Sunday, November 18, 2012

Design Elements/Components/Bits/Parts

Not having much luck in designing 3-horizontal-block drafts for the cashmere warp, (although I'm pleased to report I picked up a great habit of winding a warp immediately after finishing the previous and vacuuming the loom/basement...)
I've been trying to figure out where I go astray in Alison's design process so she can solve my problem when I ring/call her. It's taken me a while to learn that if I knew it, I may be able to solve it on my own. Doh! So then I started retracing every step I made this time around. Which has been slow because I have a 4.5cm high pile of papers, and now I must remember which ones were significant and which were not two and three months ago, and why. When I can't remember if I had breakfast this morning, let alone what!

Anyhoo, I came across an index card I used as a bookmark when I did Alison's course the first time in 2002. I had scribbled, with a hard pencil, in my typically illegible handwriting:

Elements of Design • Line • Shape • Tone (light/shade) • Texture • Color
Principles of Design • Repetition • Rhythm • Proportion • Balance • Emphasis

I've also been dipping into the graphic design book. They, like us, have a language of their own which is difficult, and funny, to wade though, but last night I came across this:

The Seven Design Components:
• Unity - proximity, similarity, repetition, theme with variations
• Gestalt - figure/ground, closure, continuation
• Space
• Dominance
• Hierarchy
• Balance - symmetry/asymmetry/overall balance
• Color

This book's main focus is designing books and magazines, and a quarter of the book is given to typeface, something I always thought I'm interested in, but it turns out, not. But I am enjoying the bits about negative space, (something I don't see easily); finding out my prejudices, (there was a lovely line about asymmetry which, when I find it, I'll add here; it was an eye-opener;) and that my preference is for the old/static/calm/stale/bad designs. Amen! Didn't I tell you I have a strong affinity with your grandmother's curtains? I wonder if what I read will start to show up in my drawing.

Do you have design-related lists like these? Share!

EDIT: Here it is: "Asymmetrical balance does not look the same on both sides, but the dissimilar halves are in a state of equal tension..."

10 comments:

  1. That's very interresting! Unfortunately, I don't have a list, but I'm sure I'd make better textiles if I had. But ihavesthought a lot about negative space lately, because I also have been reading a book on graphic design, and i've starte noticing all the badly designed posters on the walls ;-)

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  2. Oh, that is funny. What are you going to do with the posters??

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  3. Oh, I didn't make the posters! But they are everywhere: in the shop, at the community center, at work. Advertising for sale, concerts or arrangements. I'm sure there are some badly designed posters around in New Zealand as well ;-)

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  4. I see; I thought they were all over your walls! Charlotte, are you also confused by the jargon of the graphic design world? I find myself constantly referring to the back glossary.

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  5. Yes, I'm confused! In my book there's no glossary, so I'm constantly flipping through the pages.

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  6. At least it means our books are very-well loved!!

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  7. I went out and bought this book on your recommendation! I've got lots of graphic design, packaging design and Typography which I think can be translated into weave and textile design. I'm now after this one just released Patterns and Layering: Japanese Spatial Culture, Nature and Architecture"" buy Kengo Kuma.

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  8. Goodness, did you? How are you coping with the language, or are you going mostly with the pictures? I've had to read some sections five and six times to get it through my head. Packaging or commercial presentation is always fascinating, isn't it? It'd be a couple of months before I get through one. Let us know what the new book is like, especially if it's loaded with pictures and not a lot of writing. Grin!

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  9. I'm just now learning about some of these elements. Probably many of them we know instinctively, just like with color, but it's nice to have words also.

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  10. I found out years ago that I look at some components automatically and all the time, but never others. Colors would be in the first group; among other things patterns and repetition would have been in the latter, until I saw lists and words and was asked to identify them.

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