Do design rules cross disciplines? From graphic design to fashion design to interior and product design.

December 4, 2023

They certainly do! While each design discipline has its unique nuances, there are overarching principles and rules that transcend specific fields and apply broadly across various design disciplines. Here are some key principles:


Achieving visual or functional equilibrium is fundamental across all design disciplines. Whether it’s in the composition of a graphic design annual report, the elements of a fashion ensemble or the layout of a room in interior design, balance ensures a sense of harmony and coherence.

Proportion and scale

Understanding how elements relate in size and how they fit within a given space is crucial. This principle is vital in graphic design for typography and layout, in fashion design for garment proportions, and in interior/product design for furniture and spatial relationships.

Unity and variety

Creating a cohesive yet interesting design involves balancing unity (consistency, coherence) with variety (diversity, contrast). This applies to colour palette and font usage in graphic design, fabric choices in fashion, material selections in product design, and the overall aesthetic in interior design.


Design in any field should prioritise functionality and purpose. Whether it’s the readability of text in graphic design, the comfort and movement in fashion design, a product’s usability or the practicality of space in interior design, functionality is key.

Emphasis and focal point

Directing attention strategically is crucial. Whether it’s highlighting a testimonial in graphic design, drawing attention to a specific garment detail in fashion, showcasing a particular object in product design, or creating a focal point in an interior space, emphasis guides the viewer and/or user experience.


Establishing a clear order of importance among elements aids understanding and navigation. This principle is evident in information hierarchy in graphic design – headings, sub headings, introductory copy, body copy and pull-out quotes, layering in fashion design, product feature prioritisation in product design and spatial organisation in interior design.


Across disciplines, the importance of sustainable design practices is increasingly recognised. Whether it’s using recycled stock and environmentally friendly inks and finishes when printing for graphic design, reducing waste in fashion design, using eco-friendly materials in product design, or creating environmentally conscious spaces in interior design, sustainability is a crucial consideration.

While the specific application and interpretation of these principles might vary from one discipline to another, their fundamental essence remains consistent and applicable across diverse design fields. Integrating these principles into the design process helps create well thought- out and impactful designs regardless of the discipline.

To find out how Fresco can help you with your next design brief get in touch with us today!