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Terms in this set (122)
A point is defined as an exact location in a two-dimensional space. For a point to be visible, it must have some measure of length and some measure of width.
The path created by the point of a tool, instrument, or medium as it moves across a surface. A line is visible when it contrasts in value with its surroundings.
A distinct area that is created by a defined or implied line or boundary. It may also be defined by differences in its value, color, or texture that set it apart from its surroundings.
When a shape appears to occupy space, we call it a positive form or positive space. It is also often referred to as the figure of the design.
When a shape is read as being empty or part of the background, we call it a negative form or negative space. This is often referred to as the ground of the design
1. The way in which visual elements are organized or arranged to create unity in an artwork.
2. The complete and overall appearance or arrangement of an artwork.
The two-dimensional surface on which the artist executes a pictorial image.
Provides contrast and visual interest to a composition by changing, opposing, expanding, or varying the visual elements in a composition. Variety is the opposite partner to harmony in design.
The satisfying quality created by different elements of a composition engaging to form a holistic piece. Harmony is frequently established through repetition of the same or similar visual traits.
The result of bringing the different elements in a composition into an effective relationship between harmony and variety to achieve a quality of completeness. the balance of the visual qualities of the elements in a design/is established when the elements in a design (the shapes and lines) elegantly conform to the borders of the composition creating a holistic sense of agreement between the individual elements of the design and the composition as a whole Another way of creating unity in a composition is through Gestalt principles
A feeling of visual equilibrium created by adjusting the implied weight, attention, or attraction of the different elements within a composition.
A visual device emphasizing certain elements in a composition to draw attention to a specific area in the piece and to encourage closer scrutiny of the overall work
The streamlining of a composition to the most fundamental, basic elements for clarity of presentation.
Two-dimensional art forms including drawing, painting, and printmaking. Graphic art also refers to commercial art techniques used in the creation of magazines, newspapers, books, and Web pages.
the fundamental plan on which a composition is ordered. (synonymous with the expression form)
Nonrepresentational work composed according to the artists' desire for organization or expression. In some respects, abstraction is visible in all art and design.
A simplified and/or rearranged representation of the way something appears naturally.
The style of art that aims to represent things accurately as they appear in nature. Perfect naturalism would not show any personal interpretation by the artist.
The expressive use of material that imbues an artwork with unique character. Style also refers to a particular artistic trait or prevailing trend of form recognizable during a specific period of time or during a defined art movement.
Embellishing or ornamenting, though more importantly in art, emphasizing the two-dimensional quality of an artwork. Decorative art calls attention to the basic flatness of a surface.
Relying on various artistic techniques and different visual elements to create the illusion of three dimensions on a flat, two-dimensional surface.
A term used to describe three-dimensional art forms, including sculpture, ceramics, and architecture.
Ability, competence, or skilled workmanship in the use of artistic tools and media.
Having only two dimensions, that of height and width.
Having the dimension of depth, along with the dimensions of height and width.
A quantifiable area of discrete or occupied space.
When describing graphic art: a shape that stands out three-dimensionally from the area surrounding it or creates the illusion of a solid body of material.
When describing the plastic arts: the actual bulk of a physical body of material.
Appearing different or irregular— "without symmetry.a composition lacking a visible or suggested axis, which displays an unequal distribution of visual elements throughout. The term informal is often used interchangeably with the term asymmetrical.[NOT THE SAME]
The arrangement on both sides of an implied or visible central axis of separate parts, identical in size, shape, and position, creating a mirror image.[SAME/MIRRORED/NEARLY THE SAME]
Occurs when elements are arranged in a way that highlights their dissimilarities and makes them seem unrelated.[value and color] is all around us/how we are able to make comparisons between different objects/helps us identify shapes with different visual qualities and create variety in our compositions
Special prominence given to an area or specific element to illustrate its importance in a larger composition. Appears in a design where there is a center of interest or an area that draws the attention of the viewer. Emphasis and focal point are often used interchangeably.
A focal point is a specific visual element that stands out and draws attention, encouraging the viewer to closely examine the specific area of the composition where it appears.
The relative size relationship among different parts of a whole.
The size of an element in relation to some standard unit of measurement.
Describes the way in which different forms in a design will appear to have different visual weights based on their visual characteristics.[weight and balance of various forms]
Created in a design by arranging visual elements in a composition so that they direct the viewer's eye to travel in a certain direction.
Describes movement and is often achieved by incorporating repetitive visual units and measured accents, which can be represented by areas of consistent, repeated negative space.
Incorporating an identical visual element, a number of times, in the same composition.
