This live stream session explores compositional techniques from initial rules to complex design theory. Composition It's a vast and complex area to learn, it holds the key to ensuring your designs are more engaging/impactful. Keep reading to learn more about what was discussed in this live stream:
Goals of Composition:
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Composition: 5 Key Design Principles
Draws attention to design elements, creates emphasis.
Helps users to navigate your design, signals importance of different elements.
Light vs Dark, Thick vs Thin, helps make design elements ‘pop’
Creates a path, direct viewer in ‘Z’ ‘L’ and ‘Y’ shapes.
- Negative Space:
The space in between elements, can be used to create new shapes.
10 Top Tips to Get Your Composition Right:
Composition Theories and Techniques:
Making sense of how the human mind perceives the whole and not the parts of it. Five design principles derive from the Gestalt theory: proximity, similarity, continuity, closure and figure/ground. Each employs different methods to create unity within the whole.
At the heart of most design principles, it’s all about making sense of how the human mind perceives the whole of something and not the parts of it. Five design principles which derive from the Gestalt theory include:
- Proximity: Elements close to each other are considered part of the same group. I.e Kerning, which helps readers understand each word as part of a larger sentence.
- Similarity: Elements that look alike are perceived as part of a group.
- Continuity: Objects that are plotted into a continuous pattern are grouped together by the mind.
- Closure: Our minds want closure. A shape only needs to be implied for our mind to fill in the gaps.
- Figure/ground: People can immediately identify which element is the figure and which is the
ground. The viewer’s mind sees the smallest element as the figure and the larger one as the ground or background.
Each principal employs different methods to create unity within the whole.
Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio
These techniques can be used to get the proportions and placements of focal points right in your visuals.
Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance of your images. It is one of the most useful composition techniques, acting as a guideline that helps creatives determine where to place an object or asset.
This theory is a simple, effective method of dividing your canvas/artboard into thirds both horizontally/vertically. Resulting in 4 intersection points. These are the ideal spots for placing focal points within your design (top left being the most looked at by your viewers). The Role of Thirds is about creating the right aesthetic trade-offs. It helps create a sense of balance without making the image appear too static. It can add a sense of complexity, without making the composition look too busy and confusing for a viewer.
The Golden Ratio
This piece of theory originates from a series of numbers called the Fibonacci sequence. This sequence begins with 0 and 1. Each number in this sequence is derived by adding the two previous numbers together. As the numbers in the sequence get larger, the ratio between them gets closer and closer to 1:1.618. This is what we call Golden Ratio. This is a common mathematical ratio found in nature that can be used to create natural looking compositions in your design work. Sometimes it is referred to as Divine Proportions. A series of interlocked golden rectangles creates the shape of a golden spiral.
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