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Introduction to Floral Design

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  • 1. Understanding the Principles & Elements of Floral Design
  • 2. What are the principles of floral design?
    Floral design is the art of organizing the design elements inherent in plant materials and accessories according to principles of design art.
    This is sometimes called floral arranging.
    People who arrange flowers typically use floral design techniques.
  • 3. What are the principles of floral design?
    Principles of design are rules and guidelines used by the floral designer to create a beautiful composition.
    The use of these rules promotes beautiful, artistic arrangements.
    Major principles include proportion, balance, rhythm, and dominance.
    1. Proportion is the pleasing relationship between size and shape among objects and parts of objects.
  • 4. What are the principles of floral design?
    2. Balance in a flower arrangement refers to the arrangement’s equilibrium and equality in weight, both physical and visual.
    3. Rhythm is the orderly organization of design elements to create a visual pathway.
    4. Dominance in a design means that one design element is more prevalent or noticeable, thereby capturing the viewer’s interest.
  • 5. What are the principles of floral design?
    Minor principles of design include radiation, repetition, transition, variety, contrast, and focal point.
    1. Radiation is characterized by stems that radiate naturally from the container.
    2. Repetition is accomplished by repeating design elements throughout an arrangement to create unity in the work.
  • 6. What are the principles of floral design?
    3. Transition is the change from one material to another.
    4. Variety is created by using a diverse assortment and different components in a design.
  • 7. What are the principles of floral design?
    5. Contrast describes objects that have striking differences beyond mere variety or diversity.
    6. A focal point is a center of interest.
  • 8. How is proportion achieved in floral design?
    In floral design, three aspects determine proportion:
    Location of the arrangement
    Height of the arrangement
    Materials used in the arrangement.
    The design must be in proportion to where it is going to be displayed.
    The display area could involve a room, a table, or sometimes a person wearing the design.
    Proportion requires that the design be suitable for and in harmony with its location.
  • 9. How is proportion achieved in floral design?
    The height of an arrangement should be at least 1½ times the height of its container’s greatest dimension.
    There are a few exceptions to this rule, including the idea that height may be increased to create proper dimension with the room.
    Another increase might be because of the materials with which the designer is working.
  • 10. How is proportion achieved in floral design?
    1. The container is a primary factor in determining appropriate height.
    Four aspects that need to be considered are the container’s:
    a. Physical dimensions
    b. Color
    c. Material and texture
    d. Shape
  • 11. How is proportion achieved in floral design?
    2. A heavy, dark container will support a taller arrangement, whereas a glass container will provide an excellent base for a shorter arrangement.
  • 12. How is proportion achieved in floral design?
    3. An exception to the height rule applies to centerpieces and horizontal arrangements.
    A centerpiece should not obstruct the view of people participating in a dinner conversation; therefore, the arrangement needs to be kept low.
    A horizontal arrangement is short, but its linear dimension should be about 1½ times the size of the container.
  • 13. How is proportion achieved in floral design?
    Using flowers and foliage of equal or nearly equal size will help in achieving proper proportion.
    Large jumps in flower size within an arrangement should be avoided.
    For example, large mums should not be mixed with baby’s breath.
  • 14. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    Balance, meaning design equilibrium and equality in weight, can be achieved through several different methods.
    Physical balance is the actual stability of plant materials within a container.
    A properly designed arrangement that has physical balance will not fall over and can stand freely on its own.
  • 15. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    Visual balance is the perception of an arrangement being balanced—that is, being of equal weight on both sides of the central axis.
    A design that is not visually balanced will bother the viewer much like a crooked painting on a wall.
    Visual balance should be evident from three views: side to side; top to bottom; and front to back.
    There are two types of visual balance.
  • 16. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    1. Symmetrical balance is present when a design has equal material placements and weight on both sides of its central axis.
    Symmetrical balance is historically European in style and often called formal balance.
    Typically, symmetrical arrangements are exhibited in formal or symmetrical settings.
    Examples of symmetrical designs are oval, round, fan, triangle, inverted-T, and vertical arrangements, as well as oval and round centerpieces.
  • 17. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    2. Asymmetrical balance is present when a design has material placements and weight that are not equal on both sides of its central axis.
    This is often called informal design and stems from Asian influences.
    Asymmetrical balance is achieved through compensation and counterbalancing.
    Examples of asymmetrical designs are crescent, Hogarth curve, fan, diagonal, vertical, ikebana, scalene, and right triangle.
    Asymmetrically balanced centerpieces are common.
  • 18. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    Designers use three main techniques to help achieve balance.
