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The Principles of Design. Sayre – Chapter 8 7 th edition. design. the process of organizing the visual/formal elements the product of that process. The Principles of Design. Balance Emphasis and Focal Point Scale and Proportion Repetition and Rhythm Unity and Variety

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the principles of design

The Principles of Design

Sayre – Chapter 8

7th edition

  • the process of organizing the visual/formal elements
  • the product of that process
the principles of design1
The Principles of Design
  • Balance
  • Emphasis and Focal Point
  • Scale and Proportion
  • Repetition and Rhythm
  • Unity and Variety

***any of the Visual/Formal Elements can be used to create any of the above

  • balance – achievement of equilibrium; acting influences are held in check by opposing forces; “even distribution of weight in a composition”
  • actual vs. visual
  • types of visual balance = symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial
symmetrical balance
Symmetrical balance
  • Symmetrical (a.k.a. formal) balance – the near or exact matching of left and right sides of a 3D form or a 2D composition

*What is absolute vs. bilateral symmetry?

asymmetrical balance
Asymmetrical balance
  • Asymmetrical (a.k.a. informal balance) – the two halves are not the same; instead various visual phenomena are balanced, according to their visual and referential weights

“referential weight” (a.k.a. psychological weight) – weight we think of when we see an object

radial balance
Radial Balance
  • “everything radiates outward from a central point”
emphasis and focal point
Emphasis and Focal Point
  • Emphasis – an area that is stressed or to which our attention is drawn in a work of art
  • Subordination – neutral areas which do not draw our attention away from the emphasis/focal point
  • Focal point – area of emphasis narrowed to a specific spot or figure
how might emphasis be accomplished
How might emphasis be accomplished?
  • Contrast – juxtaposition of strongly dissimilar elements
scale and proportion
Scale and Proportion
  • Scale – the size relationship of one thing to another (i.e. size in reference to the “normal” size of an object)
  • Proportion – the size relationship of parts to a whole

Fig 659/20-9

Death of Marat

hierarchical scale proportion
Hierarchical scale/proportion
  • Use of unnatural scale/proportion to show the relative importance
repetition and rhythm
Repetition and Rhythm
  • Repetition – gives a work of art continuity or “flow”
  • Rhythm – organization of repeating elements in regular intervals
unity and variety
Unity and Variety
  • Unity – appearance of oneness in a work of art
  • Variety – appearance of diversity in a work of art

Both counterbalance or complement one another…