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When it comes right down to it, the best florists are the ones who have adequate exposure to flower arrangement techniques and floral design. These folks know how to arrange flowers the best, so in the end, their chances of success are higher than those who have not sought out the right principles for their practice.

The 7 Principles of Floral Design

  1. ProportionProportion is all about establishing a balance between the different elements that you bring into the arrangement. With flower arrangements, everything is critical, from the container to how you clip the leaves. Three distinct elements come to the fore: the flowers, the foliage, and all of the accessories that you use in the arrangement. The keyword here is visual balance, and the elements should be complementary to each other.
  1. Scale After establishing proportion, you should then look at scaling the arrangement to see if it will work with the backdrop or environment where the arrangement will be placed. This applies most especially to environments where the arrangements will be very conspicuous, such as altars and other venues. Basically what we are avoiding is for your arrangement to look too big or too small for the space it will be allotted. The principle of scale should also be employed when fixing the proportions of the arrangement. For example, if you are using several large hydrangeas on one side of the arrangement, the opposite side should be allotted a bunch that will match the size of what is on the opposite side.
  1. HarmonyHarmony refers to how the elements in an arrangement blend with each other. Ideally, what you should be looking for is a continuous flow of colors and hues that are all pleasing to the eyes. The harmony should also work closely with the intention of the event, or what the arrangement is for. The arrangement should reflect the artistic vision of the florist, as well as what the client wants in the arrangement.
  1. RhythmRhythm is actually how your establishment ‘movement’ or the visual line in an arrangement. Rhythm can be achieved through the strategic placement of different elements, as the eyes ‘read’ the arrangement from left to right. The proper spacing and use of color can help you create rhythm, as well as using the technique when adding texture to your arrangement. You have a choice with keeping the rhythm low or more active and dynamic, as is the case with an arrangement that has large arcs and rounded placements that make the flowers rise above their base.
  1. BalanceBalance is a two-fold proposition when you are creating flower arrangements. Physical balance refers to how you will even out the weight of the arrangement so it will hold on its own. The use of counterbalances in the arrangement can help you achieve a firm and lively-looking arrangement of flowers. The last thing that you want to happen is for the entire thing to just splay out because there is too much weight and your floral foam or basket is overwhelmed. Visual balance refers to how the eyes perceive the arrangement. Symmetrical balance is the most common type of balance that florists use. For example, a florist might create a triangular arrangement with no particular emphasis on any of the corners.The L-shaped balance is more modern in the sense that it breaks away from the idea of central symmetry. L-shaped arrangements can be seen in different events like weddings and other formal occasions.And finally, we have open balance arrangements where the arrangement of the flowers is more radial, and the florist takes cues from the colors and shapes of the available flowers. We can say that this type of arrangement is neither symmetrical nor totally asymmetrical because florists still take into account how to arrange the flowers, foliage, and elements the best way they can.
  1. UnityUnity refers to the arrangement, in all of its glory, and how it looks when placed in the space where it should be. All the previous principles go together to create an organic unity for the arrangement. To determine if your arrangement has unity, you can ask yourself the following questions:
    • Are all of the components in the arrangement of high quality?
    • Are the elements cooperating with each other or are they visually clashing?
    • Does the arrangement present itself beautifully, and is everything aligned with the specific purpose of the arrangement in the first place?
    • Does the arrangement come forth to you as well-wrought and dignified? Would the customer be proud to have this great arrangement in his/her event?
    • Does the arrangement create an active, pleasing effect on whoever is viewing it? Is its effect active or passive?
  1. EmphasisEach arrangement should provide a stunning center, a focal point that people can really admire up close, and from afar. Dominance and emphasis in an arrangement can be achieved through the strategic placement of flowers and allowing certain bunches or groups of flowers to ‘float’ visually in the arrangement.