I reviewed the book Pheromone: The Insect Artwork of Christopher Marley for Science Book a Day. It takes a topic many people are uncomfortable with, and uses art to show another perspective. It also demonstrates design principles, like how to arrange clashing eclectic colours in ways that don’t hurt your brain. You can read my review here.
Simply put, design principles are like visual grammar. With them, we can create a hierarchy of visual elements that helps us guide the audience around an image or page and emphasise the most important aspects of a design, without the viewer ever having to think about it. We can achieve this by understanding the way our minds perceive what we see, and using this knowledges to construct clear visuals. And one thing the human brain is very good at is noticing differences.