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Chapter 2: The Art of Graphic Design. Pages 33-39. Chapter Objectives: Know the Elements of Art & Principles of Design Learn to see the Elements of Art & Principles of Design within artwork Work with a shape in space to create movement in a simple design. Color & Vision.

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Chapter 2: The Art of Graphic Design

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Chapter 2: The Art of Graphic Design

Pages 33-39

  • Chapter Objectives:

    • Know the Elements of Art & Principles of Design

    • Learn to see the Elements of Art & Principles of Design within artwork

    • Work with a shape in space to create movement in a simple design.

Color & Vision

  • Afterimage – The appearance of a primary color’s complement when you stare then shift to a white background.

    • This happens because your eyes have difficulty adjusting quickly after high visual stimulation.

  • Artist Tip: Using a range of values helps suggest that objects are receding (or going further) into the distance. See Fig. 2-28.

Try This: Stare at the red square for 15 seconds, then look at a white space.

What do you see?

Did you see a BLUErectangle?

Color Continued

  • Using color to define a message, remember some are colorblind and may not see the colors the way you intend them. It’s good practice to develop a black/white or mono-color version.

  • Cultures interpret colors differently. Western=yellow is bright, sunny, happy etc. Eastern= yellow is sacred and healing. You always have to be aware of how color adds emotion/meaning to your design!

Primary/Secondary colors are colors that children know and are attracted to. Using familiar colors may help to draw them and cause them to want LEGOS.

Principles of Design

  • Visual communicators/ Designers use the Elements of Art to define and give structure to space. They’re the basic tools of visual expression!

  • The Principles of Design are the that pulls the Elements together.

    • Balance

    • Movement & Rhythm

    • Emphasis

    • Unity & variety

    • Pattern

    • Proportion

    • Contrast

    • (*Designers also use= dynamics, closure, & expression)


  • When you view an image, you view the WHOLE image, not parts. This is called Gestalt.

  • Your individual experiences determine what impression you perceive.

  • *The most successful design=a union of type and image that creates a personal response and gives a clear message instantly.

Principles Continued

  • Balance = Stability; when something is balanced visually, both sides or all elements have equal weight. Symmetrical Balance=think SAME!

  • Asymmetrical Balance=Different elements used on each side, but still creates balance.

  • No Balance=tension/instability in art.

Rhythm & Movement

  • Movement is seen in 2D or 3D

    • 3D- In life, things catch your eye and focus your attention.

    • 2D-In flat art, magazines, photos, etc., your eyes around the flat space and become focused on a focal point. A Designer’s role is to guide your attention to that image or type.

      • Repetition- repeated lines, shapes, or colors

      • Rhythm-repeated elements that imply a tempo/beat.

      • Words to describe visual rhythm: predictable, flowing, alternating, progressive (changing), irregular, or unexpected.

Rhythm & Movement Continued

  • Visual Path- Careful placement of elements (line, shapes, forms) to make the viewers eyes move around the page.

Emphasis & Dynamics

  • Emphasis is what makes one element more noticeable over another.

    • Where does your eye move first? Color, shape, line? Predominant element= the message!

  • Dynamics = the energy of a piece

    • High energy = bright colors, lots of elements

    • Static= subtle colors, fewer elements

Unity & Variety

  • Unity- When elements (lines, shapes, colors, textures, etc.) all work together in harmony.

    • Same colors/ elements used throughout

    • Repeated shapes/ textures for patterns

    • Sends a consistent message

  • Variety- When elements are used to create an energetic, lively, or chaotic effect.

    • Different colors/elements used throughout


  • Youtube: Principles of Design

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