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Gestalt & single image composition for designers


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The elements and principles of design seen through gestalt theory.

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Gestalt & single image composition for designers

  1. 1. Design is 100% about clearly leading the audience toward a well-articulated, predetermined conclusion.
  2. 2. How does Design Work? Design purposefully manipulates the guest through his/her: •Visual Intelligence •Gestalt Psychology •Signs, Appropriation of Meanings •Indexical •Symbolic •Iconic •Expectations •Past experience •Emotions •Fear •Calm/Comfort/Security •Desire •Sense of Adventure/Excitement/Bliss •Connectedness to others
  3. 3. What are the Basic Elements of Design?
  4. 4. Design Elements
  5. 5. Design Elements Line
  6. 6. Design Elements Line Shape/Space
  7. 7. Design Elements Line Shape/Space Size/Scale
  8. 8. Design Elements Line Shape/Space Size/Scale Color/Value
  9. 9. Design Elements Line Shape/Space Size/Scale Color/Value Texture/Pattern
  10. 10. Line Lines can: •add interest •suggest a mood •divide space •direct the viewer’s eye •separate content •direct the flow of content •create emphasis in an area Lines can be drawn or implied. An implied line may be created by the repetition of objects in a sequence, an object that is thin and long (horizontal or vertical), an object that creates a sort of linear perspective or arrow, an object that seems to be moving across the page, a person’s gaze, etc.. Lines can also be decorative elements (then called rules). Lines vary in WEIGHT
  11. 11. Implied Line (or Direction)
  12. 12. Implied Line (or Direction)
  13. 13. Implied Line (or Direction)
  14. 14. Implied Line (or Direction)
  15. 15. Implied Line (or Direction)
  16. 16. Line can be unexpected and stylized
  17. 17. • A horizontal line or arrangement usually produces a feeling of rest and relaxation or suggests stability. • A vertical line brings to mind strength and action. • A diagonal line suggests movement. • A curved line may suggest gracefulness or fluidity. Line is also implied in the arrangement of objects on a page
  18. 18. Shape • Shapes can be geometric or free- form (organic). • Design is basically the planned arrangement of shapes on a 2-dimensional surface.
  19. 19. +Space & Figure/Ground • Shapes can be FIGURE (positive space filled with images) • Shapes can also be GROUND (negative space created by “emptiness”) • In graphic design positive shapes are also created by text. Large letterforms are geometric and complex in shape, but body text is seen as “gray rectangles.” Ground F i g u r e Ambiguous Figure/Ground
  20. 20. Scale (Size) Size is used to convey importance, attract attention, create contrast, and imply perspective or dimension. Size only takes on meaning with “scale” –size of an object in relation to the frame and to the other objects.
  21. 21. Color/value
  22. 22. Texture • Offers realism • Produces kinesthetic pleasure • Adds visual interest • Suggests depth & 3-dimensionality While texture is created of repeated elements that appear 3-dimensional, pattern is typically made of reapated elements that are 2-dimensional. Pattern is associated with printed fabrics, wallpaper, and the decorative arts
  23. 23. The artist selects, isolates, andThe artist selects, isolates, and manipulates these elementsmanipulates these elements for visual coherence.for visual coherence. If all parts are working together,If all parts are working together, the whole seems to be more than thethe whole seems to be more than the sum of its parts.sum of its parts. This is called theThis is called the gestaltgestalt..
  24. 24. Gestalt psychology founded in 1910 by Max Wertheimer, and his students Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Köhler Introduced the notion that visual data is read in predetermined ways by the human brain the brain spontaneously orders and simplifies sense data into structured, holistic patterns
  25. 25. Gestalt in German gestalt means form/shape “a unified physical, psychological, or symbolic configuration having properties that can not be derived merely from its parts.” (American Heritage Dictionary) organizational essence of the world holistic pattern seeking a “digestible” whole
  26. 26. Gestalt theory images are perceived as a pattern or a whole rather than a sum of the distinctive parts context plays a key role in perception changing the relative size, for instance, changes the perceived importance of these elements to each other
  27. 27. laws of visual organization the parts of an image can be perceived as distinct components, but the whole is greater than—and different from—the sum of its parts.... a collection of individual visual elements communicate a gestalt which is a message held together by design, while separately the elements may be meaningless
  28. 28. we tend to impose meaning and structure on what we see And make patterns out of chaos
  29. 29. So what is a Gestalt? A gestalt is a unified whole.
