This paper formulates the design theory of planar four-bar linkages using the planar form of dual quaternions known as planar quaternions. The set of positions reachable by the floating link of a dyad is a quadratic algebraic surface called a constraint manifold. Determining the coefficients of the quadratic form defining this manifold is equivalent to setting the design parameters of the linkage. If the task of the linkage is specified as geometric constraints on the location of the floating link, then algebraic constraints are obtained on the quaternion components. We seek the coefficients of the constraint manifold that satisfies these constraints. The result is an algebraic formulation that is symmetric in its characterization of the linkage and task, and provides a versatile tool for the formulation and solution of linkage design problems.