“Design is as much an act of spacing as an act of marking.” — Ellen Lupton, designer and educator
After the Introduction to Design, the second tutorial of the Graphic Design Basic Element Series covers Basic Design Descriptions and Shapes.
What’s My Line?
“The essence of drawing is the line exploring space.” — Andy Goldsworthy
The line is a starting place in design and represents one of the most basic design elements.
A mathematician might explain that a line is by nature one-dimensional. What determines its place is its length. A line is essentially a path the artist uses that leads the viewer’s eye into a design while always retaining more length than thickness.
A line or series of lines can define an entire design, a part of the design, or something as simple as its border.
The Plane: Solid (Opaque) or Tone?
A plane is a term used in design that describes one of the most basic elements. It is a solid surface used to define a space.
Unlike a line, the thickness or width is equal to or greater than the length or depth. A plane is created by using an opaque or a tonal colored hue to define the shape. If the shape is opaque, light does not pass through the area. If a tonal hue then a percentage of light will appear through the plane.
Basic Shapes Can Be Small, Medium, or Large
There are three basic shapes in design: Circle, square, and triangle. A rectangle is included as a basic shape, but it is an elongated square. The basic design principles are applied to shapes.
These three basic shapes can have linear, tonal, or opaque properties. Sometimes basic shapes can consist of all three qualities within their boundaries.
Feel free to download the following design tutorial images that describe the Basic Descriptions and Shapes.
Our next tutorial will describe the Basic Directions found in design and downloadable tutorial images.
Please visit the Art & Design Table of Contents to follow each series in its order.