Hailey Coral


Fundamentals of Composition

In Graphic Design School by David Dabner, Sandra Stewart and Eric Zempol, the fundamentals of composition are discussed in a detailed manner. Though I had heard about the basic composition elements before (balance, consistency, contrast, proximity, repetition and white space), it was interesting to see how these things played into the photography, illustration, symbolism, grids, and overall layout of various arrangements. Because there are so many different ways you can use different elements to represent different moods or ideas that you want your piece to represent, you need to consider what forms will influence those choices. In this unit of Graphic Design School, I certainly appreciated how instead of just explaining what symmetry, contrast, etc. are, the mood and reasoning behind using these techniques is expanded on. For example, when discussing symmetry, the book suggests “a symmetrical composition makes for a calmer more peaceful work, while something more dynamic can be achieved if the elements are arranged asymmetrically.” These sort of tips for using the techniques in diverse layouts and various compositions, along with the picture examples that are given are very helpful. I also really enjoyed reading about pace and contrast in this chapter. The explanation helped me differentiate between rhythm and pace, and added to the understanding of capturing and keeping the reader’s attention in my design. (Graphic Design School. By: Dabner, Stweart, and Zempol) In a blog written by William Bleachy, all of the design principles are explained, and composition is used as the last step. However, Bleachy even states in his last post on composition, that it is the first thing you should be thinking about. Making everything come together to create a visually interesting piece does entail contrast, hierarchy, balance, repetition, movement, etc. However, before any of these ideas can come together, the overall idea usually has to be understood first. In this blog post, I found it helpful to hear that the research part of the composition had to do with the branding and budget which was touched on in Graphic Design School, but not talked about in the perspective of a designer with perhaps, a low budget client. I liked how Bleachy showed that his process could sometimes be something as simple as sketching out an idea, using his composition and layout rules as he goes, but making sure his research is relative to the clients previous style or work. Bleachy also mentions looking at the history of the project/idea, which related back to the mention of style interpretation in unit two of Graphic Design School. (http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/rule-composition-putting/)


(Castle Cafe- found on desginworklife.com) This image shows symbolism at it's finest. Though the imagery may be sort of repetitive of the name, each icon is placed inside a grid so that your eye flows easily around the page. The contrast in the color choice allows for a dynamic and interesting composition.




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