  30. 30. Gestalts are Constructed from Nature and Nurture Architecture and our rectangular world has had a dramatic Influence on our Interpretation of Lines, as have the patterns repeated in nature.
  31. 31. We organize pieces into patterns, construct wholes out of parts, and find meaning where there was none before...
  32. 32. What is the gestalt of seeing? Our visual process is influenced by characteristics of perceived objects, such as: • Contrast (of value/dark to light) • Intensity (color/weight, expressiveness of line) • Figure-ground separation (depth/dimension) • Proximity/Grouping (clustering) • Size • Motion (& implied motion) • Repetition (similarity) or Novelty (difference) • Closure • Balance • Emphasis • Alignment
  33. 33. Contrast
  34. 34. Contrast Contrasting values provide definition, tension, and dynamism.
  35. 35. Contrast - insufficient contrast, focal point lost
  36. 36. Contrast - better contrast, focal point gained - head - logo - phone
  37. 37. White space - isolating an element focuses attention on it
  38. 38. Intensity In general, areas that are light in value, brightly colored, or highly detailed draw the viewer’s attention more than areas that are dark, dull, or less complex; they therefore carry visual intensity and create a “focal point.”
  39. 39. Figure/Ground Separation the simplest and most stable interpretations are favored. an object [form] is differentiated from its surroundings [context, background] by positive/negative space juxtaposition the object must peel of its context to see it as a separate form if object can not be seen as an organized structure, it can not be separated from its context
  40. 40. Figure/Ground Attributes such as sharpness, contrast and contour can affect the perceived figure/ground relationship.
  41. 41. Figure/Ground Separation smallness Smaller areas tend to be seen as figures against a larger background
  42. 42. Escher: Figure-Ground Equivocation
  43. 43. Negative space tricks use more parts of the brain
  44. 44. Purposeful Equivocation of Negative Space
  45. 45. Vast Negative Space A lack of negative space usually feels uncomfortable -as it does when our personal space is invaded or cramped...
  46. 46. Proximity principle of proximity states that by grouping related items together, they become one visual unit
  47. 47. Proximity by grouping items we create a “whole” and create unity
  48. 48. Proximity features which are close together are associated.
  49. 49. ClusteringClustering • Isolated figures have more dominance than those in clusters.
  50. 50. Focal point: area where the viewer’s eye is compellingly drawn. Techniques for drawing attention: ~ Placing a figure off by itself ~ Creating contrast around the figure
  51. 51. Proxemic PatternsProxemic Patterns • Intimate • Personal • Social • Public
  52. 52. SizeScale provides contrast. Typically larger items have predominance in a design, but if all the objects are large, the one small one will have dominance through the concept of novelty. (plus “babies” appeal to our desire to nurture the weak)
  53. 53. MotionOur brains search for some stimulus in the environment to serve as the assumed reference point for stability. Motion provides contrast to the stability and demands our natural attention. Motion gets attention. In 2D design, motion is represented by imagery or may be implied through line. Implied motion in 2D work is sometimes called Direction. Motion may also be suggested by a blurred item among many in focus.
  54. 54. Suggesting Movement… • Movement in the 2D plane is implied by eye pathMovement in the 2D plane is implied by eye path • Activity attracts and holds attention.Activity attracts and holds attention.
  55. 55. We respond to designs that mirror the repetitive growth patterns of nature. Sometimes the understructure of a work of art is planned to repeat a certain shape subtly. Artists do this subconsciously or intuitively, but to those interested in analyzing a work of art, these devices become evident.
  56. 56. Repetition of shape
  57. 57. Repetition of image
  58. 58. Repetition of pattern
  59. 59. Repetition of color
  60. 60. Similarity features which look similar are associated
  61. 61. Repetition of similar or varying elements in a design tends to set up a visual rhythm. Rhythm creates a harmony that adds to unity.
