Archive for the ‘Principles of Design’ Category

DESIGN THEORY

September 3, 2011

THE PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

The Principles of design can be thought of as what we do to the elements of design. How we apply the Principles of design determines how successful we are in creating a “visual communication” composition.

Space

Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. It may have two dimensions (length and width), such as a floor, or it may have three dimensions (length, width, and height). Space includes the background, foreground and middle ground. Space refers to the distances or areas around, between or within components of a piece. There are two type of space: positive and negative space. Positive space refers to the space of a shape representing the subject matter. Negative space refers to the space around and between the subject matter.

Line

Line is the basic element that refers to the continuous movement of a point along a surface, such as by a pencil or brush. The edges of shapes and forms also create lines. It is the basic component of a shape drawn on paper. Lines and curves are the basic building blocks of two dimensional shapes like a house’s plan. Every line has length, thickness, and direction. There are curve, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzag, wavy, parallel, dash, and dotted lines.

Balance

Balance can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical. Balance also refers to a sense that dominant focal points don’t give a feeling of being pulled too much to any specific part of the artwork. Balance can be achieved by the location of objects, volume or sizes of objects, and by color. It can also be achieved by balancing lighter colors with darker colors, or bold colors with light neutral colors.

Color

Color is seen either by the way light reflects off a surface, or in colored light sources. Red colors seem to come forward while blue seems to recede into the distance. Color and particularly contrasting color is also used to draw the attention to a particular part of the image. There are primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel. Complementary colors are used to create contrast. Analogous colors are colors that are found side by side on the color wheel. These can be used to create color harmony. Monochromatic colors are tints and shades of one color. Warm colors are a group of colors that consist of reds, yellows, and oranges. Cool colors are group of colors that consist of purples, greens, and blues.

Shape

A shape is defined as an area that stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of differences of value, color, or texture. Shapes can also show perspective by overlapping. They can be geometric or organic. Shapes in house decor and interior design can be used to add interest, style, theme to a design like a door. Shape in interior design depends on the function of the object like a kitchen cabinet door. Natural shapes forming patterns on wood or stone may help increase visual appeal in interior design. In a landscape, natural shapes, such as trees contrast with geometric such as houses.

Texture

Texture is perceived surface quality. In art, there are two types of texture: tactile and implied. Tactile texture (real texture) is the way the surface of an object actual feels. Examples of this include sandpaper, cotton balls, tree bark, puppy fur, etc. Implied texture is the way the surface on an object looks like it feels. The texture may look rough, fizzy, gritty, but cannot actually be felt. This type of texture is used by artist when drawing or painting.

Form

Form is any three dimensional object. Form can be measured, from top to bottom (height), side to side (width), and from back to front (depth). Form is also defined by light and dark. There are two types of form, geometric (man-made) and natural (organic form). Form may be created by the combining of two or more shapes. It may be enhanced by tone, texture and color. It can be illustrated or constructed.

Value

Value is an element of art that refers to the relationship between light and dark on a surface or object and also helps with Form. It gives objects depth and perception. Value is also referred to as tone.

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DESIGN THEORY

September 3, 2011

QUICK STUDY: Principles of Design

Balance: Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, Radial, Allover

Rhythm: Legato, Staccato, Progressive, Alternating

Line: Dominant Horizontal, Dominant Vertical, Dominant Diagonal, Line Quality

Emphasis (Focal Point): Visual Hierarchy, Emphasis by Contrast, Emphasis by Isolation, Emphasis by Placement, Absence of a Focal Point

Scale / Proportion: Representational, Hieratic, Scale Confusion, Scale Contrast

Movement: Visual Flow

Visual Unity: Harmonious, Not Harmonious

Positive and Negative Space Relationship: Interdependent

Spatial Format: Illusion, Perspective, Depth of Field, Volume, Mass & Form