The 7 Basic Principles of Jewelry Design [Video]

7 Basic Principles of Jewelry Design

In today’s video we’ll learn about the 7 Basic Principles of Jewelry Design.

In the video I’ll teach you the 7 principles, as well as illustrate them with an example.

Here’s the video:

Most often you’ll probably only think about these principles if something is not working in a jewelry design.

If that’s the case, I suggest you go through all the principles to make sure they’re all working.

The seven basic principles are:

  • Balance
  • Emphasis
  • Proportion
  • Movement
  • Contrast
  • Unity
  • Harmony

Not every piece will use every principle, but they’re important to think about when you’re designing jewelry pieces.

#1 Balance

Balance is the distribution of visual weights of materials, colors, textures and space in jewelry design.

There are four types of balance:

  • Symmetrical
  • Asymmetrical
  • Radial balanced (arranged around a central point)
  • Intentionally off-balance

#2 Emphasis

Emphasis is the focal point of the jewelry design that catches the viewer’s attention. It’s also referred to as dominance.

Ways to bring emphasis to your jewelry designs:

  • Use a different color from the rest of the piece.
  • Use a different size from the rest of the piece.
  • Use a different shape from the rest of the piece.
  • Use a different texture from the rest of the piece.

#3 Proportion

Proportion is the feeling of unity when all the elements of a piece (color, size, amount, etc.) relate well to each other.

Usually you don’t actually notice proportion unless something is out of proportion.  All the elements of your jewelry piece should be in proportion to each other.  You should also think about the jewelry piece being in proportion to the person wearing it.

#4 Movement

Movement is the path our eyes follow when looking at a piece of jewelry. Emphasis and contrast will create movement in your jewelry piece.

Movement is commonly achieved through:

  • Repetition
  • Rhythm
  • Action

#5 Contrast

Contrast is created by using components that conflict with one another, such as dark and light values.

#6  Unity

Unity is when the elements in a jewelry design work together.

Unity can be created by:

  • Proximity
  • Grouping like things together
  • Repeating color or texture

#7 Harmony

Harmony is how the different components in a jewelry design relate to and compliment each other.

Green and Blue Mixed Media Asymmetrical Necklace

Mixed Media Knotted Bead Tutorial

Learn how to make the Mixed Media Knotted Bead that is the focal point of the necklace in the example necklace here.

Jewelry Design Workshop

Have you been making jewelry, but following others’ tutorials and have a yearning to come up with your own unique designs?

Have you seen other people’s designs, but they’re just not quite right for you and your own style?

Wondering how you even figure out your own personal jewelry style?

And how do you come up with ideas without having all day to dream about jewelry designs?

Give me a few minutes a day and I will take you from wondering how jewelry designers come up with their ideas to designing your own jewelry in your own unique style!

In my Jewelry Design Workshop you’ll learn my process for never running out of ideas for jewelry designs. Through the process, you’ll develop your own personal jewelry style and even learn how to put together a cohesive collection.

We’ll start by learning about the basic principles of jewelry design. Then you’ll learn how to create an Idea Collage, a technique you can do over and over again to get lots of inspiration. Plus you’ll get some bonus prompts for even more inspiration. I’ll share my process for pulling ideas from your Idea Collage.

Then we’ll move onto actually sketching our design ideas and choosing designs for a collection. Finally, I’ll share tips for finalizing your jewelry designs and troubleshooting when a design does not seem to be quite working.

Learn more and sign up here.


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