Visual Design

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  1. Abstract
    referring to a restructuring of visual phenomena emphasizing the relational and dynamic nature of the visual elements. All works of art are abstract. Most often the work is totally without the use of images
  2. Actual texture
    the tangible tactile quality of a surface, its smoothness, roughness, slickness, etc.
  3. Aesthetic
    of or pertaining to the sense of beautiful and the notion of what constitutes artistic merit.
  4. Ambiguity
    a deliberate vague quality in a work of art, open to different interpretations, i.e. ambiguous space.
  5. Anomaly
    a disturbance or difference occurring in a predictable pattern.
  6. Asymmetry
    asymmetry is the opposite of symmetry. A composition is described as asymmetrical if it has an uneven distribution of parts. Perfectly symmetrical compositions can be static and boring and in order to add visual impact to a symmetrical composition, the artist will usually choose to add some asymmetrical elements to a design so that although there is still a feeling of symmetry, it is approximate rather than exact
  7. Atmospheric Perspective (Aerial Perspective)
    an illusionary device to create space on a flat surface based upon the observations that nearer objects tend to have more contrast in value, more intense color, more visible detail, and generally more sharply defined than objects seen in the distance.
  8. axis
    an implied line passing centrally through a shape or form
  9. balance
    a sense of visual equilibrium achieved by manipulating the various elements within a composition to achieve a feeling of unity and wholeness. This is an intuitive skill that can be awakened and improved through practice, critique and example.
  10. calligraphic line (gestural line)
    a line suggesting action and movement
  11. Cliched
    (trendy, fashionable) referring to a visual image that has lost impact and seems trite from extensive overuse
  12. Closed shape
    an unbroken shape with no projections or voids
  13. Color
    a visual element having properties of hue, value and intensity produced by the reflection of light of a certain wavelength off a surface; a way of using color for some effect, for example, "the color in that painting creates a somber mood"
  14. Composition
    the arrangement and/or structure of all of the elements that are organized by the Gestalt principles that helps to achieve a unified whole. This term is interchangeable with the term design. A KNOWLEDGE OF COMPOSITION IS ESSENTIAL TO ALL AREAS OF VISUAL ART.
  15. Compression
    the illusion or act of squeezing together, condensing or pressing into a small space; becoming one mass
  16. Concept
    the idea upon which a visual expression is based
  17. Conceptual art
    works where the concept is more important than the form
  18. Content
    the subject matter and form of a visual expression and the intellectual ideas and emotions it suggests
  19. Contour Line
    a line which defines the edge of a shape or the line formed by the edge of one shape against another; contour lines in drawing also include the edges caused b plane changes within volumes
  20. contrast
    a visual difference that is strong enough to make two elements distinct from one another
  21. Design
    (see composition) also the field of visual art applied to the commercial world where communication of an idea ( through form and content) is of primary importance; also referred to as graphic art, graphic design, visual communication, commercial art ( other specific areas of design may include product or industrial design, interior design, landscape design or architectural design).
  22. Design principles
    the principles for organizing the visual elements into a composition
  23. directional lines
    implied lines in a composition such as the axis of a shape, eye-lines or continuations.
  24. dynamic
    suggesting movement
  25. emphasis
    the principle of visual organization in which certain elements assume more importance than others in the same composition or design. Some features are emphasized and others are subordinated. This is an important tool in the creation of meaning and content as the artist directs the viewer to see what is most important, or leads the viewer through a narrative series.
  26. Expressive line
    a line that varies in weight, value, direction or texture and used by the artist to achieve a specific intent
  27. eye-line
    the implied line in a work along which the eyes of a human figure seem to be looking
  28. Figure
    the shape in a design that appears as the object or as more positive
  29. figure/ground relationship (positive/negative space)
    the interdependence of a shape and its background
  30. figure/ground reversal
    the ambiguous relationship between a figure and a ground when both can be perceived as both figure and ground depending on an individual's choice of organization
  31. Flat space (two-dimensional space)
    the emphasis on the arrangement of visual elements on the picture plane with no attempt to create the illusion of depth
  32. flexure
    illusionistic or actual force of bending
  33. focal point
    the area that is given enough emphasis to become the most noticeable element in a design
  34. Form
    the physical aspects of a work and its overall organization of visual elements as opposed to its subject
  35. Formal Concerns
    considerations of form as opposed to subject
  36. Geometric shape
    a shape defined by straight lines and arcs (circle segments)
  37. Gestalt Principles
    Gestalt principles are those that describe our natural tendency to grasp something as a whole rather than seeing it as a series of separate elements. These contribute to our sense of unity in a composition
  38. Closure
    Gestalt grouping principle that describes a innate perceptual tendency to perceive separate elements as a group or totally, the tendency to close gaps or fill in missing parts of a whole
  39. Continuation (Alignment)
    when two or more elements are "lined up" with each other, they form an implied line
  40. Grouping
    the visual linkage of elements in a design achieved through proximity and similarity
  41. proximity
    grouping elements that are placed close together
  42. similarity
    a group of similar elements-same size, same value, same shape, etc.
  43. grid
    a system of fixed horizontal and vertical lines
  44. ground
    that shape surrounding the figure that appears as background or field upon which the figure sits
  45. Harmony
    the quality of relating the visual elements of a composition Harmony is achieved by repetition of characteristics that are the same or similar along with variety within a given composition to prevent the creation of compositions that can be described by such negative terms as boring, static, and unimaginative
  46. Illustration
