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DD150 – Design Basics

Unit 1 – Topic 2 – Elements and Principles of Design

Vivianne Jimenez

on 12 May 2013

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Transcript of DD150 – Design Basics

The following will be discussed in this topic: Draw a line on a piece of paper. Now draw another line. This seems pretty easy. Now ask yourself these questions. How thick was the line you drew?
What direction were the lines going?
Were they solid or dotted?
Were they straight? Curved?
As soon as you draw a line you have started to create a design. Line is the most basic element of design. VALUE
core elements of design *A line is a mark made by a tool as it is drawn across a surface. This tool can be almost anything such as a pencil, computer, or chalk. Line in art must be seen from an artist or designer’s eye. The artist will see a line in a different way than someone else. Line starts to take on its own character. Sometimes it has more emphasis than anything else on the paper. Line initiates the look and feeling of a design. A line has attributes, which refer to the way it moves from beginning to end. Lines may be straight, angled, curved, or even dotted. Also important is line direction. It helps to communicate a message or create focus. Horizontal lines allow your eye to travel across a page from left to right or vice versa. Line quality refers to how a line is drawn. Is the line bold, thick, thin, smooth, or rough? Converging lines can create an area of focus and make an object more important in a design. Adding more line weight to a line can stress different areas of a design. Using lines with character can add emphasis to an area of the design. 6 LINE SHAPE COLOR TEXTURE FORMAT of design *The general outline of something is a shape. Shapes are created using lines. A shape can be filled with color or be empty of color. It can have texture or appear flat. Shape can also be created in other ways than line. When an area of color is not defined by a line it appears to have a border and can identify a shape.
Shape in art builds relationships in a design. A designer must start to see the font letter as a shape and not just a letter. A letter form starts to come to life and its sole purpose is not to just communicate anymore. The letter forms start to interact with other shapes on the page to create a unique design. When no lines are defined the white can take on a shape of its own. By adding texture to a shape you can create contrast compared to flat shapes. When integrating type into a design think of the letters as shapes not letters or words. They become part of the design. Color is a very powerful element in a design. It is hard to master using color on a canvas, but even more difficult to manage it for print or web output. Let’s start by reviewing specific components of color: hue, value and saturation. Hue is the name of the color, that is, red, green, blue or orange. Value is the range of lightness or darkness, that is, a light red or dark red, a light blue or dark blue. Shade, tone, and tint are associated with value. Saturation is the brightness or dullness of a color, that is, bright red or dull red, bright yellow or dull yellow. Saturation can be also called luminosity. Any project that will be viewed in a printed format uses what is called a four color process. The basic inks are yellow, magenta and cyan. Black is used to increase contrast and is represented with the letter K. This color process we call CMYK. Any four-color CMYK color process can reproduce photographs, art, and illustrations. On the computer when mixing light, the primary colors are red, green, blue or RGB. If you mix red and green, you will create yellow on the computer. RGB is used on any project that will be viewed on a computer, such as a website. When working with a computer’s color palette you can create millions of colors. PRINTED COLORS WEB COLORS In paint, the primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. They cannot be created, but you can mix two primary colors together to create many different colors. Color on a computer is created by mixing light, which acts differently than from physical paint. PRIMARY COLORS Value is the term we use to describe the range of lightness or darkness of a visual element. The connection between one part of a design to another is called value contrast. All good designs contain value contrast. Without it, the viewer could not distinguish one element of design from the next. If the text in a design had the same value as the background, it would be difficult to read, making it a poor design. The more contrast the better. Depending on the goals of the project, sometimes it is necessary to have areas of low contrast. For example, if you really want to pop an object out create a background with a light valued background and have the object really dark. This will successfully pop out the object. In art, the visual representation of how something feels is called texture. There are two types of texture: Tactile and visual textures. Tactile textures are real; we can actually feel their surfaces with our fingers. Creating the illusion of a texture or the impression of a texture with line, value, or color is called visual texture. It is important to think about contrast when working with texture. A texturized object in a design might be a nice relief to a flat object in the artwork. Visual texture can be created using pens, pencils, markers, pastels, computer software and with paint. In art, the visual representation of how something feels is called texture. There are two types of texture: Tactile and visual textures. Tactile textures are real; we can actually feel their surfaces with our fingers. Creating the illusion of a texture or the impression of a texture with line, value, or color is called visual texture. It is important to think about contrast when working with texture. A texturized object in a design might be a nice relief to a flat object in the artwork. Visual texture can be created using pens, pencils, markers, pastels, computer software and with paint.
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN Formal elements in artwork The principles of design Graphic space The principles of design utilize the formal elements to be arranged in your design to achieve a certain effect. The way you place your lines, shapes and color all play an important role in creating a good design. 4 Now that you have reviewed the elements and principles of design we need to discuss space in design. Space is important because it can add a lot to your design. A flat design is not very interesting to look at and looses the viewer’s attention. A design with space grabs your attention and helps promote your design. We will discuss to aspects of space: Illusion and positive/negative space.
MANIPULATION OF GRAPHIC SPACE 5 Imagine you just went on vacation to Dublin, Ireland, and while there, someone took a picture of you with a castle behind you. You, in the foreground, would be the subject of the picture and the space inhabited by the castle would be the background. The same view can be applied to art where the space around the object is just as important as the object itself. A good designer strives for a balance between the positive space occupied by the object and the negative space around it made up of the background.

