Design Fundamentals: Terms and Definitions


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Design Fundamentals: Terms and Definitions

  1. 1. DEISGN FUNDAMENTALSDEFINITIONSVISUAL ELEMENTS visible characteristics contributing to the appearance of a formIMPLIED LINE •A series of points that the eye recognizes as a line; a perceived line where areas of contrasting color or texture meet.CONTOUR LINE •An actual line or implied line that defines the outer limits of a three dimensional object or two-dimensional shape; used synonymously with “outline”.GESTURAL LINE •Line that conveys the energy of the artist’s hand as it moves across the drawing surface.SHAPE •Geometric or Organic •Figure and Ground •Positive and Negative Shape •Amorphous Shape •Three-dimensional ShapePOSITIVE SHAPE •A dominant shape on a ground.NEGATIVE SHAPE •A shape “left over” or around a dominant shape.FIGURE •A shape on a background.GROUND •A background on which marks, shapes, or figures are placed.MASS and VOLUME •Mass: the physical bulk •Volume: the measurable area that an object occupies •Mass and volume can be actual or impliedMASS •An actual or illusory three-dimensional bulk.VOLUME •The measurable area that an object occupies-its height, width, and depth.SPACE •An expanse of three-dimensionality in which objects and events occur.ILLUSIONAL SPACE •The appearance of depth, height, and width on a two-dimensional surface. SIZE OVERLAP
  2. 2. TRANSPARENCY PLACEMENTPERSPECTIVE •The illusion of space on planar surfaces, created by techniques for representing three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface.LINEAR PERSPECTIVE •A system of rendering the appearance of three dimensions on a two- plane by making objects appear smaller as they recede and by making parallel lines converge in the distance at a vanishing point on a horizon line.VANISHING POINT •Where converging lines drawn in linear perspective seem to disappear into a distant dot on the horizon line.ORTHOGONAL LINES •Lines or edges in a picture that lead the viewer’s eyes to the vanishing points in an illusional three-dimensional space.ISOMETRIC PERSPECTIVE •A means of rendering three-dimensional objects without reliance on vanishing points or converging lines; scale of objects remains the same regardless of the distance from the foreground and background.ATMOSPHERIC (AERIAL) PERSPECTIVE •The technique of representing dimensional space by making objects close to the viewer appear crisp and vibrant and making them fuzzy and less intense in color and tone as that recede.KINETIC ART •Artifacts that are designed to move.VALUE •The relative degree of light or dark.CONTRAST •The degree of value difference in an image; high contrast is a wide separation between dark and light; low contrast is a narrow range of values in an image.HUE •A name of a color family or an area on the color wheel.SUBTRACTIVE COLOR PROCESS •The mixing of pigments and dyes so that all colors of light except the color are absorbed (subtracted).ADDITIVE COLOR PROCESS •The mixing of colored lights so that they shine on a surface, they combine (add) to make other colors.PRIMARY COLORS •In a color system, the basic colors that cannot be broken down into other colors and that can be combined to create other colors.SECONDARY COLORS
  3. 3. •The product of mixing two primary colors.TERTIARY COLORS •The products of mixing a primary and adjacent secondary color.KEY •Used synonymously with value. In a scale of values, high-key colors are lighter than colors in the middle of the scale; low-key colors are darker than the colors in the middle of the scale.TINT •A color that has white added to it.SHADE •A color that has black added to it.INTENSITY, SATURATION •The strength or weakness of a color.TONE •A color that has gray added to it.OPTICAL COLOR MIXING •Placement of different colors in such a way that the human eye mixes them to form new colors.MONOCHROMATIC COLOR SCHEME •Variations in color based on one hue.ANALOGOUS COLOR SCHEME •Variations in color between hues adjacent to one another on the color wheel.COMPLEMENTARY COLOR SCHEME •Variations in color based on colors opposite each other on the color wheel.SIMULTANEOUS CONTRAST •An effect achieved by placing highly contrasting colors (complements), values, and intensities next to each other.TRIAD •Three colors that are equidistant from one another (form an equilateral triangle) on the color wheel.TETRAD •Four colors that are equidistant from one another (form a square or rectangle) on the color wheel.TEXTURE •INVENTED TEXTURE: The illusion of tactility through the arrangement of lines, colors, and other design elements. •ACTUAL TEXTURE: The tactile quality of the material used to make an artifact. •IMPLIED TEXTURE:The tactile quality of elements in an artifact rendered in a way that gives the impression of texture.
  4. 4. DESIGN PRINCIPLES •Compositional means by which artists arrange design elements for effective expression.UNITY •The feeling that a composition holds together well visually and is designed to be experienced as a whole.VARIETY •Visual diversity to avoid an unintended monotonous composition and to hold the viewer’s interest.BALANCE •An equilibrium of weight and force; distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. •Actual Balance •Actual Weight •Visual Weight Visual Balance Symmetrical Asymmetrical (Informal) RadialVISUAL BALANCE •The appearance of equilibrium in a work of art. Achieving Visual Balance: •Size •Color •Shape Frequency or RepetitionASYMMETRICAL BALANCE •Visual or actual equilibrium that is almost but not exactly symmetrical.SYMMETRICAL BALANCE •Visual or actual equilibrium of visual elements in size, shape, and placement.BILATERAL SYMMETRY •Symmetry in which similar anatomical parts are arranged on opposite sides of a median axis so that only one plane can divide the individual into essentially identical halves.RADIAL BALANCE •Equilibrium achieved by elements emanating from a point, usually the center, in a composition.DIRECTIONAL FORCE •Arrangement of elements that can move the viewer’s eye in, around, or through a work of art.EMPHASIS/SUBORDINATION •Arrangement of elements of art to make some areas the primary focus of a viewer’s attention.FOCAL POINT •An area of an artifact that grasps and holds a viewer’s attention.
  5. 5. VISUAL HIERARCHY •Arrangement of design elements in terms of their importance to the expressive purposes of the work. This may be accomplished through the use of hieratic scale.REPETITION •Use of any element or object more than once in an artifact in order to structure a viewer’s experience of that work.RHYTHM •The movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by a regular recurrence of related elements.IRREGULAR RHYTHM •A rhythm that omits expected stresses or adds unexpected stresses.PATTERN •A systematic repetition of an element in a work.SCALE •The comparative size of an elements of art or object in relation to other elements or objects and normative conventions.PROPORTION •The relationship of the sizes of parts to each other and to the whole.GESTALT •An aspect of cognitive psychology developed in the early twentieth century by German psychologists and philosophers investigating hw the mind seeks unity and closure. The “gestalt” of an artifact is the general feeling it evokes in viewers-the sense of a whole, complete object.PROXIMITY •The relative distance between elements in an artifact.CONTRAST •The use of opposing aspects of the elements of art to produce an intensified effect. •Visual Contrast •Degree of visual difference among elements of art in a composition as a means of emphasis. •Conceptual Contrast •An implied opposition of ideas to emphasize unexpected differences.