To the untrained eye an advert, web design, graphic or art piece may seem to have been designed without any thought of how it all fits together, the reason why this is so is because the composition has been placed so well that it is almost unnoticeable. In this post I will be discussing why designers always consider composition in mind as they begin a new piece of work and how you too can take this skill and put it into your creative arsenal.
Everything in this world is made up of careful space arrangement from where you place your chair to where you place your monitor for optimum experience also known as ergonomics. If your chair is too low or your screen too far or too close to where you are sitting then you will not get the best user experience. All design work has this kind of spatial arrangement from architecture to fine art dividing spaces in a way that is appeasing to the eye is important.
Without placement this dot is centered and provides no interest or movement in the piece it simply draws your eye to thet middle. This method of placement does have its use when you have one main focal point or you want your viewer to look at one main thing.
Carefully offsetting the main visual component from the centre starts to draw one’s eye to other parts of the complete composition creating a feeling of movement and exploration drawing the viewer into the message the piece of art is holding.
Lastly, when you have more than one main point of interest in a composition consider the relationship between the two, looking at the above image you can see that there is a relationship between the two dots and the empty space.
Task : Study some adverts in a magazine notice how the main composition is layed out and how they relate to each other. If there is only one graphical element how is the text layed out in comparison to the product or element in the advert?
You’ve got a set of flowers in a beautiful bulbous crystal vase and you have three options where in your home you want to place them.
You can place it in the window so others looking in can see the colours of the arrangement or a table against a wall painted magnolia thus adding vibrance to a once drab corner of the room or thirdly, in the kitchen so when you are washing up you can smell the bouquet and feast your eyes on their natural beauty.
The message here is that depending upon your key goal placement can play a part in your judgements. Here is an example….
Example of placement
Image you the designer of a layout for a car advert, you have different options how you want to layout the image depending upon the message you want to portray. If you want people to imagine hitting the highway for a road trip maybe you would include more of the road
Or what if the marketing message was that by owning this car it would give you freedom, would more sky in the advert communicate this?
Or thirdly, do you want to promote the elegant design form of the car for those people who like their car to look sleak, with an excellent body? A close up of the form might be more interesting to that target market.
Although we all have varying tastes when it comes to design most composition tends to follow a set of rules to be seen as aesthetically beautiful and this rule is know as the Golden Ratio.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand these elements of design just yet, simply practice and be conscious of the visual layout you are creating with each and every new design you make and you will find it becomes your second nature.
Part 2 of this blog post about composition will look at the golden ratio and the rule of thirds. Do you know of any good pieces of art or design that show great composition design? Please comment and share in the box comment box below.