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Graphic Designer's Essential Reference by Timothy Samara

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Job:07-26153 Title:RP-Graphic Designer’s Essential Reference PB Edn
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ESSENTIAL VISUAL STRATEGIES
BASIC TECHNIQUES
Organic
Totality
Continuum
Biology
Water
Planet
Cell
Cycle
Endless
Unity
Fluidity
Logic
Mathematics
Artifi cial
Order
Intellectual
Finite
Rational
Architectural
Partitioned
Solid
All pictorial form carries meaning
and that
includes abstraction, or form that doesn’t rep-
resent anything we actually experience in real
life. However, abstract form has the potential
to convey stronger, more direct, and more
universally understood messages, because it is
a distilled representation of something that is
real, so it can transcend cultural and linguistic
barriers. Abstract images are also more open
to interpretation, involving the audience and
helping them to make deeper, richer connec-
tions; for this reason, abstraction can easily
take on the role of symbol or metaphor more
fluidly than representational images. Finally,
the uniqueness and simplicity of abstraction
deliver a powerfully memorable experience,
building recall and equity in designed messages.
Using Abstract Form
The power of abstraction to
communicate universally
and to evoke greater
interpretation or association
beyond simple depiction
is demonstrated in this
comparison of two simple,
elemental geometric forms.
Combining different kinds
of images adds interest and
contrast to the overall visual
language of a project.
(top) People Design:
Grand Rapids, MI: USA
(bottom) Stein Øvre:
Oslo: Norway
Tip
How to Develop Abstract Form
That Communicates
Distill the essential idea of a message as an emotion:
What is the feeling to be communicated, in one word?
What kinds of forms feel that way?
Consider the idea as an action word: What should
the form appear to be doing? What kinds of forms will
appear to perform that action?
Translate the visual structure of an elemental force or
a kind of place or object into its basic geometry:
What kinds of shapes—dots, lines, curves, and so on—
make up that thing’s physical structure? How many
marks or shapes are needed to recognize what it is?
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