Lines in Graphic Design

lines in graphic design diagonal line

A line is a fundamental element of graphic design, and design in general.
Although simple and basic, it is a vital building block of graphic design that can be used in a considerable number of ways.

There are many types and styles of lines in graphic design.
Each variation has a place in giving structure, organizing content, leading the eye of a viewer or invoking specific emotion.
The line is perfectly capable of being used on her own, or in conjunction with other design elements. When used along with other factors in design it can set the mood, indicate texture or define shapes.

Mastering, or at least understanding the lines and its usage in design will significantly elevate and improve your work.

You can read about other visual elements and design principles here.

Main Types of Lines in Design

  • Horizontal
horizontal purple lines used in design

Simple, left to the right straight line. In general, viewer associates horizontal lines with stillness or motionless rest. When used in design they often make the viewer calm, peaceful and comfortable.
Most commonly used in reassuring the importance of another element, and vital in a structure of a design.

  • Vertical line
vertical purple lines used in graphic design

More the other types, a vertical line is used to show dignity, strength, and formality.
Vertical lines in graphic design are considered tall, elegant and impressive.

  • Diagonal line
diagonal purple lines used

A diagonal line is most commonly associated with the movement. Giving the viewer a sense of urgency and excitement, this is a type of contour that you should use to direct viewers eye.
Additionally, it is a crucial tool for giving depth to design by using perspective.

  • Curved Line
wavy purple lines used

Wavy or curvy lines are also the most versatile and natural.
Smooth, shallow curves represent graceful movement and can invoke calming emotion. This emotion can be even more prominent than in horizontal line.
However, irregular, deep curves represent violence and can have the opposite effect.

  • Zigzag lines
zigzag purple lines

Series of diagonal lines joined together makes up a zigzag or jagged line. With its sharp and sudden change of direction, it radiates chaos and wild energy.

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