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COMPOSITION

Compositon

A Composition is the deliberate arrangement of any visual information within the boundaries of a particular medium (ie paper, canvas, artboards, sets, viewfinders, etc.). Compositions are the revelation of design products and a designer's process;  it's a showcases for our mastery of Design Elements and Principles (or lack thereof). 

So we must practice, practice, practice..

 

But if that just sounds like a load of crap to you--you're right. It is.

So why don't you take this "crap" and smear it all over your current project.

VISUAL HIERARCHY

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LAYOUT -The placement of visual elements on a page, including headlines, body text, images, lines, and so on. Basically, everything on the page. Where does your eye go First, Second, and Third?

 

FOCAL POINT - The visual element on a page that is most emphasized and that first attracts and holds the viewer’s attention.

VISUAL CENTER - The place in a design where a viewer’s eye spends most of its time. This is slightly to the right of and above the geometric center.  

WHITESPACE - space on the page that does not contain visual elements such as text, images, or lines.

ACCENTS - secondary and tertiary focal points on a page that draw the eye to important elements.

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CRAP is a great shorthand device, when considering effective design (especially 2D/ Graphic Design adjacent work) These are arguably the most pervasive, powerful, and easy to use Design Principles. Thoughtfully and thoroughly applying CRAP to a design will very often "punch it up" dramatically and immediately. 

BALANCE

Balance

VISUAL WEIGHT

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SYMMETRICAL

ASYMMETRICAL

VERTICAL

HORIZONTAL

SYMMETRICAL

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Rule of Thirds

RULE OF THIRDS

Dividing one’s piece into 3 distinct sections both vertically & horizontally to form 9 equal parts

Place your compositional elements along the lines or at their intersections.

Aligning subjects with these points create tension, energy and interest.

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RED         = THE RULE OF THIRDS (Tic-Tac-Toe)
GREEN         = FOCAL POINTS / LINES
YELLOW     = MOVEMENT ( INVISIBLE SIGHTLINES )

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When thinking of composition, “Rules” may not the best choice of words--since, what you want is to be able to break them, as needed. But for now, think of yourself, as if, stealing bases in baseball--you want to get as close to your next base (design) as possible, while staying well within reach of the “safe zone” (rules of composition). 

Still, within the rules there is a lot of power and versatility, and a solid grasp of how the rules work means they will be better applied to your design ideas, so can have more options and understanding about different design outcomes!  

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Rule of Odds

RULE OF ODDS

Refers, specifically, to placing three elements in your scene. Framing a subject with two surrounding elements, creates an odd number of items in your scene. Groups of even components often create a sense of competition. Odd groupings tend to balance a composition creating Harmony. More than three elements can make the composition appear too dense

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Perspective Comp

PERSPECTIVE COMPOSITION

The technique/process of representing a spatial relationship of objects within your scene, as if, placed on a flat or curved surface. In a drawing or painting, the “flow” of lines converging (coming together, from far apart) give the illusion of depth or distance.

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TYPE & TEXT

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Simplifcation

DESIGN SIMPLIFICATION

The Simplification of Design means reducing a composition to only the most essential elements to support your “visual statement/story.” Too much visual information will lead to confusion.

Don’t be afraid to change the arrangement, perspective, or sizing of objects in your composition to find or “separate out” the most important parts of your design.

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