I’m currently writing the section in my book blog on design principles, and since it would take far too long to cover two and three dimensional design in its entirety, I’m trying to pick out a few critical principles – both of how design works and how to create a good design. (Here I’m talking about visual design, not functional design.)
This feels rather like trying to summarize the physics of electromagnetism in three sentences or less, but here’s a sketch of what I’m thinking:
- The eye is drawn to contrast – of value, color, texture, etc.
- Think “gravity” – our reaction to horizontal, vertical, diagonal lines, our sense of visual “balance” in a piece, etc. are all affected by gravity.
- Color sets mood. What do you associate with a given color? That will govern how you react to a chunk of that color.
- The eye is drawn to motion or the appearance of motion, both of which feel more exciting than something static.
- Know your focal points and use them consciously
- Give the eye a route through a piece
- Strive for visual balance (between unity/variety, shapes, etc.) except when you are deliberately unbalancing the figure.
- Consider the balance of colors that is setting your mood.
The distinction between a design rule and a design principle is that a design rule is a general rule that governs how people react to different visual designs; a principle is about ways to produce a better design.
I’m still mulling this over – so would love thoughts and comments on this – but had better start working and stop mulling soon, as I’m out of prewritten blog posts. I need to do a lot of writing this weekend!
Meanwhile, I’ve wound half the ground warp for the latest Phoenix Rising sample. Or rather, I had wound half the ground warp. Then I realized I had wound it incorrectly. Nothing to do but to cut it off the warping board, and start again. Much cursing, but at least I’ve only wasted an ounce of yarn. The advantages of weaving with fine threads!
So now I get to start again at square one. Oh well. C’est la vie, I guess.
Please do let me know what you think of the design rules/principles I’ve outlined, and if you have any to add!