of Size and Surface
Contrast is a more general principle. It basically
involves using contrasting qualities for visual interest
big to small, textured to smooth, hard to soft, red to green,
black to white, straight to curve, fat to thin, long to short,
etc. Contrast is either similar to, or interacts with many
of the other principles such as scale, interval, how much
to how much, etc.
is a form of visual dynamics and a valuable design tool. Two
problems are given here, but students should be aware of broader
applications for contrast.
A ten-inch composition using squares and contrast of
size for visual interest.
A ten-inch composition
using two-inch squares with various surfaces to create visual
of Square into Intervals of Line and Shape
Intervals occur in numerous aspects of design,
and they are always deserving of consideration. The intervals
dealt with in these exercises are spatial intervals. The idea
is to be aware of the visual effects between different intervals,
such as interval overlaps, how much to how much, tension and
contrast principles, and others.
general concept is to make visually interesting distinctions
and groupings, and this most is often done through contrast.
The first exercise is a six-inch square divided into
intervals with five vertical lines. The intervals between
lines is the consideration.
The second exercise
is a copy of the first with some intervals filled in as shapes.
Intervals between lines and shapes is the consideration.
Intervals do Define Planes
Intervals that progressively increase and diminish
create the illusion of space or depth whether lines or shapes
are the elements. Intervals are a factor in other principles
such as placement or scale.
a straight edge and rapidiograph pen, draw six-inch horizontal
lines that progressively increase and decrease the intervals
between lines. On the first exercise, the first interval is
3/4 inch and succeeding intervals decrease to the smallest
possible interval. If the progression is faulty, the plane
breaks. The illusion is a flat plane receding into space.
second exercise, intervals diminish and increase progressively
creating the illusion of an undulating ribbon. The illusion
is enhanced by using two parallel undulating lines.
visual effect should be a continuous surface that recedes
and returns. If the interval proportions are incorrect, the
surface plane will appear to be broken.
On a 12 x 12 inch board, make a collage with a
cut-paper square, circle, triangle, and add four curved or
straight lines; a block of text at least six inches deep,
a letterform at least three inches high, a photograph of a
plane, car or ship, a headline, a trademark, a signature,
a human figure (can be a photograph) and do a composition
establishing priorities and organization. One color in addition
to black may be used.
objective is to compose the diverse into an orderly composition.
This is done by establishing priorities, scale and placement.
Project: Composition Illustrating Application of Principles
Design a cover for the 8 1/2 x 11 inch presentation
booklet using as many of the design principles as possible.
Imagery can be drawn from any of the work done throughout
the entire year. The words Basic Design must be incorporated
into the design. Lettering is to be done by hand and reflect
what was learned in the Letterform course.
will be periodic pin-up of roughs for critique and discussion.
The first page of the book will repeat the words Basic Design
and students will sign their name.
will provide copy for all the exercises, and students will
make copies and arrange the appropriate exercise next to the
image. Each student will make two books one to turn
in at reviews and the other for their own use.