ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
- June 9, 2017
- Posted by: Rayat Bahra
- Category: Uncategorized
These are primarily the visual components used in creating a design on a composition. The elements that are basic to all visual designs are line, form, colour and texture. Three additional elements- patterns, light and space- help to complete it. Each of these basic elements is a well defined and dissimilar feature of every design. However, the effect of each element is considered only in connection with the other elements and the unit is judged as a whole. These elements, if used according to the principles of design, can ensure a certain degree of beauty in the final product.
Line: – This is very important element in planning and furnishing. It is the, most basic design element. Before the artist begins to paint, he or she must establish the directions of the lines of a painting on the canvas or paper. The artist combines horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and curved lines until the effect is pleasing to the eye. Likewise, the architect and the interior decorator must organize and combine lines positive emotional significance, depending upon their direction and their quality. In any interior, a combination of the four types of lines listed above is generally seen, each having their own influences. Certain associations may be made between man and the lines based on the positions his body takes in different actions.
Vertical lines: – ( | ) When standing, a human being is perceived as attentive and ready to act. Hence, vertical lines suggest steadfastness, steadiness, or an upward aim. These lines are masculine in effect severe, strong, direct, disciplined, and militaristic. They create a feeling of height, in hotels, the vertical lines of doorways; pillars, columns, draperies, and furniture give the necessary strength and height to rooms.
Horizontal lines: – () When a human being lies down, he or she is perceived as resting or sleeping. Therefore, the horizontal line naturally suggests rest, response, or steadiness. These lines give solidity and a down- to earth feeling. They suggest tranquility, serenity, and relaxation. They help to break the effect to the vertical lines carrying one’s eyes upward. In hotels, the horizontal lines of tables, sofas and other furniture complement the severely vertical lines in other parts of an area.
Diagonal lines: – () When running or, moving things, the human body is often in a diagonal position and therefore diagonal lines suggest movement and activity. These are lines of action, disturbing the discipline of straight lines and the solidity of horizontal lines. Forward- slanting lines suggest ‘push’ and backward- slanting lines ‘pull’. Diagonal lines are also suggestive of sophistication and refinement, and hence arouse interest. In hotels diagonal lines appear in staircases and sometimes in curtains, draperies, and wall paper.
Curved Lines: – () In relaxation, the body takes the curved position. Hence, curved lines indicate flexibility and grace. These lines are feminine in effect, graceful, suitable, carefree, youthful and joyous. In hotels, curved lines may form a transition between the abrupt joining of vertical and horizontal lines, such as those formed by tied back curtains, arches, and the graceful curves of furniture.
Form: – The term “form” is applied to three dimensional areas and objects, whereas “shape” may refer to a two- dimensional one. Hence, we can have a triangular shape and a pyramidal form or a cuboidal form with a square shape. Without the beauty of form, good texture, colour, or decoration can be of no use. However, a particular chair is not well designed unless it accommodates itself to the human form. The form of an object should thus suit its function.
Texture: – The word texture refers to the tactile quality of the surface of any objects or area. It refers to the surface quality- how something feels when we touch it and how. It behaves when light strikes it. Two basic categories of texture are tactile and visual.
Texture plays a very important part in interiors because it affects the quality and quantity of light reflected by the surface. Some terms used to describe textures are following: – glossy, dull, fine, flexible, rough, uneven, velvety, etc.
Colour: – The appeal of colour is universal. Colour is the impression received by the brain from certain stimulations of the retina in the eye. Its perception occurs because objects reflect or transmit light that enters the eye. Light rays that vary in wavelength and rates of vibration produce different sensations and appear as different colours. Daylight, although it appears as ‘white” light is actually composed or violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red colours of light.
Patterns: – This refers to any sort of surface enrichment and applies to both two- dimensional and three-dimensional objects. A large room can support more patterns than small one. Patterns used may be naturalistic, stylized, geometric, or abstract. Generally patterns should cover just about a quarter of the total surface area. If walls and carpets are plain, then draperies and upholstery may be patterned.
Light: – when light strikes an object, it may be reflected, absorbed, or allowed to pass through; light has a functional as well as an aesthetic effect. Light may be dull or sharp, bright or diffused. The ways light is used interiors has a definite emotional effect on the minds of the occupants of a space.
- Bright light energizes us and has a tendency to foster either hard work or energetic play.
- Subdued light makes us feel relaxed, but if too subdues, may put us to sleep.
- Too brilliant light often causes us to look away in physical and emotional distress.
- Warm-coloured light seems cheerful and welcoming.
- Cool- coloured light seems cheerful and welcoming.
- Cool-coloured light is often more restful.
Space: – This is among the most important element of interior design. The organization of space is basic to architecture and interior decoration. Unless a space is thoughtfully planned, nothing else will seem quite right. Almost any space, if sensitively handled, can be made effective, livable, and even and dramatic. A sense of the beauty of a space makes us want large undecorated walls and floors can be bound together by other elements without disturbing its effect. The appreciation of good spacing is the reason we may use the minimum amount of furniture and concentrate them in groups so that we can have empty, silent spaces in the rooms.
The study of colours may be approached from any one of five angles: that of physiologists, that of chemists, that of physicists, that of psychologists, that of people who work with pigments. Of the many theories of colour two are in common uses. When choosing colours for any establishment it needs to be remembered that there are certain architectural and psychological aspects of colour; thus colours can substantially alter the apparent size or shape of a room, or add to its warmth, cheerfulness, peace and quiet,
E.g. reds, yellows, browns and the darker shades of most colours are warm and advancing colours and when used on an end wall may shorten the apparent length of the room or if on a ceiling may lessen its apparent height.
Cool colours, pale greens and blues and lighter shades in general are receding colours and tend to make a small room look larger but should be avoided in rooms with northerly or easterly aspects because of their cold appearance.
While some people have a preference for one colour more than another, it is recognized that many colours have a similar effect on different people.
E.g. reds, oranges, and yellows are warm and stimulating
Pastel shades are cooler and more restful,
Green is cool and has a soothing, pleasing effect, pale blue is fresh and cool but dark blue can be depressing if used in large areas,
Purple has richness,
Browns and other dark colours give the impression of comfort, white can appear hygienic and cold.
So, in order that the occupants of a room should not be disturbed by the colours, the function of the rooms should not be forgotten when the colours are chosen. The entrance hall should look inviting. Restaurant should have a relaxed atmosphere, while bars should be bright and cheerful.
Colours may unify an area but can be affected by the amount of light falling on them and so will appear different in areas of light and shade.
e.g. curtains appear darker by day when light enters beside them than at night when the light falls on them.
In most decorative schemes there will be a main, contrasting and a neutral colour, and once the main colour is chosen according to the use of the area and the atmosphere required.
Primary Colours: – These are the basic pigments which form all colours. They cannot be obtained by mixing other hues. Red, yellow, and blue are the fundamental or primary colours, which can be mixed so as to form all the other colours, but which cannot themselves be made by mixing any other colours.
Secondary/Binary: – Secondary colours result when two primary colours are mixed in equal amounts. There are three secondary colours.
Purple Red + Blue
Orange Yellow + Red
Green Yellow + Blue
The primary and secondary colours are together called the six standard colours.
Tertiary/ intermediate colours: – When a primary colour and a neighbouring secondary are mixed in equal amounts, and intermediate hue results. In appearance, the intermediate is halfway between its adjacent colours.
Red + Orange= Russet, Burnt orange, coral etc.
Author: Cassandra Roberts,
Dean University School of Hotel Management & Catering Technology