The repetition of a single visual element or motif, which creates visual links and often implies directed movement.
strong, ordered structure that is readily apparent to the viewer/one side of the composition mirrors the other/space of the design is divided in a regular, repetitive manner/repetition often has an important role in creating a symmetrical composition
is the result of a slight modification to a symmetrical composition, where a minor anomaly is introduced/use of approximate symmetry brings variety to an otherwise predictable layout/is the result of a slight modification to a formal symmetrical composition
can exhibit strict or approximate symmetry/the design elements are evenly placed around a central point/circular orientation of design elements adds a dynamic dimension and can create a feeling of implied movement
sometimes referred to as an all-over pattern because it describes a variation of strict symmetry where a composition is covered with a constant repetition of the same design elements/creates the appearance of a repeating pattern with no specific point of emphasis/can also exhibit strict or approximate symmetry
The law of proximity states that things are near to each other appear to be grouped together even if they are not similar to one another.
The law of similarity states that similar things appear to be grouped together.
The law of good continuation states that a series of forms connected in a straight or curved line will be seen as belonging together even if that path is interrupted by another form.
not created from rigid, mathematical structures/asymmetrical compositions are organized with a sense of balance and general unity where the elements and forms are arranged more loosely/no specific procedures for creating an asymmetrical composition
Dilating a shape changes its size while maintaining its Dilation may affect the apparent spatial location of a Dilation is often used in combination with translation so that the dilated shapes don't simply stack upon themselves
Four Techniques Used To Transform Shapes
Translation, dilation, rotation, and reflection/The shape transformations of translation, dilation, rotation, and reflection can be used in conjunction with one another to create a formal composition that has both regularity and variety.
can be established along the central vertical axis of the design, the central horizontal axis of the design, or the central diagonal axis of the design
a shape changes its position while maintaining its size and orientation/In a formal composition translation is the repetition of a shape spaced at regular intervals/Translations can occur in any direction that is parallel to the picture plane/translated forms create a strong, repetitious structure that serves to organize the entire design
Rotating a shape changes its direction/It has the effect of making a shape appear to turn in space/allows for a degree of variety in a repetition structure/usually translation is used in combination with rotation so that the rotated shapes do not lie on top of one another
creates a mirror image of that shape/results in an exact copy of the original shape that appears to be flipped over in space, and creates a symmetry that is based on the axis of reflection/aka: strict or bilateral symmetry
unlike crystallographic symmetry, which yields an allover pattern, reflective symmetry has a recognizable axis of reflection, which serves as a point of visual emphasis
are perfectly balanced by default because one side is identical to the opposite side
Visual elements of forms
shape, size, color, texture
Relational elements of forms
direction, position, depth, weight
Too little contrast
results in design that is flat and lifeless
Too much contrast
results in design that is chaotic and hard to view
theory of visual psychology tries to explain this phenomenon by providing a set of organizational principles/ Psychologically, the viewer wants to find some sort of discernible pattern or unity within a design. The viewer will always try to create order out of chaos.
Six laws of perceptual organization
Pragnanz, Similarity, Good Continuation, Proximity, Common Fate, Familiarity
law of Pragnanz, or the law of good figure, states that every stimulus pattern is seen in such a way that the resulting structure is as simple as possible/this means that the viewer will always try to organize the elements of a design into the simplest pattern possible
Law of Similarity
law of similarity states that similar visual elements appear to be grouped together/elements of a design that look alike are organized into a group
the law of good continuation states that a series of visual elements connected in a straight or curved line is seen as belonging together/the law also states that lines tend to be seen in such a way as to follow the smoothest path
Law of Proximity
law of proximity states that visual elements that are near to each other are grouped together
Law of Common Fate
law of common fate states that visual elements that appear to be moving in the same direction will be grouped together
The Law of Familiarity
law of familiarity states that visual elements are more likely to form a group if that group of elements appears meaningful or familiar
unity can also be achieved through the use of a grid layout. The use of a grid to create a balanced and unified layout is often used in publication design: newspapers, magazines, and Internet pages / use of a grid employs repetition and can include variety achieved through contrast in value, color, and scale.
originates from light, be it natural or artificial light
striped band of colors (ROYGBIV)
3 distinct qualities of colors
hue, value, and saturation
main characteristic people use when describing a color
a measurement of its relative lightness or darkness (dark blue, or light blue) a distinction between the differences in those two colors
a measurement of the relative strength or weakness of a color (dull or bright red) the quality by which we distinguish strong colors from weak colors
intensity and chroma
synonyms for the word saturation
A particular hue is considered to be primary in a given color system if it cannot be created through the mixture of other colors in that system (RYB)
Traditional Paint Primaries
Red, yellow, blue
Red, green, blue
Cyan, magenta, yellow
Three main color systems
is perceived by light reflecting off the surface of an object (colored object has a physical trait called pigmentation which allows it to absorb certain colors and reflect others) when the three primaries of a subtractive color system are mixed they create black
An object appears white because all portions of white light illuminating it are reflected back to the viewer
refers specifically to colored light that is projected. (when the three additive primaries are mixed they create white light) considered the most accurate representations of color since they are perceived directly through light
Types of primary colors
Traditional, Process, and Light
Traditional (paint) Primaries
traditional primary hues of paint are red, yellow, and blue. When all three of the traditional primaries are mixed together the color black is created. Red, blue, and yellow are considered to be subtractive because their equal mixture in paint subtracts down to the color black.
