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Basic Design Principles Part 1

There are some very basic design principles that are important to know whether youíre a graphic designer, web designer, or even a photographer. Certain very basic design principles apply to all artistic fields and are necessary for the artist and valuable information for the consumer.

Line (s)

The world we live in is three dimensional but when we try to represent that world in art we use lines, a very simplistic way of trying to represent the three dimensional world around us. But by knowing how to use lines in art we can make a very good sometimes great representations of the world around us.

Lines of Direction

Horizontal, a horizontal line usually represents a feeling of rest or relaxation, think of a puppy asleep on the floor. That is a horizontal line. Stability is also conveyed through a horizontal line, think of a table or a large building.

Vertical, a vertical line usually brings to mind strength and sometimes action. Think of a tall tree, its strong vertical line shows strength. A vertical line can show action especially when itís compared to a horizontal line.

Diagonal, a diagonal line always suggests movement. Imagine a football player running if you draw a line from the top of his head to his heel you will see a diagonal line. Diagonal lines always get our attention for the action they imply.

Curved, a curved line can suggest many things. The curved line of a sagging roof can indicate weakness and a curved line of a dancers arm can indicate gracefulness.

Remember lines convey thoughts and feelings and every line you use in your design helps to convey your message.

Shape (s)

Lines form shapes and from those shapes we get positive and negative shapes, or spaces.

Positive shapes are always the objects in an image or design. Itís important to pay attention to your positive shapes their size, placement, and their balance in reference to:

Negative shapes, these are always the shape formed from the space around your object.

By paying attention to the balance of your positive and negative shapes you can make sure that your designs or images have good balance.

If you have some specific questions please visit my Photography and Design Forum at: http://kellypaalphotography.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/index.php and post your question there.

Submitted by:

Kelly Paal

Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal

Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. She owns her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com). She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.

kellypaa@kellypaalphotography.com





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