    1. Visual weight is a flower’s perceived lightness or heaviness based on its color, shape, and pattern.
    Varying visual weight helps achieve the compensation or counterbalancing in asymmetrical designs.
    Lighter materials and color are used toward the outside of an arrangement, whereas heavier materials are used toward the center.
  • 19. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    2. Centering is the technique of placing dominant plant material along a design’s central vertical axis.
    This allows heavier plant materials to be placed higher in a design.
  • 20. What is balance and how is it achieved?
    3. Counterbalancing is the practice of balancing plant materials on one side of a design with visually equal materials on the opposite side.
    This technique is essential in asymmetrical design work, and can be used to avoid strict mirror imaging in symmetrical work.
  • 21. How is rhythm created in a floral design?
    Creating a pathway for the eye to follow is the purpose of rhythm.
    An arrangement with good rhythm will cause the viewer to look at the entire arrangement.
    There are two types of rhythm.
    Regular, repeated rhythm is present when materials are repeated at regular intervals from the top to the bottom of an arrangement.
    Free, variable rhythm is an unstructured style with subtle flowing movements created with unstructured materials.
  • 22. How is rhythm created in a floral design?
    Five techniques that can be used to achieve both regular and free rhythm are:
    1. Radiation—Stems radiate naturally from the container.
    A top view shows the stems appearing as spokes on a wheel.
    Crossing stems is avoided.
    2. Repetition—Repeating design elements throughout an arrangement to create unity in the work.
    It may include color, shape, space, and lines.
  • 23. How is rhythm created in a floral design?
    3. Transition—Change from one material to another.
    It should be smooth and gradual.
    Lighter flowers near the container edge blend into the heavier ones near the center.
    4. Variety—A diverse assortment and different components in a design.
    Variety focuses attention and stimulates interest and imagination.
    5. Contrast—Describes objects that have striking differences beyond mere variety or diversity, taking variety to a higher degree.
  • 24. What is dominance and how is a focal point used to create it?
    The use of dominance suggests to the viewer what is important in a design.
    Interest and attention are captured when one feature dominates and others are secondary.
    Dominance can be achieved by:
    1. Using dominant plant material
    2. Using an emphasized design element
    3. Using a distinct style of design
    4. Using a theme
    5. Using a focal point
  • 25. What is dominance and how is a focal point used to create it?
    A focal point is a center of interest.
    It can be created several different ways.
    Not all arrangements need a focal point or center of interest.
    If, however, one is intended, there are several methods to create one.
    1. Use of large flowers
    2. Use of special-form flowers, such as orchids
  • 26. What is dominance and how is a focal point used to create it?
    3. Use of dark shades
    4. Variation of concentration of plant material
    5. Use of framing materials
    6. Use of strong color contrast
    7. Radiation of plant materials to a particular area
    8. Use of accessories
  • 27. What is the difference between principles of design and design elements?
    While Principles of Design are abstract rules to follow, Elements of Design are the physical characteristics of the plant materials that the designer uses to create the arrangements.
    Design elements include form, shape, and line; space; texture and pattern; and color.
  • 28. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    Design elements that must be understood first when creating floral arrangements are form and shape.
    Form refers to the three-dimensional outline of an arrangement, while shape refers to the two-dimensional aspect of form.
    Form and shape can exist naturally in floral design elements, or they can be created by the designer.
  • 29. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    The common forms used in floral design are geometric, naturalistic, and free form.
    1. The geometric forms and shapes used in floral design are most often the circle and the triangle.
    Circular forms and shapes can be varied to create ovals, fans, or crescent arrangements from the circles.
    Right triangles, scalene triangles, and isosceles triangles are variations of the basic triangle.
  • 30. What are the major forms used in floral design?
  • 31. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    2. Naturalistic designs mirror the natural growth of plant material.
    They often include groupings of plant material.
    Sometimes branches are used to symbolize trees, and shorter flowers to symbolize undergrowth.
  • 32. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    3. A free-form arrangement has a contemporary look.
    Free form allows the designer to take any liberty with color, form and shape, or placement.
    Freeform arrangements are very creative and do not have to follow any particular design rule.
  • 33. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    All forms of arrangement are created through the use of lines.
    Line is the visual movement between two points in an arrangement.
    The placement of lines can help create a form or shape or express an emotional response.
    Lines can be created through the use of line materials.
  • 34. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    Line materials, like snapdragon, liatris, and scotch brooms, can produce very definite vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or curvilinear lines.
  • 35. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    The remainder of the arrangement is created through the combination of form flowers, mass flowers, and filler flowers.