  62. 62. Rhythm a sense of visual movement created by repetition of similar elements
  63. 63. Paradoxically, a 2nd way of suggesting unity is to vary elements, as slight variations repeating a central theme or strong contrasts--a very rough- textured area contrasted with a very smooth-textured area, a very dark area contrasted with very light, convex shapes fitted into concave. Opposites seem to complete each other. Or novelty
  64. 64. Or novelty
  65. 65. Closure interpretations which produce 'closed' rather than 'open’ figures are favored. this principle of closure cuts across the principle of proximity natural tendency to close gaps and complete unfinished forms
  66. 66. Do you feel the quiet desire for the cube to be complete and neat?
  67. 67. Closure is most effective with recognizable shapes & images.
  68. 68. Closure as Continuance We tend to connect similar phenomena, psychologically constructing a timeline through them as a sequence...
  69. 69. Continuance (related to closure & implied movement)
  70. 70. Continuance
  71. 71. Continuance...
  72. 72. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  73. 73. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  74. 74. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  75. 75. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  76. 76. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  77. 77. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  78. 78. Continuance... Is that circle approaching us?
  79. 79. Common Fate
  80. 80. Common Fate Strong Common Fate Weak Common Fate Different Colors and Shape Patternized Spacing
  81. 81. Artists help viewers see a design as a unified whole by balancing it visually. Balance arranges all the elements and many of the predominant gestalt attention getters. In addition to shape position and size, remember, visual weight is affected by color, value, and detail.
  82. 82. Balance the relative balance within a composition can affect attention
  83. 83. Balance Our judgment of balance is based largely on mechanical laws. A composition must appear to be stable; that is, a large component such as a tower must not be situated so far from what we take as a center of gravity as to appear capable of tipping the remainder of the structure.
  84. 84. CompositionComposition • Top-heavy composition: makes us uneasy • Bottom-heavy composition: is more expected and commonplace, offers feeling of stability.
  85. 85. Symmetry - suggests, calm, order, stability
  86. 86. Asymmetry - suggests, movement, tension
  87. 87. Some image-makers convey intentSome image-makers convey intent without using all traditional principles of design.without using all traditional principles of design. Some intentionally violate the principles ofSome intentionally violate the principles of harmony to create a sense of discord.harmony to create a sense of discord. ..
  88. 88. Sometimes artists intentionally unbalance a design to create a disorienting effect. Preferences for symmetry or asymmetry in art change with the times. Also, much artistic balancing is done intuitively rather than intellectually.
  89. 89. Emphasis = focal point - where the eye is drawn - intentional (“by design”) focusing of viewer attention to a single point in the composition - created by predominance of main objects, well-paced negative/positive space, and effective eye path - simplifies message/meaning
  90. 90. 6 Rules of Focal Emphasis •Objects in the upper left quadrant of a frameObjects in the upper left quadrant of a frame have focal prominence.have focal prominence. •Large objects get noticed.Large objects get noticed. •Bright objects are more visible than dark on screen.Bright objects are more visible than dark on screen. •Bright colors are more predominant than dull ones.Bright colors are more predominant than dull ones. •White space next to the focal drawsWhite space next to the focal draws the eye to the object.the eye to the object. •Unusual shapes, camera angles, andUnusual shapes, camera angles, and diagonal lines get noticed.diagonal lines get noticed.
  91. 91. Alignment proximity and similarity of shape unify design
  92. 92. Alignment aligning like edges together strengthens unity-helps brain create pattern
  93. 93. Alignment Items are grouped--but disconnected
  94. 94. Alignment Items now aligned--better sense of connection/unity
  95. 95. Alignment principle of alignment states that 1) nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily
  96. 96. Alignment principle of alignment states that 1) nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily 2) every item should have a visual connection with something else on the page
  97. 97. Other Elements of Effective Design • sophistication- Is the design contemporary, trendy, elegant, polished, classic? • visual intrigue – Does it surprise? Do we see something we haven’t seen before? • entertainment – Do the images tell a story? Does the composition portray energy and drama? • suspense – Does the image hook the audience with what it conceals and promises to reveal? • theme – Does it draw on metaphors, myths, and analogies to the familiar?
  98. 98. A final principle to consider in organizing a shot is economy: eliminating elements that might distract attention from the essence of what the director needs to communicate. VS.
  99. 99. Framing the SubjectFraming the Subject • Headroom: space between the top of a subject’s head and the upper edge of the camera frame • Noseroom or look space: Space between the subject and the side of the camera frame toward which she is looking • Leadroom: Space between the subject and the side of the camera frame toward which she is moving