Friday, August 17, 2012

Elements of Design - Form

Elements of Design - Form
The final element of design is form.

Form is any 3D object.  Each form has depth, height and width.  Forms also are defined by light and dark

 Types of Form:
There are two types of form;
  • Geometric or man made forms
    • Squares, circles, etc..
  • Natural or organic forms 
    • leaves, snowflakes, etc..

Forms may be created by the combining of two or more shapes.  They can also be enhanced by tone, texture and color.

Form follows function
A principle associated with modern architecture / design in the 20th century that the shape of a building or object should be the primary based upon its intended function or purpose.  

The American architect Louis Sullivan lead the form follows function concept.  Below is his full quote:

    "It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, or all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things super-human, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, That the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function.  That is the law."

I love modern design and the simple concept of form follows function.  The image above some one of my favorite classic furniture, the Knoll tulip table and chair.  They form of the chair follows the line of the back to make a comfortable sit.

Using the correct forms can make or break good design.  They are very powerful elements in design.

  1. Saw, James. "Design notes". Palomar College.
  2. "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered," published Lippincott's Magazine (March 1896).

What is next?
I have finished writing about the elements of design and I am going to start writing about my favorite time of year, fall!  
It is that time and I am going to shift to fall color and fashion treads before writing about the design principles.

I hope the blog series of design elements have been helpful understand the core of design.