In a recent post, I started talking about getting back to design. At the end of that post, I briefly touched on design theory. While web design blogs and sites seem to be abuzz lately with talk of design, it is clear that such things inevitably devolve into discussion of the tools web designers use, and the ways these tools limit us. I want to delve deeper into the theory of graphic design – specifically composition – and not get sidetracked by implementation.
According to some schools of thought, composition theory is generally broken down into five fundamentals: Balance, Proportion, Rhythm, Emphasis and Unity. These are core concepts, and pertain directly to the layout of information on a page as much as the application of paint to a canvas, or light to photographic paper.
In addition to these fundamentals, there are Line, Shape, Direction, Texture, Value and Space. These elements fall between the theoretical fundamentals and the practical tools of composition. Thy are methods that designers use to apply the fundamentals.
This exploration of the theories of graphic design will appear in a series of posts, beginning with a look at balance. Some of these posts appeared in rudimentary form on a different website several years ago, but I have never been happy with that initial work, and have substantially edited and expanded it for inclusion on this series.
This series does not herald a change in direction for A Rain of Frogs. This site will continue to be what it has always been, a safety valve for creativity and expression.