Design principles, like the balance, proportion, perspective, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, rhythm, variety, harmony, and unity. These elements and principles can be the basic knowledge and analytical frame work for a designer.
Balance is a psychological sense of equilibrium. As a design principle, balance places the parts of a visual in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. In visual images, balance is formal when both sides are symmetrical in terms of arrangement. Balance is informal when sides are not exactly symmetrical, but the resulting image is still balanced. Informal balance is more dynamic than formal balance and normally keeps the learner’s attention focused on the visual message. There are three main types of balance, horizontal balance, vertical balance, radial balance.
Proportion refers to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. The issue is the relationship between objects, or parts, of a whole. This means that it is necessary to discuss proportion in terms of the context or standard used to determine proportions.
Perspective is created through the arrangement of objects in two-dimensional space to look like they appear in real life. Perspective is a learned meaning of the relationship between different objects seen in space. Is the dark rectangle in front of a circle, or beside a semi-circle? Perspective adds realism to a visual image. The size of a rectangle means little until another object gives it the size of a desk, or the size of a building. Perspective can be used to draw the audience into a visual. Perception can be achieved through the use of relative sizes of objects, overlapping objects, and blurring or sharpening objects.
Emphasis is used by artists to create dominance and focus in their work. Artists can emphasize color, value, shapes, or other art elements to achieve dominance. Various kinds of contrast can be used to emphasize a center of interest.
The way the artist leads the eye in, around, and through a composition. The path the eye follows. Motion or movement in a visual image occurs when objects seem to be moving in a visual image. Movement in a visual image comes from the kinds of shapes, forms, lines, and curves that are used.
Pattern uses the art elements in planned or random repetition to enhance surfaces or paintings or sculptures. Patterns often occur in nature, and artists use similar repeated motifs to create pattern in their work. Pattern increases visual excitement by enriching surface interest.
Repetition works with pattern to make the artwork seem active. The repetition of elements of design creates unity within the artwork.
Rhythm is the repetition of visual movement of the elements-colors, shapes, lines, values, forms, spaces, and textures. Variety is essential to keep rhythms exciting and active, and to avoid monotony. Movement and rhythm work together to create the visual equivalent of a musical beat.
Variety provides contrast to harmony and unity. Variety consists of the differences in objects that add interest to a visual image. Variety can be achieved by using opposites or strong contrasts. Changing the size, point of view, and angle of a single object can add variety and interest to a visual image. Breaking a repeating pattern can enliven a visual image.
Harmony in visual design means all parts of the visual image relate to and complement each other. Harmony pulls the pieces of a visual image together. Harmony can be achieved through repetition and rhythm. Repetition reemphasizes visual units, connecting parts and creating an area of attention. Rhythm is the flow depicted in a visual. Rhythm helps direct eye movement. Patterns or shapes can help achieve harmony. By repeating patterns in an interesting arrangement, the overall visual image comes together.
Unity means the harmony of the whole composition. The parts of a composition made to work together as a total visual theme. Unity is the relationship among the elements of a visual that helps all the elements function together. Unity gives a sense of oneness to a visual image. In other words, the words and the images work together to create meaning.
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