Reading Notes Chapter 1

1. The Shape of Space

  • The size and shape of space in a picture changes how we perceive form. By changing the size of a format, I can learn to change the apparent size of elements in my design processes.

2. Positive and Negative

  • The form of a picture is considered a positive element while the space of the picture is considered negative. By learning the relationships between positive form and negative space, I can convey the appropriate message desired from my designs.

3. Clarity and Decisiveness

  • An image must be readily understandable (clarity). It must be obvious that it is one thing and not another (decisiveness). This can change my design process by encouraging me to make sure my works are obvious in what they are and understandable.

4. The Dot

  • A dot is a point of attention that anchors itself to any space it resides. No matter what the space is, it is still a dot. By learning about the nature of the dot, I can gain a better feeling for what my work will be.

5. The Line

  • The line unites areas together in a composition. They are inherently dynamic and perform functions like separating space and enclosing objects. By learning about the functions of lines, I can gain a greater understanding of how they control space.

6. Plane and Mass

  • A plane is a dot with its outer contour containing an important attribute (ex: angular instead of round). All form have a perceived mass that changes based on the size and simplicity of a shape. By learning about the important of mass and the attributes of planes, I can give my works a true sense of texture and weight.

7. Geometric Form

  • A form with a regularized contour is geometric. These forms are often angular and perceived as artificial. By adding geometric forms to my works, I can create a feeling of ambiguity of unease.

8. Organic Form

  • A form that irregular or textured is organic in nature. These forms are often seen as soft and naturally occurring as opposed to geometric forms being artificial. By using organic forms in my works, I can help create a sense of familiarity.

9. Surface Activity

  • Surface activity helps viewers differentiate forms from each other. By grouping dots together, we create the illusion of activity through texture and pattern. By learning the importance of texture and pattern in surface activity, I can make my images come alive.

10. Static and Dynamic

  • A image that has little movement might be considered static. On the other hand, an image that contains perceived movement might be considered dynamic. Learning the importance of rest and movement can help me to really bring out the purpose in my images.

Changing My Design Process

1. Use restraint when choosing typefaces for your work.

  • I tend to let my creativity get the better of me when I work. Showing restraint can helped keep my work grounded on a specific form.

2. Picking a color out of convention isn’t always the right choice.

  • Colors carry a large amount of emotional weight. They can challenge me to stop and think about which colors I want to choose for a project.

3. Deal with negative space in a healthy way.

  • Negative space can be used to draw attention to the actual content. I can learn to leave space in my designs instead of jamming things into it.

4. Type needs to relate to everything else in the design.

  • Type is just as much a part of an image as all of the other factors. This can change how I use typography in my design process.

5. Don’t add things to an image that only you like.

  • One of the hardest things in design is trying to appeal to oneself and the audience. By thinking beyond myself and trying to be more universal, I can make my images more appealing to a wider audience.

6. Use darkness and light in concentrated areas.

  • Distinctions between light and dark must be clear in order to make the image more appealing. I can concentrate areas of light and dark to change the tonal value of my design process.

7. Be confident with the visual material you are placing.

  • Placing material in an image without confidence can portray a message of weakness or insecurity. I should be confident in my designs and what my plans are for them.

8. Measure elements with your eyes.

  • This can challenge me to use my eyes when making an image instead of relying on a ruler.

9. Create illusions of three-dimensional movement.

  • The idea that static images are boring and dull can help my design process to become more visually interesting and mysterious.

10. Symmetry isn’t necessary.

  • Symmetry is often static which in turn, makes it less visually interesting. By using more asymmetrical elements in my design process, I can give my images more dynamism.