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Creating Contrast

• Value and Color

• Large and small: placing mass in space
• Shapes and lines
• Angles and diagonals
• Dimension: expand the space
• Mood and emotions

Positive Shapes...
  • Squares and rectangles: Typical for photos or blocks of color, even simple blocks can be dynamic, if size and color contrasts exist between shapes.

  • Lines: vertical, horizontal, curved or linear. Paths for the eye to follow. Effectively point to images and/or words.

  • Circle: a potent symbol. Curves create complex negative spaces

  • Triangle: directs or points, suggests a hierarchy or goal, direction

  • Freeform, organic shapes: create interesting spaces that flow around the shape. Siloutted or outlined photographs have same effect.

Create negative spaces

  • Although foreground elements draw attention first, learn to focus on the space that is created around them.

  • Space creates divisions between elements. The key is to group objects that belong together in proximity to each other, and to use space to set them apart from other objects or text.

  • Watch out for tangents, or points where elements touch. Either overlap or move them farther apart.

next: Angles and Diagonals


Shapes have personality...
As soon as you place a shape in space, a
relationship begins.
Notice the more stagnant feeling of the symmetrical design as compared to the energy and motion of the asymetrical. Also, note that the circles do not touch. If they did, tension would occur at tangent points.