Elements & Principles
of Floral Design
of Floral Design
The directly observable components,
ingredients, and physical
characteristics of a design.
Elements of Floral Design
The visual pathway that directs eye
movement through a composition
•Distance between two points
Vertical lines—stress height and suggest power
Horizontal lines—stress width and are peaceful
and calm, provide a sense of stability
Diagonal line—dynamically energetic, causing
more eye movement. Use sparingly
Curved line—suggest motion, but are softer,
more comforting. Eye moves quickly through
Vertical line--Power and strength
Horizontal linePeaceful and calm
Diagonal lineDynamically energetic,
Curved lineSofter suggestion of
the shape or configuration of an individual
component of the composition. The
overall, three-dimensional, geometric
shape or configuration of a floral
the area in, around, and between the
components of the design, defined by the
three-dimensional area occupied by the
The surface quality of a material, as
perceived by sight or touch
Smooth, coarse, waxy, rough, delicate, velvety
A repeated combination of line, form,
color, texture, and/or space.
Variegated markings, speckles
Any element used more than once
Pattern—what is repeated
A sweet or pleasing odor, perceived by the
sense of smell.
heightens our awareness
increases sensory enjoyment
Using all 5 senses
The physical dimensions of line, form, or
The visual response of the eye to reflected
rays of light
most important design element
Optical sensation, originating in the brain’s
perception of light energy reflected to the eye
from a pigmented surface.
Principles of Floral
Principles of design-fundamental guidelines to
aesthetic design that govern the organization of the
elements and materials in accordance with the laws of
nature. Some primary principals of design are
associated with related secondary principles of design.
of Floral Design
Focal Area Unity
gives a sense of equilibrium and repose, a
feeling of three-dimensional stability.
Physical also known as mechanical
Visual balance—sense of equilibrium
Easily falls over
Or looks like it will easily tip over
symmetrical balance—known as formal
balance, flowers are repeated on opposite
sides of the floral arrangement. Using an
imaginary central axis, one side of the
arrangement is the mirror image of the
Asymmetrical balance—known as
informal balance. Formed by placing
unequal visual weight on each side of a
central vertical axis.
Radial balance—radiate from a central
point like the spokes of a wheel or the rays
of the sun.
Symmetrical-one side mirrors the other
Asymmetrical-two sides are dissimilar but have equal visual weight or equal
eye attraction which creates visual balance
Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical
Radial balance--Not separate from symmetrical or asymmetrical,
but merely a fine distinction of one or the other
Symmetrical but too perfect—rendering a contrived and fake appearance
Not symmetrical in placement but arranged in a near-symmetrical pattern to
form a balanced, formal shape
The comparative relationship in size,
quantity, and degree of emphasis among
components within the composition; the
relationship of one portion to another, or of
one portion to the whole.
design should be 1 ½ to 2 times the height or
width of the container
Greek golden section in which the ration of vase to flowers is
3 to 5 or roughly 5 to 8
Golden mean refers to the division of a line somewhere
between ½ and 1/3 its length
Flower design slightly off center
Overall size of a floral arrangement or its parts
compared with other objects or their parts.
Scale floral elements with each other
The relative ratio of size, or the
relationship of the size of a composition to
the surrounding area or environment.
Arrangements should fit on the table physically and visually and be in
proportion to the surrounding area
Small table small room small arrangement
Large to permit viewing from a distance
The visual organization within a design
that emphasizes one or more aspects.
When one element is emphasized, others
The special attention or importance given
to one or more areas within a design.
Directs eye to more important areas
The area of greatest visual impact or
weight; the center of interest to which the
eye is most naturally drawn.
Center of gravity or balance
Where eye is drawn
Where the eye rests
One element different than others
Detail added to a design to provide
additional interest, affecting the total
character of the composition.
Dash of something
Flow or movement characterized by
regular recurrence of elements or features
Use repeated patterns and graceful
The goal is to create a visual pathway that
leads the viewer’s eye around and through
the design, then back to the focal point.
overlap or angle flowers
place bright, dark flowers on the bottom of the
arrangement, lighter and smaller at the top
The recurrence of like elements within a
The ease of visual movement which
results from gradual degrees of change
among one or more of the elements
Emphasis by means of difference.
Contrast between elements which are
counterpoint in relation to each other.
Call attention to each other by being opposite
whereas contrast is simply different from each
Opposition—black & white
Contrast in color simplest way to create strong focal point
Implying or suggesting a sense of energy
Polarity—drawn together or pushed apart
Knot a leaf-energy has been exerted or applied
New bulb forcing out of soil
Ready to spring or snap
Tension—something is waiting to
Dissimilarity among attributes or
Diversity among elements
Vary stages of development
All one color of flower, but different flowers
Proximity-combining flowers into one design
Repetition-repeating similar elements such as color
Transition-providing a gradual change from one part of a design to another
Compatibility; a pleasing or congruent
arrangement of parts.
All parts should go together or
“harmonize” with each other.
Lack a sense of harmony
Harmony by added accessories which support football or homecoming theme
All component parts of a floral composition should harmonize with one another. It
is vital that the flowers in a design are compatible with one another in order to
support an overall design style.
Terra-cotta post and blush tones flowers create a casual garden ambiance for
this celebration setting. Harmony of the parts displays unity in design
--the state of being one, united, or complete
The arrangement is seen as a whole piece
instead of only individual parts.
Oneness of purpose, thought, style, and
Plums, kiwi enhance an overall harmonious theme
Examples of Line and Sticks