The Process Primaries
Process colors are closely associated with commercial printing processes. The primary hues of this system are cyan, magenta, and yellow. When all three of the process primaries are mixed together the color black is created. Cyan, magenta, and yellow are also considered to be subtractive because their equal mixture in ink subtracts down to the color black.
The primary hues of light are red, blue, and green. They are specific to the way light rays mix with one another and are often referred to as the light primaries. When all three of the light primaries are mixed together white light is created. Red, green, and blue are considered to be additive because their equal mixture in light adds together to the color white.
Two hues are considered complementary if they have maximum contrast in hue with one another in a given color system. Complements are a pair of hues that are considered to be "opposites" of one another on a given color wheel[For the traditional (paint) primaries the main complementary pairs are red and green, yellow and violet, and blue and orange.]
Complimentary pairs in traditional primaries
Red and Green
Yellow and Violet
Blue and Orange
Complementary Pairs in Process and Light Primaries
Red and Cyan
Green and Magenta
Blue and Yellow
are groups of colors that are related in some way to one another in terms of hue, value, or saturation.Successful color schemes generally promote unity and balance in one color property while providing variety and visual interest in another property.
achromatic color scheme is a set of colors that have no saturation and are without hue. Achromatic schemes provide unity through a lack of hue and saturation, and contrast can only be achieved through variation in value. [black and white and neutral grays]
monochromatic color scheme is a set of colors that all share the same hue. Monochromatic schemes provide unity through the use of a single hue, and contrast is achieved through variations in value and saturation.[variations of blue]
analogous color scheme consists of colors that are similar to one another in hue. Analogous schemes provide both unity and variety in hue since the colors are related yet have slight differences in hue
[violet, red-violet, and red]
warm color scheme is simply a specialized type of analogous scheme. A warm scheme is a group of colors that contain the hues of red, orange, and/or yellow.
cool color scheme is the opposite of a warm color scheme in terms of hue. A cool scheme is a group of colors that contain the hues of blue and/or green.
a scheme utilizes two complementary hues. The complementary relationship between the hues provides a high degree of contrast yet an overall sense of unity as well. Neutral colors are generated by mixing the complementary hues[example uses the additive complements of red and cyan]
neutral color scheme consists of colors that are all reduced in saturation. We tend to describe these kinds of colors as browns or grays. Neutral schemes provide unity in saturation and a slight variety in hue. Additional contrast can be generated in a neutral scheme through variations in value
typography is generally defined as the art and practice of arranging type in a layout. The term can also refer to the appearance of text in a design
a family of fonts [times new roman]
is one weight or style within a typeface family [times new roman bold]
the point is the usual unit for measuring font size. the point size of a font is specified in a software program the font is scaled up or down accordingly
most common serif and sans-serif
more traditional and are identifiable by a slight projection finishing off the ends of a letter in certain typefaces
are distinguished by the fact that they have no serifs. They are noted for their streamlined and polished look.
Body Text/body copy
describes the text that is used for the main content of a book, web page, magazine, or design. It is the small text that makes up the "body" of the document. Body text is often comprised of text with a 9-point to 12-point font size
Display text is the larger text in a book, web page, magazine, or design. It may consist of headings, titles, or other text elements that are larger than the text used in the body of the piece
Kerning and Tracking
Both relate to the adjustment of space between characters of type
refers to the space between two characters [word spacing]
refers to the spacing between a group of characters in a line of text. The tracking can be increased or decreased to create open or tight character spacing. [sentence spacing]
Vertical line spacing is referred to as leading. The function of leading in typography is to create adequate space between the lines to make them readable. [word spacing]
In design, alignment refers to the placement of text relative to a page, column, or text block
The words are aligned along the left edge of the page or design
When text is right aligned the words are aligned along the right edge of the page or design
When text is center aligned the words are aligned according to each individual row of text.
When text is justified it is arranged so that both left and right edges of a block of text are smooth. Justifying text looks precise and clean in some situations. However, too much of it can make for a rigid looking layout. Additionally, justified text can create irregular spacing between words.
A grid is a guide used to help organize text and images in a flexible way making the content easy to absorb and understand. Grids provide effective typographical layouts.
Legibility describes the design of the typeface. If it is easy to tell one letterform from another the typeface is considered legible.
Readability describes how the typeface is set, combined with the basic legibility of the typeface. It refers to the total interaction of the typeface, including size, tracking, leading, and color, all combined into one overall impression.
the more correlated the look of the typeface is to the essence of the topic of the design, the more successful the overall piece will be.
is established through the combination of the typeface aesthetic and the readability of the text, along with the perceived meaning of the content
Streamline Typeface and Font Variety
A good rule of thumb is to keep typeface or font variations to a minimum. Exceeding three different typeface or font styles in one design should only be done when the designer has a strong rationale for using multiple fonts.
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