Principles of Design Posters & Interactive Activities




This poster for the art room and will help you incorporate the principles of art into your art lessons.  The interactive sketchbook activity will help students do an art critique based on one or more art principles.  

Help your students remember the Principles of Design with this unique resource that visually defines the principles.  I used the idea of “word as image” or a “calligram” to illustrate each principle using (mostly) only the letters of the word.  I’ve also come up with some kid-friendly definitions for each principle.  


There are 3 main parts to this product:  

  Half sheets that have each principle and definition,

  Interactive flip flaps that have each word and definition (for interactive sketchbook activities) 

  Both black/white and color poster designs  


Display the Principles of Design in your classroom or art studio with printable half sheets with definitions and posters. 

The poster and half sheets include the following Principles of Design:


balance, emphasis, rhythm, contrast, harmony, 

pattern, proportion, repetition, variety, movement, and unity 


Ask your students to pick a principle from the poster and explain how the word illustrates its meaning, or use this poster to help your students during an art critique; ask them to pick a Principle of Design and explain how a select work of art uses that Principle of Design.


Interactive Sketchbook Activity:

For a written critique, I’ve made the Principles of Design on “flip flaps” that can be glued into a sketchbook or interactive notebook.  Students can flip up the flap and write about a work of art using the principle on the flap.  Or they could write about how the word on the flap illustrates the meaning. 


What You Get:

  • Instructions (3 pages)
  • Small (8.5×11) poster (1 page)
  • Half sheets with definitions (6 pages)
  • Flip flap slips for interactive notebooks or sketchbook activities (11 pages – 4 per page)
  • Large black and white posters (20×30) – PNG file (2 pages)
  • Large color posters (20×30) – PNG file (4 pages)

>>>> This makes a total of 27 pages!


I’ve also included a separate file of the printables with the British Spelling of COLOUR (not included in the page count).




Love this pack for teaching the principles of art to my middle schoolers.

~ Brenda D.



I hang these on my board and change them out to indicate what skill we are working on with the project. It is great!

~ Leah H.



Great examples of the principles of design. nice posters.

~ Kristen J.


Use this resource to help students learn, understand, and remember the principles of design.



Easily download this zip file with a link that is automatically emailed to you immediately after your purchase and you can begin using this lesson right away!


If you have a Mac computer, just click on the zip file and it will create a folder (almost magically) filled with all the goodies you just purchased.

Windows uses File Explorer to open zipped files.  Here are some easy instructions from Microsoft in case you’ve not done this before.


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Created by Stacey Peters, © Expressive Monkey

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.

Please purchase additional licenses if you intend to share this product.


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