Principles of Design

Everything you design should have an underlying rhythm. In Principles of design RHYTHM refers to the intervals at which related elements occur throughout a composition.

Rhythm is the way your eye moves throughout a piece. Some designs move you throughout in a connected, flowing way much like a slow, stately rhythm in music.

Other designs move you from one place to another in an abrupt, dynamic way much like a fast, staccato rhythm in music will give you the impression of movement.

Rhythm is the regular repetition of elements of design to produce the look and feel of movement. A jewelry designer creates movement in a piece by repeating colors, shapes, lines, or textures.

The repetition of the elements invites the eye to jump rapidly or glide smoothly from one area to the next. Rhythm allows designers to create a feeling of organized movement. Elements placed at regular intervals create a calming rhythm. Sudden changes in position and size create a lively rhythm. Variety keeps rhythm exciting and active, moving the eye around the artwork.

Similarity of elements, or flowing, circular elements will give a more connected flowing rhythm to a piece, while jagged, or unrelated elements will create a more unsettling, dynamic design.

There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling it evokes when looking at it.

    *Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length.

    *Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature.

    *Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps.

For a closer view of any of the following designs just click on the designer's name and you will be taken to their site where you can also check out some of their other creative designs for inspiration.

This sparkling Victorian style necklace designed by dshdesigns is made with Swarovski crystals,and shows swooping horizontal lines. Your eyes dance across this pieces like a classical waltz.

This beautiful crystal bracelet by bubasjewels creates rhythm through repetition of design pattern and color. The designs on the sterling silver beads and bead caps add texture while the ornamental clasp and dangles add interest and variety to this piece.

Again, rhythm is created through repetition of pattern in this lovely bracelet. The crystal dangles between the swarovski pearls not only add sparkle but also movement, texture, and variety.

"When You Say You Love Me" by Laurie Eller
Your eyes gently float across the design in this enchanting bracelet resting on each rose bud soaking in the surrounding bead shapes and texture. Vintage Tahitian shell pearls, Lotus freshwater pearls, lots of Swarovski crystal in various shapes and sizes in light tanzanite, tanzanite, velvet purple and olivine, freshwater pearls in an iridescent green, a Marcasite inlay crystal circle toggle and Javanese filigree sterling leaves and a single butterfly in the center make this bracelet an absolute dream.

The variety of beads in this contrasting black and white dangle bracelet by Austin Hamilton keeps your attention exciting and active, moving the eye around in a lively rhythm.

"Dazzling Copper Cuff" by Monica Sargeant.The vertical lines in this bracelet cause your eyes to jump across the design in a dynamic rhythm. The different shape beads and colors add variety and interest to this piece.

A "regular rhythm" is created through repetition of pattern in this turquoise and tiger eye bracelet by The Jewellry Witch.

The beads gradually changing from small to large then back to small creates a progressive rhythm as your eyes works their way around the necklace.

A pattern is created by repeating wrapped loops of leaves, chips and tiny beads between the large faceted rose quartz beads. Design by Judy Kintner Gilmartin.

For more Principles of Design see: Balance, Emphasis, Movement, Contrast, Harmony, Variety.

For more Elements of Design see: Line, Shape, Space, Texture, Color.

NEW! If you have any questions, comments or tips on designing jewelry join our Making Jewelry Design Forum or show us YOUR unique designs in Handcrafted Jewelry Photo Gallery. Everyone is invited to join in, it's free, it's easy and it's fun!

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