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Design Elements, 2nd Edition by Timothy Samara

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(F39)_Job:12-40337 Title:RP-Design Elements 2nd Edition
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TEXT
form and space
28
SEEING FORM AND SPACE
People often overlook the potential of abstract form—or, for
that matter, the abstract visual qualities of images such as
photographs. This form study uses paper to investigate that
very idea in a highly abstract way. What could this be? Who
cares? It’s about curl in relation to angle, negative space to
positive strip. To understand how form works, the form must
first be seen.
JROSS DESIGN UNITED STATES
In this business card, the very
basic form of dots, ordered as
lines that become letterforms,
become a dramatically simple
and extremely clever symbolic
gesture that communicates
the identity of the cardholder’s
business.
PARALLAX AUSTRALIA
The idea of formal beauty is
highly subjective. Both these
images can be considered
beautiful, despite the fact that
one is sensuous and “clean”
and that the other is aggressive
and “dirty.
First Things First All graphic design
all image making, regardless of medium or
intent
centers on manipulating form.
It’s a question of making stuff to look at
and organizing it so that it looks good and
helps people understand not just what
they’re seeing, but what seeing it means for
them. “Form” is that stuff: shapes, lines,
textures, words, and pictures. The form
that is chosen or made, for whatever
purpose, should be considered as care-
fully as possible, because every form, no
matter how abstract or seemingly simple,
carries meaning. Our brains use the forms
of things to identify them; the form is a
message. When we see a circle, for ex-
ample, our minds try to identify it: Sun?
Moon? Earth? Coin? Pearl? No one form
is any better at communicating than any
other, but the choice of form is critical if
it’s to communicate the right message. In
addition, making that form as beautiful as
possible is what elevates designing above
just plopping stuff in front of an audience
and letting them pick through it, like hy-
enas mulling over a dismembered carcass.
The term “beautiful” has a host of mean-
ings, depending on context; here, we’re not
talking about beauty to mean “pretty” or
serene and delicate” or even “sensuous”
in an academic, Beaux-Arts, home-fur-
nishings-catalog way. Aggressive, ripped,
collaged illustrations are beautiful; chunky
Form is stuff—including all kinds
of imagery and type.
(F39)_Job:12-40337 Title:RP-Design Elements 2nd Edition
01-AC70319 #175 Dtp:160 Page:28
026-085_C70319.indd 28 1/14/14 4:58 PM
29
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026-085_40
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