Last edited 20 Feb 2021

Visual elements of design


[edit] Introduction

Design is the process of formulating, creating and planning a functional object such as a building to achieve certain purposes, for example, to create homes, offices, commercial buildings and so on.

Design can be defined as a plan produced to show the look, function or workings of a building or other object before it is made.

The visual elements of design include:

[edit] Line

This is a mark between two points. Lines can be straight, squiggly or curved. A line serves to:

  • Connect and support other visual elements.
  • Emphasise plane edges and create shapes.
  • Manipulate the surface appearance of planes.

[edit] Colour

Colour can evoke emotions and feelings

  • Red excites and stimulates but when very deep can be disturbing, heavy, aggressive and alerting.
  • Orange stimulates and creates attention, warms, is luminous, activating and like red is also motion oriented.
  • Yellow elevates, but can be irritating particularly when highly saturated.
  • Green can be relaxing, natural, soft and passive.

[edit] Shape

Shape is the two-dimensional profile of an object. Shapes are made when lines joining points enclose to form areas.

Shapes are of two types, geometric and free-form or organic shapes:

  • Geometric shapes can easily be defined using mathematical procedures, they are regular and precise, including squares, rectangles, triangles, ovals, pentagons and so on.
  • Free-form or organic shapes are complex to define using mathematical formulas, they are irregular, uneven and often derive from nature. Examples are puddles, trees, animals, leaves, rocks and so on.

[edit] Texture

Texture refers to properties relating to the smoothness, softness or coarseness of a surface. In a design, texture helps to create visual interest or focal points, contrast and balance. There are two types of texture, real and implied.

[edit] Size

Size refers to degrees of smallness or largeness. Size can be used to describe importance, creating both visual interest and hierarchy among a series of design elements.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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