Repetition: Design Principles Part 5

Design Part 5: Repetition
This article was originally written by me for Hubze, a former Social media news and tutorial source.

Hey Hubzers!

Today we are wrapping up the final principle of design, repetition.

Like all of the other principles, the methodology behind repetition is incredibly simple. The principle states that you should repeat some aspect of design throughout the entire piece. Well, that was easy, wasn’t it?

The truth is, you most likely already do this. You probably use the same font and weight for all headings, put your logo at the corner of each page, add a horizontal line at the bottom of your page, etc.

The trick, however, is to push this even further. Instead of using a normal bold font at a moderate size for headlines, use a super-bold font at a huge size. If your logo is circular in shape, line the left side of the page with bunch of circles…you get the picture.

Push the limits

Repetition is a conscious effort to unify all parts of a design, and when done effectively, will give your page visual interest and a projection of authority. A page with repetition clearly looks like it was thought out by someone with a plan, which reflects well on your brand.

While the key to successful repetition is to push the limits of your repeating elements, you still want to avoid being annoying or overwhelming. Of course, this takes some judgment on your part, but you’ll get it quickly with just a little bit of practice.

Let’s take a look at some examples to spark your creativity.

Repetition in action

Estate Black Vineyard

Awesome contrasting headlines

Holy Headlines!

The first thing you may notice about this site is the great use of contrast. The stark white text on black background and huge headlines draws you in immediately.

But notice how they repeated that headline contrast throughout. Nearly every chunk of information has a giant headline or character to tie the design together without being overbearing. This is a great example how repetition can be accomplished using nothing but text.


Jungle motif is repeated throughout

Welcome to the jungle!

This site is wonderfully designed to take full advantage of their cool name. The entire site is based on a jungle theme, with their mascot, a Silverback Gorilla, as the main attraction.

Notice how the jungle theme repeats across the whole site. The header and footer have a “viney” look to them, and any major break in a section carries on this theme.

A blatant (and awesome) example of repetition can be seen with their banana-like bullet points. They take a standard element in design, and make it their own by tying it into the jungle theme. You can imagine how any bulleted list on this site will instantly remind you of the gorilla mascot, strengthening their branding and your perception of the company.

Vitamin Water Facebook Page

Repeating elements across multiple pieces

This is a great example of taking a repeating design element across multiple design pieces. Yes, this is technically one one singular Facebook page, but each post image can be considered its own design. In any event, look how they include the rainbow-header motif in every single image post.

If you’re a follower of Vitaminwater, you wouldn’t even need to see their logo or even a reference to their name to know what company. Now THAT’S a great use of repetition and some strong branding.

Do once, then repeat

Congratulations, you now know the basics of all the major design principles! Now it’s time to include these simple concepts into your own designs. As you are well aware by now, any good design will incorporate all four of these principles, and many can be combined to create some interesting and dynamic designs.

At this point you have power over these concepts, so be conscious of them while you work, and you will be amazed at how great your results will be!

Read part 1 of the series, Introducing CRAP: the Principles of Design

Read part 2 of the series, Learning Proximity in Design

Read part 3 of the series, Learning Alignment in Design

Read part 4 of the series, Learning Contrast in Design