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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
72
Building Strong Compositions The cor-
nerstone of every effective visual commu-
nication—after a compelling concept or
narrative—is a dynamic presentation of the
content, accomplished through decisive
control of the relationships among form
elements. The importance of creating a
strong composition can’t be understated.
The clarity, confidence, and rich interrela-
tionship of elements that define a composi-
tion as successful contribute, first and
foremost, to attracting—and then hold-
ing—the audience’s attention, which is
critical for ensuring the content is explored
long enough to be understood and inter-
nalized. If the viewer loses interest because
the visual presentation of the design isn’t
challenging enough, the viewer is unlikely
to fully comprehend the message. A lack of
visual, and thus cognitive, investigation is
also likely to become difficult to recall later
on. Second, the strong resolution of a
composition contributes to persuasion;
appreciating its totality effectively removes
our wariness of being manipulated; similar
to what happens when watching a film,
we suspend our disbelief and the message
becomes incontestable.
COMPOSITIONAL STRATEGIES
Nearly devoid of people and activity, these three
photographic ads rely on compositional contrast
(OK, and a little mystery!) to generate interest.
CHK DESIGN UNITED KINGDOM
Active contours created by
elements moving inward and
outward from the centers of
these images create movement
and diminish the static quality
inherent in their centered
configurations.
MEDIA INVIA/DIEGO MORALES
BRAZIL
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TEXT
design elements
73
Having become conscious of form’s basic
qualities and the spatial interactions in
which they may be made to participate, a
designer must then address these individ-
ual aspects in combination—understand-
ing them in relation to more complex,
overarching goals. Successful composi-
tions exhibit contrast among its parts,
even while establishing visual continuity
in these parts’ behavior; they always create
synergy between these behaviors and the
identities of the form elements that make
them up. And all these strategies, together,
serve to order the material in an under-
standable sequence or hierarchy—so that
the viewer knows where and how to enter
the communication and then proceed
through it in a logical and intuitive way.
Last, but certainly not least, a successful
composition, in all its aspects, contributes
to the more important goal a designer
hopes to achieve—the creation of meaning.
Dramatic scale change is instantly engaging because
the optical effect is one of perceiving deep space; the
brain wants to know why one item is so small and the
other is so large. In this particular ad, the foreground-
to-background tension is intensified by making the
figure and the chicken bleed out of the format.
PEOPLE
DESIGN UNITED STATES
On this website, the designer counters bold, regular spatial
breaks—used to separate fields of information—with irregular,
side-to-side movement. This gesture derives from the helical
quality of the navigation buttons at the left, creating an abstract
metaphor for DNA and genetics.
JUNE KIM/PARSONS SCHOOL
OF DESIGN UNITED STATES
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