Most exercises will be done with two-inch black squares unless
stated otherwise; squares cannot touch or overlap unless specified;
and all work is to be done on bristol board inside a ten-inch
square delineated with a rapidiograph pen. At completion of
the course, there will be a progress book for the design principles.
Exercises can be reduced 50% and placed two to a page.
will be a sheet opposite illustrations which identifies the
principle and a separate paragraph that explains the student's
understanding of the principle. The language should be about
the same as that which would be used to explain the principle
to parents, or someone totally removed from design.
need to understand that meeting problem objectives in itself
is not enough the image is expected to be visually
interesting. Work will be judged on the basis of visual interest
as well as demonstration of understanding the principle.
recently has become clear that students pay little attention
to how work is pinned up and this becomes one more area for
learning. What is bottom and what is top is often very critical
to the visual presentation. Many times they pin up work that
would be much stronger turned upside down or on its side.
Students should be required to mark top with a small arrow
on all the exercises.
benefit from doing the exercises is dependent on individuals
utilizing the process for exploring options to the maximum.
If students do only one interpretation to put up for class
critique, learning will be minimal, and perhaps, even a waste
of time for both student and teacher. Students need to either
pin the work on the wall and stand back to study it as they
plan their next option, or to lay work on the floor and stand
to evaluate it before trying an alternative. Success of the
program is tied to students working in good faith that
is that they are conscientious in exploring options.
and Static Composition
Although this problem is done with squares, the
same principles might apply to illustrations, photographs,
type or any other visual elements. Some compositions might
include both static and dynamic arrangements. What is important
is to recognize which is which and to know when to use one
or the other or when to mix them.
demonstration problem to help students better understand what
is meant by dynamic and static relationships. Also to help
students better understand the role of picture plane edges
as part of the composition.
Using three squares, demonstrate a static composition.
Using three squares,
demonstrate an active composition.
is not only how squares relate to edges, but it is also that
the organization of squares themselves must be either dynamic
Space through Placement
The next few exercises deal with the illusion of
space, depth or multiple spatial planes. The objective is
to distinguish between distance as between elements on the
surface plane or depth through different spatial planes. Another
illusion of space is dimension as seen in three-dimensional
objects that occupy and therefore define space. It is very
important in design to understand all the nuances of depth,
space and dimension.
help students better understand how space can be defined by
the placement of elements. To illustrate how positioning and
interval relate to the illusion of space.
Using three or four two-inch squares, demonstrate spatial
definition through placement of the squares, relationship
of corners, interval, and overlapping are all considerations.
Using four or
six four-inch lines, create an illusion of space.