When it comes to working with elements in a design we have two basic classes to work with. We have positive forms and negative space. The most basic form we can use is the abstract point or it’s concrete sibling the dot. We can build up points or dots so they become lines which is our second most basic element.
Last week I walked through some definitions of visual grammar. We talked about objects and structures, both abstract and concrete, as well as activities and relations. These objects and structures make up most of the design elements we have at our disposal.
I often use the phrase “visual design” when describing what we do as web designers. Recently I came across what I think is better phrase, “communication design.” When we design and build websites our goal is usually to communicate something to an audience.
Communication requires language. That language can be aural as in the spoken word, it can be gestural as in sign language, or it can be visual as in design. The more you understand any language the better you can communicate using that language. The visual language of design is no exception.
…there’s gotta be enough space in there (between notes) so that the sound will work in an air space. That’s what makes the music work.
Without space there is no music. Try to imagine every note playing at the same time or being played so quickly that there’s no distinction between one note and the next. You wouldn’t have music. You’d have a solid wall of noise. As Zappa said, “There’s gotta be enough space in there.” You have to leave room for the sounds to be distinguished from each other, to be heard for what they are.
You’ve probably noticed all the posts here on design principles over the last year or so. Some of you have let me know you’ve been enjoying them and if I haven’t thanked you directly let me thank you here and now.
I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain why I started writing these posts and why I think design principles are important even vital for web designers to learn and understand how to use.