Friday, July 27, 2012

Elements of Design - Space

Elements of Design - Space    
Space is concerned with the area the design will take place on.  

Categories of Space: 
There are four types of space:
  • Positive space - It is similar to positive shape that it is the figure or foreground space and the focus of the design.
  • Negative space - It is similar to negative shape that it is the empty space that is the background or what surrounds the subject matter.
  • Shading - Shading adds gradation marks to make an object in 2 dimensional surface seem it is 3 dimensional.  Below are the 5 kinds of shading light which used together create 3 dimensional look. 
    • Highlights, Transitional Light, Core of the Shadow, Reflected Light, Cast Shadow
  • Perceptive - It is the graphic arts that is an approximate representation of and image that is perceived by the eye on a flat surface.
    • Non Linear Perspective - Is the method of showing depth that incorporates the following techniques:
      • Position - The placement of an object higher on the page which makes it appear farther back than the other objects place on the lower part of the page.
      • Overlapping - When an object overlaps another object it appears closer and the object behind the object appears farther away.
      • Size variation - Smaller objects look farther away in the distance and larger objects look closer.
      • Color - Bright colors look like they are closer to you and neutral colors look like they are farther away.
      • Value - Lighter values look like they are farther back and darker value looks like they they are closer.
    • Linear Perspective - Is the method of using lines to show the illusion of depth in a picture.
      • One point perspective - When lines are created by the side of objects and they all meet at one point on the horizon.
      • Two point perspective - When two lines look as they are meeting at two points on the horizon line.


  1. Saw, James. "Design Notes". Palomar College.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Elements of Design - Texture

 Elements of Design - Texture
The next design element and one of my favorites besides color is texture.

Texture is the way a surface feels or is perceived to feel.  Texture can be added to attract or repel interest to an element depending on the pleasantness of the texture.

Types of Texture:
There are two main types of texture.

  • Tactile Texture is the actual three dimensional surface that you can feel.  The photo above is one of the design projects I worked on that used a lot of types of texture.  The wall is a drywall tile that creates a three dimensional texture to a wall which created the look of frosting in this space.
  • Visual Texture is the illusion that a surface has peaks and valleys.  Lots if images of nature and art appear they have a texture but it is smooth to the touch.  
Most textures have a natural feel but still have a repeat in some way.  The regularly repeating of a motif will result in a texture that appears as a pattern.

 The images in the blog post are from a project I worked on which used lots of different textures to create the sophisticated look and feel of the space.

The feature wall is a drywall tile that when installed creates a tactile texture of waves on the wall.  I also found a light fixture used at the bar that has the same waving tactile texture as the wall to tie the space together.

The kitchen wood is very smooth maple with a tight grain which is a contrast to the wavy texture of wall.  The final texture used in the kitchen is a small 1"x1" mosaic tile which adds texture and a hint of sparkle.

  The rest of the space is in a deep red and brown paint color with a hint of greenish tan.  The meeting space across from the kitchen has a large dining table which are two large pieces of rustic walnut which created the top which adds visual texture into the space. It is smooth so people can use it to eat on or meet at with their laptops but you can see the very textured wood grain in the table top.

The sofas are a nubby brown fabric to create a cozy feel.  The space is defined by a large semi-shear drapery that create a visual texture and creates privacy since the meeting space is next to a main traffic path.

The use of many types of texture together can really create a nice cozy and sophisticated feel.  This applies to interior design and fashion.

In fashion, mix a smooth pant with a more textured top and top it off with a necklace with depth and sparkle to take it up a notch. 

I do use my design elements and principles in my fashion choices and how I design my work projects, home and garden.  The are key things to learn when creating any type of design.

  1. Saw, James. "Design Notes" Palomar College.