Good Design Balance – A matter of Maths?

  • The Elements of Design Rhythm and Repetition. Rhythm is the repetition of design elements at regular intervals. This helps to give a composition visual harmony by creating unity in a layout.Examples include the repetition of similar shapes, colors or textures.

IMG_3281 (Small)In the above design, you can see some various lengths of stylized acanthus leaves, in the form of ‘s’ and ‘c’ shaped scrolls, repeated throughout the design. Can you also see the repetition of floral elements:  main flowers, heart shaped petals, and lilies, as well as the repetition of colour.

  • The Elements of Design Direction. The lines and forms that lead the viewer s eye through a composition are referred to as direction. Direction can help to create flow of how information is processed. (FLOW – rhythm in a design, everything going back to the root)

The following design has ‘flow’ and direction, but is it balanced in terms of colour? Rosemalingwork13

  • The Elements of Design Weight. Weight refers to the contrast in thick and thin lines within a layout. Variation in visual weight can add interest to selected areas of a composition and can help draw the viewer s eye through a piece of art, emphasizing important areas of information and de-emphasizing others. (Variation in liner-work and embellishments)

Telemark rosemaling

  • The Elements of Design Contrast. Contrast refers to any variation between elements within a composition, such as difference in weight, size and texture of a composition. (Differences in sizes of flowers/scrolls/elements)
  • The Elements of Design Balance.  Balance refers to the distribution of visual weight within a composition. Lack of balance disturbs the harmony of a composition. A work that is unbalanced visually creates tension. (Divide a round plate into 1/4s and ensure each colour in represented, and each elements in the design albeit different sizes, for rectangular designs see note re Rule of Thirds, below)
  • The Elements of Design. Symmetrical Balance. Symmetrical Balance is when elements are arranged in a mirror image of one another on the vertical or horizontal axis of a page. Also known as formal balance. This type of balance is often seen in the architecture of buildings.This is the most familiar type of balance to the viewer. Rogaland Rosemaling has such balance in its designs.
  • The Elements of Design. Asymmetrical Balance. Asymmetrical balance occurs when elements in a design are not arranged as mirror images on a page. Also known as informal balance.Can be created through the use of value, texture and size of elements within a composition.
  • The Elements of Design Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Balance Piet Mondrian, Composition in Red, Yellow, and Blue (1930)- Very dark or saturated areas of color demand attention within a composition.An area of high contrast, even at a small size, will automatically draw the viewer s eye. (Especially the colour RED) Forms placed near the edge of a page can also draw more visual attention than forms placed directly in the center of a page.

Rosemalingwork13

  • The Elements of Design The Rule of Thirds.  The Rule of Thirds refers to the idea of dividing a composition into thirds based on a grid. The most important elements of the composition fall on the lines in between to create a strong composition.A slightly off center balance is more visually interesting and harmonious than an evenly centered composition.
  • The Elements of Design The Golden Mean. Golden Mean: Relationship between sizes that is pleasing to the human eye. This concept was first formally recognized by the ancient Greeks, and examples of the golden mean can be observed through Greek artwork and architecture. The Golden Mean or The Fibonacci Sequence is also one of the most elemental building blocks found in nature. The golden mean appears in everything from atomic structures to galaxies. Graphic designers can use these proportions to create work that instinctively looks right. The Fibonacci Sequence is also one of the most elemental building blocks found in nature. The golden mean appears in everything from atomic structures to galaxies. Graphic designers can use these proportions to create work that instinctively looks right. Proportions for the Golden Mean are based on the number Pi, in which measurements are approximately 1.618 times one another in a layout. In the example above, segment A is 1.618 times the size of segment B, and segment B is1.618 times the size of segment C.B and C added together equal the approximate length of segment A. This principle is based on the Fibonacci sequence, which is a series of numbers to denote proportions: 2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,233, etc. Each number in this series is the sum of the two numbers proceeding it.  Each number in this series is the sum of the two numbers proceeding it. Keep in mind when adding elements to a design.
  • The Elements of Design. Design Harmony Design Harmony: The overall effect of design that is visually unified and in which elements flow together to make a successful layout. When all the elements of design work together in tandem, harmony is achieved.[Source: http://www.slideshare.net/JenniferJanviere/design-elements%5D

IMG_3281 (Small)  Good luck and practise lots. Your designs will improve.

Good design should be pondered about

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About Forestwoodfolk

Scandinavian culture, literature and traditions are close to my heart, even though I am Australian. I have Scandinavian, Frisian and Prussian/Silesian ancestry and for that reason, I feel a connection with that part of the world. I am an avid Nordic Crime fiction reader, and enjoy photography, writing and a variety of cooking and crafts, and traditional decorative art forms. Politically aware and egalitarian by nature, I have a strong environmental bent.
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