For this post we are starting to look at relations, explained in Christian Leborg´s Visual Grammar book as how a visual object relates to its audience, format and other elements in the composition. There are many ways in how relations affect a design, and some of these more common ones are balance, symmetry/asymmetry, direction, space/weight and background/foreground etc. It´s really interesting to look at all different relations since they can make a composition so much more interesting. By adding attraction for example, putting two objects together that attracts each other rather then repel one another, the composition will most likely become more interesting to look at. The energetic compositions will create an illusion of an activity in the objects and create movement.
Having objects be neutral, not contrasting and standing out in a composition also helps to define the relations. These can all help contribute to adding depth. Fine/course can also be a good way, and whether the structure is more fine or course is determined by the distance between the structure lines. Whether an object is the background or foreground is decided through the position of them and the proportions they have in relation to each other. Another very common element is space. Space can be either dense or spread out in a composition, and the way the objects are placed can decide the impression of this. The book also talks about how direction can be defined by structure and can have multiple directions, where of one is more dominant then the other.

After reading the book I want to focus more on space, and specially positive and negative space. I have already studied it some in my art classes, but being such a interesting tool I want to develop the knowledge even more. Space, in two dimensional designs, is explained on the site as an area that is activated through visual elements, such as line or shape. It also explains positive space as the objects shape and most often the main focus on a page. The other space is called negative space (or white space). Negative space is explained as the space around objects, helping them become more readable, especially if it´s text. It also can help direct the viewers eye. The negative space can be used to help audience find a resting point, as well as helping them take in the information. To get composition that is interesting and challenges however it could be played with as positive space and the other way around.

I also wanted to look up more about Symmetry and asymmetry. I feel like they are used more than we first think and without people really thinking about it. On the site it explains symmetry vs asymmetry. Symmetry is the more harmonic and static one, while asymmetri is more interesting and dynamic.One interesting use of symmetry/asymmetry that the site talks about is how we want both in a design, and how we can sometimes put them together. Depending on what you want to communicate you can use either of them, and sometimes use both of them to give the composition both interest and harmony, and therefore find a balance between them.

Here´s an example of symmetry, with the line going in the middle with equal space on both sizes. It is also using a little asymmetry with the amount of numbers on the sizes Source:


A picture showing example of negative and positive space. The wolf is at first positive space, but when you look closely the designer has also played with the negative space and created a person. Source:

Another design working more with the negative/positive space and their different dominance. Here the positive space is competing with the negative space, creating a tension and interest which makes the viewer go back and forth. Source:

These two pictures help showing asymmetry (to the left) compared to symmetry (on the right). Source:


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