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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
the world of image
216
PRESENTATION OPTIONS
Strategies for Composition Composition
in an illustrated image is of great concern.
In creating a drawn image—especially
one that is naturalistic—designers some-
times forget that they are not bound by the
realities of arrangement imposed by the
scene they are rendering. Using the formal
relationships of figure and ground (see
chapter 1, page 32) on an abstract level—
particularly within a realistic representa-
tion—contributes to the illustration’s
power to communicate beyond the literal
as well as helps engage the viewer and di-
rect the eye. To simply place the subject in
the central area of the illustration, without
regard to the subject’s outer contour, ten-
sion, and contrast of negative space, and
so on, prevents the illustration from being
resolved and creates a static presentation.
Just as cropping, position, relative sizes of
elements, and contrast between linearity,
mass, angles, and curves are intrinsic to
the decisive layout of graphic elements and
typography in a page environment, so too
is their refinement within an illustrated
image of utmost importance—and such
considerations apply equally to photo-
graphed images.
Massing the collaged elements
along a horizon lends concrete
spatial realism to the scene,
despite its textural and abstract
surface qualities. The massing
of dark areas also forces a sense
of perspective that draws the
viewer inward; this triangu-
lated movement is counteracted
by the circular title cluster at
the top.
2FRESH TURKEY
Fragmented, overlapping photographs and text elements
create a dimensional space that speaks of a Holocaust sur-
vivor’s shattered childhood.
LABORATÓRIO SECRETO BRAZIL
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TEXT
design elements
217
A pictorial image is deconstructed
here to show the various com-
positional strategies—beyond
the selection of subject and
medium—that the designer has
considered in creating a well-
resolved image. Each aspect
of the composition reinforces
the others.
The positioning of the three highly reductive graphical
figures of soldiers in the lower part of this LP sleeve’s
format causes them to appear to “slide” along the horizon;
the evenness of their spacing and the cropping of the
two outer figures—each to a different degree—enhances
the sense of regular, marching movement. Breaking this
regimented movement by turning the middle soldier’s
head downward draws attention to this figure, who now
personifies the contemplative question of the LP’s title.
BIG ACTIVE UNITED KINGDOM
Contrast between mass
and line
Directional movement
Positive and negative shapes
Perspective and spatial depth
Optical weight distribution
Color relationships
Value distribution
Contrasts in surface activity
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TEXT
the world of image
218
PRESENTATION OPTIONS
Mixing Image Styles As with all composi-
tional strategies, creating contrast among
visual elements is key to surprising, re-
freshing, and enlivening layouts—and this
is no less true for imagery. Aside from the
big-picture contrasts afforded by changing
sizes, shapes, color, and spatial arrange-
ment, combining different modes of image
offers an important and highly effective
method for introducing contrast. Very tex-
tural, linear illustration, for instance,
This concise (yet by no means
comprehensive) table compares
the same pair of subjects pre-
sented in various combinations
of image mode. Evaluate each
pairing for similarities, as well as
disparities, in visual form; which
combinations produce the most
unified visual relationships, and
which have the most contrast?
Then consider which combina-
tions might also be the most
useful for comparing related
concepts, and which offer the
richest interplay of concept.
The decision to present
the background image in
illustrative form stems from
the need to solve two problems.
First, the designer wanted to
avoid visual conflict between
two photographs; the flatness
of the illustration style visually
separates it from the photo-
graph and causes it to recede
into the background. Second,
the illustration enhances the
temporal metaphor created by
the two images—one showing
a historical stage in cultural
development, the other show-
ing a developmental stage in
education.
TIMOTHY SAMARA
UNITED STATES
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