Design Basics: The Language of Form according to Paul Rand

So many students (and professionals) struggle with design principles. It is easy to put design on the back burner when working on an animated sequence that takes a great deal of technical effort. Yet all the greatest animation techniques in the world will not save a bad design. A bad design leads to poor communication of the message. And let's face it: every medium is about design. It's all about how you compose a page or screen or series of screens or any type of space with elements so people will look at and and draw meaning from it.

I try to utilize the "Language of Form" according to legendary designer Paul Rand in my work as well as encourage my students to do so. According to Mr. Rand, all design or art is the synthesis of Form and Content. So when creating a Form (or layout) to communicate a message, one must pay attention to the vocabulary of Form in order to create that synthesis.

Order, Variety, Contrast, Symmetry, Tension, Balance, Scale, Texture, Space, Shape, Light, Shade and Color are the words of this vocabulary according to Mr. Rand.

Check out this awesome piece created by Imaginary Forces that shows Mr. Rand talking about this subject while his designs animate to his narration.

Update on 2010-02-14 04:05 by Siena Design

More Details on the Language of Form

lang_of_form.jpg

So did you watch the Paul Rand video from Imaginary Forces in my last posting? Are you using these principles in your pieces? When was the last time you employed contrast or tension so that helped to convey your message. When was the last time you played with variety or texture? I've made some screen shots from the Imaginary Forces Paul Rand video as a reference for you. In a design rut? Try these principles in your own work!

Order, Variety, Contrast, Symmetry, Tension, Balance, Scale, Texture, Space, Shape, Light, Shade, Color