What is contrast in art and how to use it in your design?



Contrast in art is all about creating major visual differences between multiple elements. It is achieved by bringing opposite components together and drawing the audience’s attention to their variation. This contrast definition in art can be applied to all facets of the creative process. Clashing colours, scaling sizes, the use of shadows and light, opposite textures and differentiated shapes are all great examples of contrast in art being used to full effect.

Do you want to know how you can bring artistic contrast to your designs with Adobe Express for free? We’ll show you how you can make the most of the principles of this crucial technique, to take your projects design to the next level.

Using contrast to create impact.

Any project which requires visual flare can benefit from using artistic contrast. You may have already dipped into other artistic styles such as art deco or abstract art to bring impact to your creations. However, using Adobe Express’ tools, you can create instant impact in any style, using these techniques.

Contrast in art can draw the eye of the audience in whichever direction you wish. Important information can be made bolder. Creative designs can stand out from the crowd. Concepts can be reframed through a simple change in the artist’s composition. Ultimately, when two things that oppose one another sit side-by-side, it's sure to make an impact.

Take a look at these templates which are perfect for applying contrast in art.

Incorporating contrast in your design with free, editable templates.

Size scales on your posters

Are you unsure about how to change up your poster designs to stop them from becoming a jumbled array of information and images? Scaling the size of your text and visual aids is an easy way to bring order to your design.

Clashing colours on your business cards

Everyone has a business card these days and a good logo isn’t enough anymore to stand out. Rather than a basic black or white background, use a colour that clashes against your text and logo. That contrast might be bold but by using the Adobe Express’ business card templates, you’ll be able to get the balance just right.

Lighting your presentations

Presentations often look similar. Everyone has begun to adapt the same formula, with a variety of animations and wacky font stylings attempting to make the presentation more visually interesting. Lighting is an effective and subtle way to bring the rules of contrast in art to your presentation templates. Playing with shadows, adding artificial light sources and differentiating the lighting styles of each slide are all unique ways to apply these tools.

Discover presentation templates that can benefit from contrast in art.

Useful things to know.

Is there ever a time you shouldn’t use contrast in art?

Contrast can be used in more scenarios than you think, but it doesn’t always have to be brash and obvious. In situations where big contrasts might feel unprofessional or out of place, subtle contrasts are still worth exploring.

Who inspired contrast in art?

The contrast art movement has been contributed to by Rembrandt and Caravaggio who highlighted the strengths of the technique in their works. Many greats from Picasso to Braque have incorporated contrast to great effect and are worthy inspirations.

Is Adobe Express free to use?

Yes! You can get started right away with the free Adobe Express templates and start applying the rules of repetition in art to your designs. Sign up to the free plan now!