‘Shape’ Visual element of Graphic Design / Design theory Ep4/45 [Beginners guide to Graphic Design]


Hello and welcome to this beginner’s
guide series graphic design. From what graphic design is, skills to be a graphic designer, design theory, education you need, equipment you need to the graphic design portfolio and interview advice. This series is for anyone at any level. So if you’re interested in graphic
design and considering becoming a graphic designer join me as i discussed series of
graphic design topics. So the graphic part of graphic
design is made up of visual elements the building blocks of design. Through the harness of our artistic expression we choose these visual elements and arrange them on a
surface in a layout to convey an idea the basic visual elements are combine
to be a graphic design include the following: Line, colour, shape, texture, space,
form and typography. Whatever work you produce be it for a magazine a poster a website or advertisement these visual elements will play a part in your design. In this video I’m going to discuss the
third key visual element and discuss ‘Shape’ as a visual element in graphic design. In this video I will be referring to
some visual diagrams if you wish to follow along you can
download the PDF document that accompanies this series, link is in the
description. So everything is ultimately a shape. All objects are composed of shapes
and all visual elements are shapes in some way. In design shapes have two dimensions and are measured by their height and width. Shapes are defined by boundaries such as
with lines or colour and can also be created with negative space. shapes are
used to add interest and substance to a piece of graphic design work,
they can be used to decorate they can be symbolic and can be used to
create patterns and textures. Now there are two types of shape:
Geometric and organic. Geometric shapes are the shapes that can be drawn using a ruler or compass. Weather simple or complex
these produce a feeling of control or order. Organic shapes, are shapes that can be
drawn free hand or shapes found in nature. Organic shapes weather simple or
complex produce a natural feel. Now it’s important to keep in mind that
shapes our signal visual elements. In design when we begin to place shapes
together we create a relationship between them. However simple or complex it’s this
relationship between shapes that can trigger feelings, convey messages, engage an
audience, add emphasis to a portion of a layout
and create movement. When we group or move shapes closer or further apart we are applying the design principle
‘Proximity’ later in this series we will be learning all about the design
principle proximity but for now it’s important to keep in mind that proximity plays an important role
when working with shapes. So in design geometric and organic shapes can combine
together on many levels to create various design elements
we use to communicate One example of this is with brand logos.
In logos shape is used in its purest form. Here are some well known brand logos.
If you want to take a closer look at these you can find them in the downloadable PDF the link is in the description.
So here we have a mix of logos some are made with geometric shapes some
with organic shapes and some with a combination of both. We have some that are single solid
shapes and some that are composed of a few shapes that are placed
near each other. Keep in mind that proximity is playing a
crucial role here in the logos that are made with few shapes. If we were to move some of the shapes
further away or closer they would have an entirely different look and feel. So
here shape is used as a symbol. Another example where geometric and
organic shapes can come together is in typography. A single letter in a typeface is a combination
of geometric and organic shapes. which build together to create a larger shape in this case the letter ‘R’. We learned
from a young age that this shape the letter R has a meaning. When combined
with other shapes, for example the rest of the
alphabet to form words it is giving a new meaning and when combined with a sequence of words we can form a sentence to pass on a message. No where in design is shape used more
literally to communicate visually than in typography. It’s the type of shapes that combine
together that give the typeface its distinct look and feel. Here shape is again being used as a symbol. So taking a look in the PDF. Here I have
some more examples of how shape is used in design. In this first example we have a group of text and
a geometric shape in close proximity Now this may look simple but
when you think about it here we have a group of texts which is made of hundreds of shapes carefully arranged in half a circle and next to it we have a single solid shape as another half circle. Overall on this page we see a circle shape even though there is no
circle shape at all anywhere on this page. It’s the careful arrangement of the type
and the solid shape in close proximity that suggests the shape of a circle. In
design shape is indeed an individual element, but as a group shapes conform
compositions like this and as such be treated as a visual element. Here shape is being used to create an overall composition to create the shape. This can be seen in another example, here
we have a page with a number of random shapes. Now if these shapes were scattered we
would just have a page of individual shapes. But arranged any particular way with the right proximity we start to see another shape, the number three. Here shape is being used to decorate to build, illustrate and hint at another shape on the page. Next is an example of how shape can form a recognisable image as an illustration. Now this image is made only of polygon shapes. It’s the colour, size and position of each
and every polygon shape that gives it an appernce to look like a Roman statue. Now if we were to separate each shape
from each other even a little bit it would no longer look like a Roman statue. This shows how proximity is crucial to
represent or communicate in a composition. In this next example shape is used to
create something entirely different. Here we have a number of shapes that
appear to be scattered in no particular order. We can see what looks like positive
and negative spaces along with other shapes. Its appearance is random and all
the shapes seem to blend into each other. There is nothing legible
hear that stands out only an overall look and feel. Here shape
is being used to create a surface image texture. So in this last example unlike the
randomness of the image texture here we have what looks like a regular repeating
sequence of shape this is similar to the image texture in
that nothing particular stands out. Here shape is being used to
create a surface pattern texture. So shape is what makes up the foundation of any composition. A layout can be simple made of one or few shapes or complex made by groups of many
individual shapes. In design shape can be used in many ways, it’s how they are
arranged that determines the visual outcome. When creating a composition you must always consider how the visual elements of your design are creating shapes, how the shapes interact and work together to present and communicate the intended message. So that is the third key visual element in graphic design. Well I hope you enjoyed this video. If
you did hit the like button on my facebook page. Iif you would like to see more videos like this in
future hit the subscribe button and you can also follow me on twitter at TastyTuts. So the next key visual element is
‘Texture’ in this video I touched on how shape can be used to create texture. In
the next video I’m going to talk in more depth about texture as a visual
element in graphic design. So see you in the next video!

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