Design Your Own Jewelry to Sell, Part 2: Jewelry Design Principles

Design Your Own Jewelry to Sell, Part 2: Jewelry Design Principles

Xinar has been selling the highest quality jewelry-making supplies since 1998. You can design your own jewelry to sell using our extensive collections of genuine copper beads and findings, sterling silver beads, gold-filled and rose gold-filled beads, and findings.

If you want to design your own jewelry to sell, keep in mind that jewelry-making is governed by a few fundamental principles that provide the final outputs with stability and completeness.

The fundamentals of jewelry design are covered in the curriculum of jewelry design courses. Be sure to read part one of the series as well.

New and exciting pieces are created by incorporating these principles creatively into jewelry design. Adhering to these fundamentals ensures that the design process is free of errors and waste. A jewelry artist or craftsman maintains a checklist of these rules to create faultless jewelry in either traditional or non-traditional styles. Each of these principles plays a unique role in creating the final product and is thus emphasized in all jewelry-making classes.

Jewelry, they say, is one small item that can make the wearer feel unique. For centuries, jewelry design principles have also inspired humanity. Since time immemorial, human beings have been amazed and fascinated by their deep color, radiance, pure and precious metal, and so on. Jewelry has always been admired for its allure and sophistication. However, each piece results from several factors that can either make or break the final product.

As an aspiring jewelry business owner, you must truly understand how to offer jewelry pieces that tell a story and evoke emotion. This is where jewelry design principles come in. Your jewelry must convey a memorable visual message to contribute to your brand identity.

The Seven Principles of Jewelry Design Principles


Contrast can be defined as distinction. The contrast between design elements such as color, value, size, and texture can amplify the effects of the elements used. As a result, the elements can gain strength. The contrast in jewelry design refers to opposed elements and components.

Contrast works in jewelry design, just as it does in fashion. Contrast is defined as opposing colors, design elements oriented in opposing directions, and shades of opposite intensity, such as dark and light.

Contrast is a design technique based on the effect of complementary features such as yin and yang. Contrast can easily make a design stand out and capture the viewer’s attention. Additionally, it functions well with proportion and balance.

Contrasts that have been used to generate visual interest, excitement, and drama include the following:

  • Light vs. dark
  • Textures: rough vs. smooth
  • Shapes that differ by size/scale

Contrast is inextricably linked to variety; one of the simplest ways to achieve distinction is to incorporate various elements. Alternatively, using contrasting elements is a simple way to add mixture.

Harmony and Unity

According to design theory, unity refers to how the various elements of a composition interact—for example, a unified layout functions rather than as individual components.

Unity can be achieved through proximity, grouping similar items in a design, and repeating a color, texture, or element throughout.

Harmony can be defined as similarity or the relationship of one thing to another. Repetition of design elements such as color, texture, shape, and form is one of the simplest ways to achieve compositional harmony.

Harmony is how elements interact and complement one another in a design. As with the principle of proportion, unity is rooted in the necessity of harmony. To achieve unity, the elements of jewelry must be visually grouped to create a sort of harmonious design. Additionally, unity can facilitate the movement principle.

Unity can be achieved by bringing elements closer together, grouping similar elements into one, and repeating colors in a pattern or gradient. Unity creates a more orderly design. Harmony refers to the way various components of jewelry relate to one another, resulting in a well-balanced piece of jewelry. These complementary components add a new dimension to the jewelry design.

Variety in Jewelry Design Principles

The use of multiple design elements to maintain the viewer’s attention and guide the viewer’s eye through and around the work is referred to as variety.

Variety is achieved through juxtaposition (positioning) and contrast and is a design principle that adds interest to our work.

Utilizing variety entails juxtaposing various visual elements. The following are ways that you can add variety to your design:

  • Straight lines juxtaposed with curvy lines add interest.
  • Organic shapes interspersed with geometric shapes add interest.
  • Contrasting bright and dull colors add variety.
  • Contrast does not always equal variety, though it does happen.
  • Some aspects of variety complement one another.


The art of emphasizing a particular element or area of a design is to draw the viewer’s attention to it.

The term “emphasis” refers to the jewelry design’s focal points or areas of interest that capture the viewer’s attention. The dominant element is the focal point with the most significant visual weight.

The focal point of jewelry is the area that receives the most attention. This focal point determines the emphasis principle. The jewelry designer can employ specific techniques to transform a portion of the jewelry into the focal point. They can set it apart from the rest of the piece by using a different color or texture, such as a red stone in a necklace of white pearls.

Different sizes can be assigned to jewelry elements to draw attention to certain areas of the finished piece. For instance, a pendant on a delicately thin chain or an unusually shaped piece of jewelry can help add emphasis.

A crafter can draw attention to a particular area by contrasting it in size, shape, color, or texture with other regions. Subordination is defined as reducing or eliminating other compositional elements to focus attention on the focal point.

Emphasis can be achieved in design by positioning elements in naturally drawn-to positions and incorporating other principles such as contrast, repetition, or movement.


A pattern is an underlying structure that consistently and regularly organizes surfaces or structures.

Repetition can also be the “skeleton” that holds the components of a composition together. Repetition is defined as the repetition of the same object or object. Patterns are constructed from various features that are then repeated throughout the design. When repeated regularly or irregularly, repetition is used to create movement. Simple variations on a theme add visual interest.


Not only does movement refer to the path our eyes take through a piece of jewelry, but it can also refer to the way the piece moves and drapes.

By arranging elements within a piece in a particular way, a jewelry artist can direct the eye’s movement. The term “movement” refers to the quality of a piece of jewelry that directs the viewer’s gaze in a particular direction. Human eyes recognize progressive size enlargements, color repetitions, and pattern progressions.

Movement could begin at a focal point and continue in an induced pattern throughout the design. This pattern is created through repetition, rhythm, or a representation of an action.

This “motion” is frequently accomplished through repetition, rhythm, and action.

The direction in which the movement appears to be moving is the flow. In design theory, the flow of a piece typically follows the work’s fundamental structure.

Rhythm is the result of repetition, and it directs the eye from one area to another in a continuous, flowing, or staccato fashion.

Action infuses a piece of jewelry with vitality and vitality. The jewelry is designed to move with the wearer.

Proportion and Balance in Jewelry Design Principles

Balance is the visual weight of colors, objects, textures, and space. Balance lends a sense of stability to a design. Balance refers to the distribution of weight, size, color, and space within the jewelry, resulting in an appropriately proportioned piece.

A symmetric, asymmetric, or radial distribution may be used to achieve balance.

Proportion is rarely noticed unless there is an imbalance in the entirety of the design in this area. If the jewelry piece is perfectly proportional, the eyes take pleasure in taking in the details.

Without proportion and harmony, the overall effect of the jewelry design principles will struggle to gain traction.

  • Symmetrical balance refers to the fact that the elements used on each design side are proportionate and visually weighted equally.
  • Asymmetrical balance occurs when the proportions of the elements on each side differ, but they have equal visual weight to achieve balance.
  • The elements in radial balance are arranged around a central point and may be similar.
  • Off-balance is another technique designers employ to generate visual interest and imply motion.

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