‘First impression is the best impression’, this famous quote seems very apt in the world of graphic design. To create the best first impression in e-learning, the role and use of e-learning graphics is very important, It’s the creative and apt use of these e-learning graphics that brings the best experience to the learners.

In my previous blog,I had written about the various graphic design trends to watch out for the year 2018. If you are a graphic designer make sure that you don’t miss reading it.
In this blog I have written about the fundamentals of graphic design in e-learning which every designer should apply this year.

What are the elements of graphic design?

The elements of a graphic design are basically the ingredients of what you see in the final art or design developed by the designer. Take any e-learning graphic design for instance and you can identify what constitutes it- the various elements like shapes, color lines, texture etc that go in making the final product.  So let us understand each of these seven elements


Researches have proven beyond doubt that color/s can influence the human mind, as well as our perception. There are a lot of factors that influence  the perception of colors amongst the viewers like the gender and age of the viewers, the cultural background and the geographical location etc. Hence I feel that colors are one of the most important elements of graphic design.

As a graphic designer it is important to be well versed with the color theory as it guides the designer to understand color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination.

If you are not much aware of the color theory, you can read this blog where I have written about the color theory in greater detail.

When you look at the current year i.e.2018, I feel that the present color trends are more about using more bold, bright and vibrant colors, use of modern gradients, metallic shades etc that can add an element of highlighting and make your learner focus on certain specific areas.Do you know the color of 2018? Well, Pantone announced PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet as the Color of the Year. 

Exploring this trend of bright and bold colors, the e-learning  graphic designers are experimenting with it to attract the attention of millennials .
For example, colors like millennial pink are used on various art designs, products etc to attract the millennials. Another example is the popular social app Instagram that had changed its logo and adapted a unique and vibrant color for its new logo. It is to be noted that 30 percent of global Instagram users were aged between 25 and 34 years and fall in the bracket of the millennials.



Put two dots anywhere on a paper and you can connect these dots by drawing a line. While there is no exact definition for line, we can call it as linear marks. There are different types of lines identified as: 

  • Vertical lines
  • Zig Zag lines
  • Horizontal lines
  • Curved lines

When lines are adapted to the world of design they are used to add styles, create forms, and divide space by being a border around other design elements etc.  Like colors, lines can also communicate various meanings to the viewers. Straight ones can evoke order and neatness, wavy lines can create movement, and zig-zagged lines can imply tension or excitement.

The present trend of line arts is more seen on the logo designs, line art patterns, which appear on various items and objects.


Scale  is a large part of design, In a very basic definition, scale is the deliberate resizing of individual elements with reference to certain objectives or conditions set by the user or designer. For example, consider a movie poster where the main actors are scaled up or shown on a larger space and the other characters are scaled down. This is done to ensure that the main actor gets the primary attention.

Scaling is currently very effectively used in presenting statistics like presenting some shocking numbers or figures where certain figures will be highlighted, sometimes in different fonts and sizes.

The designers use this mode to immediately direct the attention of the viewer to the desired area.


Transparency is now becoming a more popular element of graphic design and particularly e-learning graphic design. The present graphic designs bring transparency to the table by reducing the opacity of the objects, images and other graphics. This creates a calm and soothing feel to the eyes and at the same time, transparent designs can be used with other graphics elements like texts and visuals to make the look more appealing or focussed.


5. Contrast

This design element still continues to rule the roost. Let’s take the example of a textbook or a novel which is available in the print format, the textual content of the book are clearly printed on a black font and the paper in most cases take the color of white or creamy white etc.
The contrast between light and dark colors work effectively to create readability, which is the most important function of any e-learning course.

Some examples of contrasts are :

1.Thick and thin fonts
2.Dark and light colors
3.Modern and traditional styles
4.Rough vs. smooth textures

Going by the present design trends like minimalist design, the contrast style theme can be effectively used in this approach with effective us of a only a few colors to create the contrast. Contrast can also act to draw the attention to certain unique elements of your design.



Texture has started to enjoy greater popularity and are now replacing the plain single colored background. Remember the old posters and art which had a solid background color? This is now increasingly being replaced by the texture styles which include paper, stone, concrete, brick, fabric and natural elements, among flat or smooth colors.
I feel that the textures have a natural and original feel compared to the plain solid colors and can serve the purpose specially while designing e-learning for specific purpose like e-learning games and gamification etc.


Shapes can be as complex or  as simple as the designer chooses. The human brain responds to graphic design shapes in different ways.

For example, circles are often associated with feelings of inclusion and community, while squares are structured and solid. When it comes to geometric graphic design, the surrounding elements of website or logo shapes can have an impact on the viewer’s perception associated with shapes.

The present trend of graphic design with  respect to shape is to create and form other related images as shown below


So here are the  seven elements of graphic design which you can see around you as well as apply it in your designs.

In the world of graphics designs, it is the creativity that stands apart. Hence I would simply love to hear your views and opinions. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.