Emphasis is how an artist or designer creates a focal point in their work. This can be done by allowing one element to stand out from the others, or by toning down surrounding elements in order to draw attention to one particular point.

There are five main methods of creating emphasis:

  • Contrast - part of a composition that stands out from its surroundings will draw our attention
  • Placement - the closer an element is to the centre of a composition, the more our eyes are led to it
  • Isolation - something that sits separately from a group of other elements will stand out
  • Convergence - lines or other elements can draw closer together to create a focal point
  • The unusual - something that seems unusual or strange will grab our attention