Design Idea A8J1 Necklace
by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

What visual message is your jewelry sending? The answer to this can be found in design theory, more specifically the principles of design as applied to jewelry creations. The design principles include balance, proportion, contrast, unity, harmony, movement and emphasis. These principles of design are used to arrange the elements (beads, components, etc.) in jewelry art, guiding the visual message of the piece.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's an illustrative exploration of seven different principles of jewelry design, including design ideas to help identify and/or integrate these principles into your own work.

7 Principles of Design for Jewelry-Making Inspiration:
  1. Balance - A Balancing Act
  2. Emphasis - Point of Emphasis
  3. Movement - The Magic of Movement
  4. Proportion - Power of Proportion
  5. Contrast - Contrast Consideration
  6. Unity - Understanding Unity
  7. Harmony - Happiness of Harmony

Understanding Unity ...

Unity refers to how the elements in a design work together. It’s a measure of how the elements seem to belong and fit together. A unified design represents first a whole, then the sum of its parts. Unity can be created by proximity, grouping like items together in a design and repeating a color, texture or element throughout a design. Unity is the feeling of harmony between all parts of the artwork creating a sense of completeness.

Design Idea 586S Bracelet

The repetition of turquoise beads unifies this bracelet design.

Design Idea 987R Necklace

The repetition of the orchid focal pieces brings a sense of unity to this necklace design.


Design Idea A8J1 Necklace

This design is unified by grouping the epoxy-drop flowers together.


This is the sixth part of a multi-part series on the principles of design for jewelry-making inspiration. View additional design principles:


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