    an area of visual art, usually commercial in nature, which serves to educate, sell a product, clarify or enhance a text and/or inform
  47. Image
    a visual expression
  48. implied line
    lines that are suggested but do not physically exist
  49. interpenetration
    the exchange of elements between major subdivisions of a design
  50. interval
    the distance or amount of time between elements
  51. juxtaposition
    the placing of two or more objects, elements, or concepts side by side for comparison or contrast
  52. line
    an object that is significantly longer than it is wide
  53. linear structure (linear construction)
    actual and implied lines which can act as a basis for a design
  54. linear perspective
    a system using converging lines to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface
  55. local value
    the inherent lightness or darkness of an object aside from the effects of light and shade
  56. Mass
    an area formed by the grouping of elements through close proximity; referring to weight in two and three dimensional art.
  57. middle gray
    the value that is visually halfway between black and white
  58. motion
    illusionistic, implied or actual movement
  59. non-representational (Non-figurative or non-objective)
    refers to a visual expression that makes no attempt to produce illusions of external reality
  60. open shape
    a shape broken by projections and/or voids
  61. organic shape (biomorphic or curvilinear)
    a shape defined by free flowing curves and a lack of rigid geometry
  62. overlap
    a spatial device producing the illusion of depth by placing an element partially in front of another
  63. pattern
    repetition of elements within a composition or design that produce interconnections and obvious directional movements. An allover pattern refers to the repetition of designed units in a readily recognizable systematic organization that covers the entire surface.
  64. picture plane
    the actual flat surface on which the artist executes a pictorial image
  65. point
    a visual element produced by a mark made by a tool, the intersection or two or more lines, or a small area of emphasis
  66. proportion
    the comparison of the art elements to one another in terms of their properties of size, quantity and degree of emphasis. Proportion can be expressed in terms of a definitie ratio such as "twice as big" or be more loosely indicateed in such expressions as "darker than", "more neutralized" or "more important than".
  67. radial composition
    A design that has major images or parts that emanate from a central location.
  68. read
    The act of understanding the intent of the artist, i.e. to read a painting
  69. rectilinear shape
    A shape defined by straight lines
  70. repetition
    The use of the same or similar visual effects a number of times in the same composition. Repetition may produce the dominance of one visual idea, a feel of harmony or an obviously planned pattern or rhythm
  71. representational (figurative or objective)
    Refers to a visual expression that attempts to produce illusions of external reality
  72. rhythm
    A feeling of flow, continuance or movement created by the repetition of motifs or accents. This repetition could be a color, a shape or any other repeated element.
  73. scale (size)
    a spatial cue giving the illusion of depth by adjusting the relative sizes of objects or elements, the overall size of a visual expression
  74. shape (plane)
    A surface area defined by boundaries
  75. simulated texture
    The illusion or sensation of a certain texture, however, if touched, it would feel much different
  76. space
    The measurable distance between points or images. Space can also refer to the illusion of depth within a composition created by the overlapping or shapes, gradation of sizes or use of perspective.
  77. static
    appearing inert
  78. stress
    Illusionistic or actual force of a large weight over a small area
  79. surface
    The physical appearance or tactile quality of the surface of a work achieved by the choice and use of the medium combined with the surface to which it is applied
  80. symbolism
    The practice of using something to represent something else through association or convention, the use of symbols
  81. symmetry
    Symmetry refers to the duplication of a shape or a composition in a mirror‐like repetition on either side of a central axis.
  82. tacile
    Relating to the sense of touch
  83. texture
    Actual or simulated surface quality alluding to the sense of touch
  84. texture-like effects
    the repetition of small elements over and over again in very close proximity to achieve a textural quality
  85. transparency
    a spatial device used to achieve depth by using materials one can see through or by giving the illusion of seeing one element through another i.e. color may be "transparent" or it may give the illusion of transparency when the apparent area of overlapping of two overlapped planes takes on the character of the mixture of the two colors
  86. unity
    the result of bringing the elements of art into the appropriate ratio between harmony and contrast to give a sense of oneness
  87. value
    the relative lightness or darkness of a color or a grey
  88. value contrast
    the difference between values in specific areas of a design. Used to create value structure

    • Low Key: mostly a small range of light values • Middle Key: mostly a small range of dark values • High Key: mostly a small range of dark values • High Value Contrast: range of values that are at opposite ends of the Value Scale
  89. value scale
    a representation of the various values ranging from black to white with a specified number of grays in between. Middle grey would be at the center of the value scale
  90. value structure
    the pattern, construction or configuration based upon the arrangement of values in a design
  91. variety
    Differences achieved by opposing, contrasting, changing, and/or diversifying the elements within a design to add individuality, interest and visual impact. Variety counterbalances harmony and hopefully prevents the creation of compositions that can be described by such negative terms as boring, static, and unimaginative.
  92. visual weight
    The degree of attention or sustained interest which an element or mass commands in relation to other elements or masses within a visual expression
  93. volume
    In a two‐dimensional composition, volume is the illusion that an object is three‐dimensional. This is usually accomplished through value gradation and highlighting to give the illusion that a shape is occupying actual space
  94. weight of a line
    the thickness of a line
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Visual Design
2014-04-16 23:46:21
Visual Design

Intro to Visual Design Final
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