CHELLI BINDU (MFM)
NATIONAL INSITUTE OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY (CHENNAI)
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
A line can be thought of as points so close together that they lose their individual identity and form a new entity.
Vertical lines can
stop eye movement.
They also equate to
power and strength.
symbolize rest and
Thick lines are more powerful
than thin lines.
Diagonal lines are
dynamic and action-
Lines allows to quickly visualize an object or idea with a minimum of time and material.
By emphasizing basic structure, objects depicted through line drawings are easy to recognize and can be effective for
A silhouette is the image of a person, an object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black, its edges matching the
outline of the subject.
The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the whole is typically presented on a light background, usually white, or none at all. The silhouette
differs from an outline which depicts the edge of an object in a linear form, while a silhouette appears as a solid shape.
Color is the part of light that is reflected by the object we see.
The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. They are called primary because they are not mixtures of other colors.
Mixing any two primary colors results in a secondary color.
The color wheel is created when the primary and secondary colors are placed in a circle.
Colors directly across from each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors.
Orange and blue
Yellow and violet Red and green
red, yellow, and blue Violet,green and orange
Complementary colors used together provide extreme contrast.
When complementary colors are used together the resulting image is
difficult to look at for any length of time.
Less contrast is achieved by using every other color on the color wheel,
such asblue, red, and yellow andorange, green, and violet.
More harmonious effects can be achieved by using colors that are close
together on the color wheel.
Another way to organize color is by color "temperature." Colors are
either "warm" or "cool."
Texture is defined as the surface characteristics of a material that can be experienced through the sense of touch or the illusion of touch.
In visual images, actual textures can be used, such as cloth, boxes, small objects, and natural items.
Texture can be used to accent an area so that it becomes more dominant than another.
Texture may be used in a work of art to:
create visual interest or a focal point in a compostion
to create contrast within a design compostion
to help visually balance a design compostion
Value is the relative degree of lightness and darkness in
a design element.
Line, color, texture, and shape all need value contrast
in order to be seen.
Value is used to describe objects, shapes, and space.
Dark areas tend to denote
Light areas tend to denote
The term value is used in the language of Art to refer to the "value" of light. The more light, the higher the the value. White is the highest or lightest
value.On the other hand , black is the lowest or darkest value. Colors have value as well. Yellow for example has a relatively high (light) value, while
violet has a relatively low value (dark).
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Balance is the equal distribution of visual weight in a design. Visual balance occurs around a vertical axis; our eyes require the visual weight to be
equal on the two sides of the axis. We are bilateral creatures and our sense of balance is innate. When elements are not balanced around a vertical
axis, the effect is disturbing and makes us uncomfortable .
Symmetrical, or formal balance, is also known as bilateral symmetry. It is created by repeating the reverse of a design on the opposite side of the
vertical axis; each side, in essence, becomes the mirror image of the other. Symmetrical balance is considered formal, ordered, stable and quiet. It can
also be boring. Symmetrical balance is often used in architecture.
While symmetry achieves balance through repetition, asymmetry achieves balance through contrast. Asymmetrical, or informal balance, involves
different elements that have equal visual weight; the weight is equal but the elements are not identical.
Asymmetrical balance is casual, interesting and more dynamic than symmetrical balance.
Radial balance occurs when all the elements radiate out from a central point and the visual weight is distributed equally. Radial balance creates a
strong focal point in the center of the design. Clock faces and daisies are examples of radial balance.
Crystallographic balance, or an allover pattern, is created by repeating elements of equal weight everywhere. Emphasis is uniform; there is no distinct
focal point. Quilts and chessboards are examples of crystallographic balance.
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.
Patterns or shapes can help achieve harmony.
By repeating patterns in an interesting arrangement, the overall visual image comes together.
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.
Unity helps organize a visual image, facilitating interpretation and understanding.
Unity can be achieved through the use of similar shapes.
Unity can be achieved through the use of a common pattern.
Unity can be achieved through the use of space.
Unity can be achieved through the use of a common background.
Rhythm can be described as timed movement through space; an easy, connected path along which the eye follows a regular arrangement of motifs. The
presence of rhythm creates predictability and order in a composition. Visual rhythm may be best understood by relating it to rhythm in sound.
Rhythm depends largely upon the elements of pattern and movement to achieve its effects. The parallels between rhythm in sound/ music are very
exact to the idea of rhythm in a visual composition.
Visual rhythm can be created in a number of ways. Linear rhythm refers to the characteristic flow of the individual line. Accomplished artists have a
recognizable manner of putting down the lines of their drawings that is a direct result of the characteristic gesture used to make those lines, which, if
observed, can be seen to have a rhythm of its own. Linear rhythm is not as dependent on pattern, but is more dependent on timed movement of the
Repetition involves the use of patterning to achieve timed movement and a visual "beat". This repetition may be a clear repetition of elements in a
composition, or it may be a more subtle kind of repetition that can be observed in the underlying structure of the image.
Alternation is a specific instance of patterning in which a sequence of repeating motifs are presented in turn; (short/long; fat/thin; round/square;
Gradation employs a series of motifs patterned to relate to one another through a regular progression of steps. This may be a gradation of shape or
Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements,and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length
Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature
Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps
Emphasis creates a focal point in a design; it is how we bring attention to what is most important. Emphasis is what catches the eye and makes the
viewer stop and look at the image. Without emphasis, without getting the viewer to look at the image, communication cannot occur.
Emphasis can be created by contrast. An element in contrast with something else is more easily seen and understood; something different attracts the
eye. Any of the elements can be contrasted: line (a curve in the midst of straight lines), shape (a circle in a field of squares), color (one red dot on a
background of grays and blacks), value (a light or dark area in the middle of its opposite) and texture (rough vs. smooth).
Contrast can also be created by contrasting orientation in space (horizontal, vertical, diagonal), style (a geometric shape in an otherwise naturalistic
image) and size. An anomaly, or something that departs from the norm, will also stand out and grab our attention, for example a person wearing a
snowsuit on a tropical beach.
Emphasis can also be created by placement. Implied lines all directed toward the same place can create a focal point there. Isolating an element from
the others by its position in space will also create emphasis.
An important thing to remember about emphasis is that if everything is emphasized (all text is large and bold, all images are animated or flashing,
everything is in bright colors) then nothing will stand out, nothing will be emphasized, nothing will grab the viewer’s attention.