Draw a star on a piece of paper. You have now created positive and negative space. The positive being the star or shape and the negative being the rest of the space on the page. In a successful positive/negative relationship, the spatial relationships act interdependently and interactively. This means the negative space is so strong it can also be viewed as the positive space and vice versa. A successful design composition must address all space and utilize the background as well as the foreground. Positive and Negative Space When we talk about illusion in the art world, we refer to space once again. Let’s talk about three dimensional space and two dimensional space.A two dimensional space refers to a flat surface. A three dimensional space adds depth to the flat surface. A piece of paper is two dimensional. A box is three dimensional. The box adds depth where the paper cannot.How can you create a three dimensional object on a two dimensional surface such as paper? Through illusion. Illusion adds to a design and makes it more interesting to view. There are a few ways to accomplish the illusion of space. Illusion One way to create illusion is to overlap objects in a piece of artwork. By overlapping, it appears that some objects are on top of others. Overlap A designer can create illusion by changing the size of objects in relation to one another. Take two trees, for example. A tree close to you will look larger and have more detail than a tree farther away. Draw trees that are farther back in a painting and which are smaller and have less detail, whereas trees right in front of you are much larger and more detailed. This creates the illusion that the tree really is farther back on a piece of canvas. This same concept can be applied to the computer design. Size You can create illusion by using perspective. Perspective is based on the idea that diagonals converging toward a point on the horizon, called the vanishing point, will imitate the recession of space into the distance and create the illusion of spatial depth. Perspective is a schematic way of translating three dimensional space onto a two dimensional surface. As a designer you have the choice of keeping the surface of your art flat or giving the illusion of depth. Manipulating graphic space enables the designer to create extraordinary pieces of art. Understanding how to create these effects will expand your skills and your ability to affect the viewer. A good starting point is to analyze other designers’ work and to see how each artist created the illusion of space. Perspective The basis of your education as a designer begins with two dimensional design. Understanding the formal elements, principles of design and the manipulation of graphic space is vital for you to become a successful designer. Comprehend these skills and they will be your foundation for studying typography and layout design which we will discuss in the next two topics. When you arrange dissimilar or unequal elements of equal weight on the page, it is called asymmetry. Asymmetrical designs are never balanced. If you were to draw an imaginary line down the vertical axis it would feel like one side of the design is heavier than the other. Sometimes it is good to have an unbalanced design because you are trying to stress one part of the design over the rest of it—this creates emphasis.Most good designs incorporate symmetry; however, your decision to integrate symmetry or asymmetry should be decided by the subject, message, and feelings you wish to depict. With symmetry your designs are always balanced. You can arrange the similar objects in your design so that they are equally placed on either side of an imaginary vertical axis. Think of a mirror. If you look at yourself, you can draw an imaginary line right down the middle of your head portraying an equal amount of weight on both sides of that line. In art, you can place lines or shapes on a page so that it illustrates a symmetrical balance. ASYMMETRY SYMMETRY Balance is an equal distribution of weight. Any object you physically pick up carries some sort of weight. A bag of sand is going to weigh more than a pencil. This same theory can apply to art. Think of the different shapes and lines you create on a piece of paper. A thin line is going to weigh less than a thick one. A large shape is going to weigh more than a small shape. Unity in art is achieved when all the elements in a design look as though they belong together. Unity is one of the goals of composition. Unity allows the viewer to see the design as a whole, rather than as a collection of unrelated parts. A designer must know how to place the elements in a design so that they form a bond together. If a design does not contain unity, most likely the viewer will loose interest in the piece.