    1. Form flowers are those flowers that have distinctive shapes, like lilies and tropical flowers.
    2. Mass flowers are round, solid flowers, like carnations and mums.
    3. Filler flowers are light, airy flowers, like baby’s breath and sea lavender, that fill in the space between other flowers.
  • 36. What are the major forms used in floral design?
    By combining any number of line flowers, mass flowers, form flowers, and filler flowers, a designer has infinite ways of creating attractive, eye-catching, visually pleasing arrangements.
  • 37. How do space and depth enhance floral design?
    Almost as important as the areas where individual flowers are placed in a design are the areas where there are no flowers.
    An area devoid of flowers is called space.
    It is important for floral designers to leave space in their arrangements.
    A designer can also increase the apparent size of a design by adding space and depth to it.
  • 38. How do space and depth enhance floral design?
    Creating space by placing flowers away from each other makes an arrangement appear larger, even though no additional materials have been used.
    When this technique is employed, the designer can save money by creating the illusion of a larger, more expensive design.
    Space between individual flowers showcases the visual attributes of each flower.
    This results in added interest in the design.
  • 39. How do space and depth enhance floral design?
    Depth in a design gives the arrangement more of a three-dimensional form than just a shape.
    Tucking flowers in farther so they are partially hidden by others and radiating flowers upward or dangling them to the side are ways a designer can create depth and add interest and character to an arrangement.
  • 40. How is texture important in floral design?
    Floral designers can create visually attractive arrangements by combining plant materials of different textures.
    Texture is the surface quality of plant material.
    Plant material can be rough, smooth, leathery, velvety, satiny, or hairy.
    Plant material also has visual texture.
    It may look fine and airy, lacy, delicate, or bold and coarse.
    When the textures are varied, the arrangement can attract attention and hold the viewer’s interest for a longer period of time.
  • 41. How is texture important in floral design?
    Textures provide visual energy.
    Coarse textures carry more visual weight than fine textures.
    Glossy textures draw the viewer’s attention.
    Combining different textures in an arrangement adds interest through contrast.
  • 42. How is texture important in floral design?
    Pattern is the coloration of plant materials and the arrangement of plant parts.
    Pattern is closely related to texture.
    A plant material that has a color pattern appears to be textured even when the plant surface is smooth.
    Color patterns of foliage and flowers add interest to an arrangement.
  • 43. How does color influence floral work?
    Color is probably the most obvious element in design.
    An arrangement in which all other elements have been masterfully considered may lack appeal if the color combination is not striking.
    Physiological studies have shown that colors actually help contribute to people’s feelings.
    Colors have also come to symbolize certain occasions or events.
  • 44. How does color influence floral work?
    Red has become the symbol for love, while yellow often means friendship or happiness.
    Green is very restful and symbolizes life, while blue is very cooling.
    Other color associations are white for purity and innocence, purple for royalty, and orange for warmth.
    An understanding of the color wheel is important when designing floral work.
  • 45. How does color influence floral work?
    The color wheel is made up of primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors.
    1. Primary colors are the basic colors of red, yellow, and blue.
    All other colors come from combining these primary colors.
    2. Secondary colors are green, orange, and violet.
    They are created by combining two primary colors.
    For example, yellow and red create orange.
    3. Tertiary colors are third-rank colors.
    By combining one primary color with one secondary color, a tertiary color is created.
    The names of tertiary colors are often hyphenated, such as blue-green and yellow-orange.
  • 46. How does color influence floral work?
  • 47. How does color influence floral work?
    Floral designers often use basic color schemes to create eye-catching arrangements.
    Color schemes are created through the combination of colors chosen.
    1. A monochromatic color scheme would be made from one color and all its light and dark variations.
    For example, if red was the chosen color, the arrangement might include deep red, maroon, pale pink, and hot pink.
    All these colors originate from the primary color red.
  • 48. How does color influence floral work?
    2. An analogous color scheme uses colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.
    An arrangement made of yellow, yellow-orange, and orange would be analogous.
    3. By choosing two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, a complementary color scheme is created.
    Red/green, violet/yellow, and blue/orange are all complementary color schemes.
    4. A polychromatic color scheme includes a wide range of colors.
  • 49. How does color influence floral work?
    No matter what color scheme is chosen, the designer must remember that colors are viewed differently depending on the colors with which they are combined.
    When yellow and violet are placed together, yellow tends to be a more advancing color, moving toward the viewer.
  • 50. How does color influence floral work?
    Violet, on the other hand, tends to be a receding color, disappearing into the background.
    This is important to remember when creating arrangements for a stage or altar.
    Violet tends to disappear when viewed from a distance.

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