generally dominant and noticed first. Elements that are used in ways that appear to blend in or back away from you are said to recede or to be receding. They tend to be subordinate, attracting less attention to themselves. Lets understand this by example. Visualize a man’s charcoal gray wool funnel suit, paired with a blue cotton shirt with white collar, and a red silk tie. In terms of the size of the suit shape and napped surface texture, the wool flannel is both advancing and dominant. In terms of colour, red is advancing and dominant, creating an emphatic focal point. Gray and blue, even white are subordinate in terms of colour and size. Cotton and silk are subordinate in terms of smooth surface texture and size. So I can say that it works.

So how you want to appear in front of others depends upon your selection of elements of design in your clothing.


Subordinate Receding Elements are : curved, broken, thin and horizontal while Dominant Advancing Elements are : straight, solid, thick and vertical.


Subordinate Receding Elements are : small, curved and broken spaces while Dominant Advancing Elements are : large, straight, angular, geometric and open spaces.


Subordinate Receding Elements are :Cool, dark, dull, muted, low and less dark and light contrast while Dominant Advancing Elements are : warm, light, bright, high and strong dark- light contrast.


Subordinate Receding Elements are : soft, pliable, light weight, thin, smooth, fine, knit, sheer and matte while Dominant Advancing Elements are : crisp, firm, heavy weight, thick, rough, shiny, coarse, woven and opaque.


Subordinate Receding Elements are : floral, smaller scale motifs, closely spaced and all-over arrangement while Dominant Advancing Elements are : geometric, larger scale motifs, widely spaced and scattered arrangement.

Stay tuned to this series to have a better understanding….In case you have missed previous posts here are the links A B C D

This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge.

@Swati Mathur

19 Replies to “#BlogchatterA2Z : “E”- Elements Of Design (A2Z of Image Management)”

  1. This seems to be coming straight from a designer’s pen. Never knew lines, shape, color, texture all these elements play such important roles in dressing and designing. I’m not good at color and shapes when it comes to picking clothes. Thanks for sharing such detailed info.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting and so much to learn from!! Had been considering color, texture, shape, and pattern while selecting clothes but never paid attention to the line element. Great information.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow this is so informative. yes, unconsciously I pay attention on few of elements while selecting clothes like texture and color but other elements are rarely get attention. thanks a lot dear for sharing in depth info. loving the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel I am grooming with every post of you, Swati. Though I pay a lot of attention to my wearings before any outing, the fact is there’s a lot more than colors, design, fabric, and size; that only you made me aware of these.

    Liked by 1 person

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