A designer must make a connection between the elements on the page. This establishes a look and feel for the design. If a company only uses the font Arial and a designer inserts one word that is Times New Roman that word would not be connected to the other elements on the page. It would no longer have a unified look. As designers, you always want to keep the same look and feel throughout your whole piece. It will create a successful design that is pleasant to the eye. UNITY BALANCE When we talk about rhythm, think of music. Music seems to have a nice rhythm to it when listening to the beats. In art, you can arrange the elements to achieve a feeling of the beats in music by using visual objects rather than music. Designers can create patterns in their art by repeating an element more than once in the design—this is called repetition.Using the same shape numerous times but changing its position creates repetition in a design. If a designer uses repetition, but changes the size, color, texture, value, spacing or position—these factors create rhythm in a design. It will depend on the needs of the client and the message you are trying to convey if your design will need to utilize rhythm or repetition. RHYTHM & REPETITION CONNECTION A grid is a guide, a modular compositional structure made up of verticals and horizontals that divide a format into columns and margins. It can be used for a single page design or multiple pages. The grid gives a design a unified look. How does a designer achieve unity in a piece of artwork? There are many ways to accomplish this principle, some of which are shown here. Tabomatic Grid Visual connections can be established between elements, shapes, and objects when their edges line up with another. The eye picks up these relationships and makes associations among the forms that are created. Tabomatic
Alignment A designer should place the element in a design so that the viewer is led from one element to the next. Flow is also called movement and is linked to the principle of rhythm. In essence, rhythm is about moving from one element to the next. Tabomatic
Flow Emphasis is the idea that some things are more important than others and important things should be noticed. Look at the illustration shown here. What does your eye look at first? This part of the design is called the focal point, the area of the artwork most emphasized. In addition to the focal point, the designer can also create supporting focal points, which are called accents. Accents are not as strongly emphasized as the main focal point. It is important to recognize that if you give equal amount of emphasis to everything in your design, you will have given emphasis to none of them. The design will have visual confusion. ACCENTS How do you choose a focal point? Sometimes it is dictated by your client. Sometimes it is determined by the message you want to convey and what you think will grab your audience’s attention. For a design to be considered successful you want your viewer to be drawn into the artwork. You want to create something intriguing to view.When talking about emphasis we need to discuss different aspects of emphasis. They are accents, focal point and visual hierarchy. FOCAL POINT How can you establish a focal point? What elements are used to pop an object out of the page? The position, size, shape, direction, hue, value, saturation, or texture can create a focal point. Look at the list shown here for some ideas to establish a focal point. ESTABLISHING A FOCAL POINT Make the focal point the brightest element
Make it a different color
Make it in color if everything else is in black and white or vice versa
Make it go in a different direction
Make it a different value
Position it differently
Give it a texture or a different texture than the other elements
Arrange all the elements to lead to it
Make it a different shape than the other elements Isolate it
Make it clear and the other elements hazy
Reverse it
Make it an opaque color and other colors transparent
Make it glossy and the other elements dull Establishing a visual hierarchy, which means arranging elements according to emphasis, is directly related to establishing a point of focus. It creates an order of which elements are to be viewed in a design. Use the elements of design to create an order of importance and create a flow of information from the most important element to the least important one. VISUAL HIERARCHY  Where do you look first?
 Where do you look second?
 Where do you look third? EMPHASIS In summary, we reviewed the formal elements in artwork, which include line, shape, color, value, texture, and format; and how to apply them in your design work. We also reviewed the principles of design, which include balance, emphasis, rhythm, and unity. You will use the formal elements to create artwork utilizing the principles. Finally, we reviewed graphic space and how to manipulate it. We identified two dimensional and three dimensional space and how to create three dimensional objects on a two dimensional surface through illusion. SUMMARY
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