Written by:
Carolina Marquez

How to combine elements and backgrounds


When it comes to creating a graphic piece be it for a presentation slide, a flyer or anything in between remember the quote: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."  

Why?  Because to create a harmonious and easy to understand design it is imperative to combine the backgrounds and elements within the canvas; the real estate area your content will be placed on.   It's about reaching a balance and a marriage between the items included in the design including fonts, colors, shapes and last but not least the background.

This short article will explore 5 tips that will allow you to combine backgrounds and elements to improve your designs:

Theory of visual perception

The Gestalt Theory of Visual Perception is related to the psychology of form.  It's based around six principles that the result of a graphic structure is not always the result of the sum of the parts.  There is an interrelationship between the parties where the modification of one can cause a change in the whole design.


This means that every single element you include in your design is going to affect the entire design, from the font you choose to the color of a specific shape. So it all has to be carefully chosen to harmonize with one another.

Your goal should be to use the least number of elements and perfect their relationship to each other; in essence reach a harmony between them.

The Space

The design space refers to the size of your canvas. In Visme you can choose between different predetermined sizes or create your own custom size.

Aside from the canvas, the spacing and position of your design elements will also affect balance and continuity.  For example placing all elements on the bottom of your graphic will in effect create a surcharge on that side.


This is not always a bad a thing because you can play with the background to achieve balance.  In the example above the background is overloaded at the top with many trees and yet the bottom is more symmetrical and less busy;  In this case we've included the text element at the bottom.

We have a great article on using grids to help balance the space on a blank canvas, you can read it here.

The Color

Using proper color is key to clean design and in presence of backgrounds, selecting the proper color will not only improve design aesthetics but in case of content it will be more legible and easier to read.

A lot of our users have benefited from using Color Palettes & understanding Color Harmonies.


If you are a beginner we recommend you select a color palette and stick to the colors included in it and limit your use of colors to two at most three throughout your design.

A good option to select palettes is colour lovers, a website with great color options for every taste.


There are neutral fonts that go well with almost any background (like the one used in this article Montserrat Black, available in Visme in addition to 100 other fonts).

However you may at times need a particular font that goes well with a specific background because font styles similar to colors can trigger emotional responses.  You can explore this subject further in an earlier article: Typography and Design.


As a general rule we recommend you stick to simple fonts with overloaded backgrounds and vice versa.  This will allow you to achieve harmony between background and text;  Simplicity  is preferred over complexity.


Even though minimalism is the latest trend in design (less is more, as explained in this article), sometimes you may want to include shapes on your canvas. If this is the case, it is important that you use them sparingly and analyzing how they contribute to the design as a whole.

For example if you are using a square shape in your design, it often makes sense to continue that throughout the design rather than randomly selecting shapes.


To recap, every element in your design real estate (canvas) contributes and shares a connection with others and your ultimate goal is to design and position everything in a manner that it will perceived as a whole.

Think of each element, and analyze what color/shape to use in conjunction with the rest of the design. This allows you to achieve design harmony.  You can learn how to choose the right graphic to support your content here.

Visme helps you with these principles by providing a great starting point and various shapes, fonts and colors choices, so you can create beautiful designs quickly and easily.


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About the Author

Caro is a internet marketer, blogger and a design enthusiast. She joined the Visme.co team on 2014, and she's been working with the tool ever since! She likes to share tips and tricks to make design and marketing easy and reachable for anyone!

One response to “How to combine elements and backgrounds”

  1. Khadija says:

    Huge thanks to Caro for such valuable sharing!

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