According to Mariam webster’s dictionary, design has been defined as ‘to create, fashion, execute or construct according to plan’ while others have termed design as deliberate purposive planning. On the other hand, creatives have been said to be individuals who look at life a little more differently than others and these tend to use their imagination to come up with work and even bring it to life. Some of the creative professions might include but are not exclusive to Architecture, Fashion design, writing and poetry, Graphics design, Film production, art, Photography, product design, and Music, among others.

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Image showing how a creative’s brain might function according to Forbes  _©

While all the above-mentioned fields don’t seem to have much or anything in common, the fact that the individuals mentioned ‘use their imagination to come up with work and bring it to life’ is similar enough to bring them together. To a certain extent, this means that these creative fields are bound by principles that see to it that their work is understood by the layman or that even beyond that, they have so much in common, and whether knowingly or unknowingly, they keep feeding into and off of each other. Sometimes, as creatives, it is expedient or even important that we openly learn from each other or just be more observant of each other’s works being mindful of the principles applied because as it turns out, there’s always something design worthy to learn from each other and apply in our different creative fields.

We are going to look at some of the design principles and how over time, they have been applied across all or some of the design fields, seeing where they have been applied and how they relate to each other.

Conceptuality | Creative Professions

A design concept has been defined to be the core idea that drives the design of a product and it is usually explained using sketches, images, and sometimes, a written statement. Design be it of buildings, clothes, brands, or logos among others has been known to have a driving force which in this instance is called a ‘concept’ or ‘design idea’. Usually, this is the main thing behind the execution and final product we see of either a building, cloth, logo, product brand, photography set, or any other outcome from a creative. This concept can be inspired by several things from the client and what they want, to how the designer chooses to approach the design of a given product and the outcome they want for the people to perceive or even understand and so the effectiveness of a concept is judged by how well the end product serves the intended user.

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Chiat/Day complex, Venice Italy by Architect Frank Gehry where the building can be seen to pick inspiration from a pair of binoculars. ( image by Kenneth Johansson)  _©


Composition is the organization of elements consisting of various principles. We see this element cut across the various design fields and it is quite essential because it directs a design’s character, appearance, and style. Since it has principles that should be followed, we see them cut across the different design fields informing one another and even borrowing from each other. Some of the principles that ought to be followed in composition include proportion, scale, repetition, rhythm, contrast, and balance, among others.

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Photo of the CN tower taken to highlight leading lines in architecture compositions  _©

Scale refers to how the size of different elements relates to each other and it has been suggested by Cankaya University that varying the size of elements can produce visual drama which draws attention to a focal point. We see scale being an important aspect in architecture and the spaces there where scale often determines the importance and use of the spaces in a given project. On the other hand, when it comes to fashion and Graphics design, it is still applied in a similar way where depending on how it is used, it will draw attention to what is important and away from what is not.

Repetition is the use of the same colors, elements, and other things throughout the design while rhythm is the repetitive use of one or more design elements to create a sense of organized movement and so this firstly creates a pattern leading the eyes to follow a visual link across an object of design.  We see this principle cutting across architecture, fashion, graphics design, photography, and other creative fields.

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The Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright where he used patterns and repetition and the table dress by Hussein Chalayan whose inspiration came from architecture. (image by Viktoria Lytra)  _©

When it comes to photography be it of architecture or other elements, composition also plays an important role because even here, it determines where the focus is going to be put and where it is not. Looking at filling the frame/ cropping, an image can be resized by removing the excess background and this enhances the attention on the main subject ensuring that most of the image or what is seen consists of the object.

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Photo of church that captures negative space which is the landscape hence keeping your focus on the church.  _©

Patterns and Textures | Creative Professions

Patterns are a repetition of more than one design element working in harmony with each other. These can have multiple meanings and elements in design and are made up of different components repeated in the same way throughout the design. Patterns become important when the designs involved incorporate significant amounts of color, texture or depth. In architecture, patterns in the form of motifs have been used to improve the aesthetic quality of structures while in fashion, they have also been used as repetitive decorative designs on fabric.

A Zuhair Murad design who colors and textures were inspired and closely relate to the Yesil Tomb in Bursa, Turkey. ( Photo by Sevi)  available on

In  most common creative profession, graphics design, texture is defined as the surface quality in a work of art while in architecture, textures can be categorized into the various materials and surfaces used on a given structure. When it comes to fabric, texture describes the body and surface of the fabric and it may be rough or smooth, coarse or fine, crisp or clingy, soft or stiff, thin or bulky, opaque or sheer, shiny or dull, heavy or light or any combination of these characteristics.  Texture, therefore, creates a sense of curiosity hence evoking a sense of touch which then attracts the user’s focus physically and psychologically.

References | Creative Professions

Elmansy, R. (2016). Design Principles: Repetition, Pattern, and Rhythm. [online] Designorate. Available at: (n.d.). Fashion Feasibility | New Mexico State University – BE BOLD. Shape the Future. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Jan. 2023].

Mograph Mentor. (2021). Why Texture Is Important in Graphic Design. [online] Available at:

Soegaard, M. (n.d.). Repetition, Pattern, and Rhythm. [online] The Interaction Design Foundation. Available at:

Anon, (2021). Architecture Composition – archisoup | Architecture Guides & Resources. [online] Available at:

Merriam-Webster (2019). Definition of DESIGN. [online] Available at: (n.d.). What Is A Design Concept? Design Concept Definition & FAQ. [online] Available at: