Arbustwerk https://arbustwerk.com Creative Minds Fri, 18 Dec 2015 03:31:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Hello world! https://arbustwerk.com/2015/12/18/hello-world/ Fri, 18 Dec 2015 03:31:22 +0000 https://arbustwerk.com/?p=1 Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

]]>
Visual weight & direction https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/14/design-principles-visual-weight-and-direction/ https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/14/design-principles-visual-weight-and-direction/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 15:03:29 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/studio8/?p=548 Every element on a web page exerts a visual force that attracts the eye of the viewer. The greater the force, the more the eye is attracted. These forces also appear to act on other elements, imparting a visual direction to their potential movement and suggesting where you should look next.

We refer to this force as visual weight and to the perceived direction of visual forces as visual direction. Both are important concepts to understand if you want to create hierarchy, flow, rhythm and balance in your composition.

Note: This is the fourth post in a series on design principles. You can find the first three posts in the series here:

[list type=”unordered”]

  • Design Principles: Visual Perception and the Principles of Gestalt
  • Design Principles: Space and the Figure-Ground Relationship
  • Design Principles: Connecting and Separating Elements Through Contrast and Similarity
  • [/list]

    Visual Weight

    Physical weight is a measure of the force that gravity exerts on an object, but two-dimensional objects (such as elements on a web page) don’t have mass and, therefore, don’t have any physical weight. Visual weight is a measure of the force that an element exerts to attract the eye. Two-dimensional objects can attract attention. The more an element attracts the eye, the greater its visual weight.

    In the previous post in this series I talked about primitive features, or the intrinsic characteristics of an element, such as size, color and shape. In that post I mentioned how, through these features, you can show contrast and similarity between elements.

    For example, contrasting elements by making one very big and the other very small makes it clear that the elements are different.
    Controlling the combination of these features is how you control visual weight. Red tends to attract the eye more than blue, and larger elements attract the eye more than smaller ones. A large red object carries more visual weight than a small blue object.

    The sum of these characteristics or primitive features is what determines an element’s visual weight. It’s not any one feature, but rather their combination that determines the visual weight of an element. Some combinations of features will attract the eye more than others. To create elements of different visual weight, you would use different combinations of primitive features.

    How do you measure visual weight ?

    There’s no way I know of to precisely measure the visual weight of a design element. You use your experience and judgment to determine which elements have greater or lesser weight. Develop an eye and then trust it. The areas of a composition that attract your eye are those that have greater visual weight. Learn to trust your eye.

    This doesn’t mean that you have to randomly try things and see what attracts your eye the most and the least. You can isolate each characteristic to know that something bigger weighs more than something smaller, for example. It’s in the combination of features that your eye will help.

    Fortunately, others have isolated and tested these characteristics. Below are some of the characteristics you can change on any element and a description of how changing them will either increase or decrease the element’s visual weight.

    ]]>
    https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/14/design-principles-visual-weight-and-direction/feed/ 2
    Visual perception & the principles of Gestalt https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/12/design-principles-visual-perception-and-the-principles-of-gestalt/ https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/12/design-principles-visual-perception-and-the-principles-of-gestalt/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:00:53 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/studio8/?p=551 In 1910, psychologist Max Wertheimer had an insight when he observed a series of lights flashing on and off at a railroad crossing. It was similar to how the lights encircling a movie theater marquee flash on and off.

    To the observer, it appears as if a single light moves around the marquee, traveling from bulb to bulb, when in reality it’s a series of bulbs turning on and off and the lights don’t move it all.

    This observation led to a set of descriptive principles about how we visually perceive objects. These principles sit at the heart of nearly everything we do graphically as designers.

    This is the start of a series of posts about design principles. It begins with these principles of gestalt, because many of the design principles we follow arise out of gestalt theory. In this post, I’ll walk you through a little bit of theory and offer some basic definitions of gestalt principles.
    Future posts in this series will consider aspects of design like space, balance and visual hierarchy. In upcoming posts, I’ll point out which gestalt principles influence the aspects of design being discussed, and I’ll offer more practical uses and examples of how the gestalt principles are used in Web design.

    The Key Ideas Behind Gestalt Theory

    The quote above is gestalt in a nutshell. When human beings see a group of objects, we perceive their entirety before we see the individual objects. We see the whole as more than the sum of the parts, and even when the parts are entirely separate entities, we’ll look to group them as some whole.

    The whole is other than the sum of the parts.Kurt Koffka

    Emergence (the whole is identified before the parts)

    Emergence is the process of forming complex patterns from simple rules. When attempting to identify an object, we first seek to identify its outline. We then match this outline pattern against shapes and objects we already know to find a match. Only after the whole emerges through this outline pattern matching, do we start to identify the parts that make up the whole.

    When designing, keep in mind that people will identify elements first by their general form. A simple well defined object will communicate more quickly than a detailed object with a hard to recognize contour.

    Reification (our mind fills in the gaps)

    Reification is an aspect of perception in which the object as perceived contains more spatial information than what is actually present. As we attempt to match what we see to the familiar patterns we have stored in memory, there isn’t always an exact match. Instead we find a near match and then fill in the gaps of what we think we should see.

    Reification suggests that we don’t need to present the complete outline in order of viewers to see it. We can leave out parts of the outline as long as we provide enough of it to allow for a close enough pattern match. You can see examples of this a little further down under the principle of closure.

    Multi-stability (the mind seeks to avoid uncertainty)

    Multi-stability is the tendency of ambiguous perceptual experiences to move unstably back and forth between alternative interpretations. Some objects can be perceived in more than one way. An example from below in the section of figure/ground is one you’ve likely seen before. The image can be seen as either two faces in profile or as a vase.

    You can see these ideas in play in the principles below. The main idea is that gestalt principles are about perception and what is visually communicated by objects. The principles speak to the core of the visual language within which we work.

    Summary

    Gestalt principles are important to understand. They sit at the foundation of everything we do visually as designers. They describe how everyone visually perceives objects.
    The principles above should be relatively easy to understand. For most of them, the definition and the image are probably all you needed to understand the principle. At the same time, understanding the basic ideas of these principles isn’t the same as understanding how they influence design.
    In the coming weeks we’ll look more at how gestalt influences design. We’ll see how symmetry helps us balance a composition and how combining focal points and similarity allows us to create a visual hierarchy in a design.

    ]]>
    https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/12/design-principles-visual-perception-and-the-principles-of-gestalt/feed/ 2
    Space and the figure-ground relationship https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/05/space-and-the-figure-ground-relationship/ https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/05/space-and-the-figure-ground-relationship/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 09:00:21 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/studio8/?p=560 If you see graphic design as a process of arranging shapes on a canvas, then you’re only seeing half of what you work with. The negative space of the canvas is just as important as the positive elements that we place on the canvas.

    Design is an arrangement of both shapes and space. To work more effectively with space, you must first become aware of it and learn to see it — learn to see the shapes that space forms and how space communicates. This is second part of a series on design principles for beginners. The first part covered an introduction to gestalt; the rest of the series (including this post) will build on those gestalt principles and show how many of the fundamental principles we work with as designers have their origin there.

    The Figure-Ground Relationship

    The gestalt principle that applies most to space is that of figure-ground. Everything in a design of yours will be seen as one or the other, and the relationship between them is mutually exclusive. Neither can be perceived except in relation to the other, and changing one is impossible without changing the other as well.

    The figure-ground relationship is also complementary. Figure and ground can enhance or detract from each other, and organizing the two in relation to each other is one of the more important aspects of design. It sets a context for how your design communicates and how it will be interpreted.

    White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.Jan Tschichold

    Consider the three panels in the image above. On the left, we see a series of black lines with an equal amount of white space between them. Together, the black lines and white space form a gray field, each contributing equally to the result. Removing the space (in the second panel) completely changes the field, rendering it as a solid-black shape. Not only is the space gone, but the individual elements have become a single element.

    In the third panel, two of the black lines have been removed. This activates the space, making it appear to be sitting on top of the gray field. The ground has become the figure and adds more depth to the design.

    Depending on which relationship you set up and how you balance both figure and ground, you direct the audience to look at different parts of the design and interpret what they see in different contexts.

    Figure-ground is not the only gestalt principle in which space plays a prominent role. Two others are these:

    [list type=”unordered”]

  • Proximity

    Proximity uses space to connect and separate elements by enclosing some elements in space. An example we might take for granted is paragraphs of text on the page. The space between paragraphs is greater than the space between lines of text within a paragraph.

  • Closure

    This makes use of space as gaps between elements. Viewers fill in the gaps with their own information to complete a whole from the parts. Too much space and no closure occurs. Too little space and no closure is needed. Only the correct balance between space and filled-in space will activate the space and lead to closure.

  • [/list]

    Space As A Design Element

    Think about music for a moment. If every note or chord were played at the same time, you wouldn’t have music. You’d have noise. Music occurs when sounds are contrasted against silence. Varying the pattern of sound and silence creates rhythm and melody. Without the silence, there is no music.

    Space performs the same function visually. It gives positive elements room to breathe. It gives the eye freedom to move through a design and to discover the elements it’s looking for. The positive is seen only in contrast with the negative. Without space, you don’t have design. You have visual noise.

    Unless noise is what you’re trying to communicate, lean toward space. People are less likely to complain about too much space than about too little.

    ]]>
    https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/05/space-and-the-figure-ground-relationship/feed/ 1
    Why you should include your developer in the design process https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/01/why-you-should-include-your-developer-in-the-design-process/ Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:03:08 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/thedesigner/?p=188 Should designers be able to code? This topic never seems to die, with its endless blog posts, Twitter discussions and conference talks. But the developer’s involvement in the design process seems to be addressed very little.

    Design is an arrangement of both shapes and space. To work more effectively with space, you must first become aware of it and learn to see it — learn to see the shapes that space forms and how space communicates. This is second part of a series on design principles for beginners. The first part covered an introduction to gestalt; the rest of the series (including this post) will build on those gestalt principles and show how many of the fundamental principles we work with as designers have their origin there.

    The Figure-Ground Relationship

    The gestalt principle that applies most to space is that of figure-ground. Everything in a design of yours will be seen as one or the other, and the relationship between them is mutually exclusive. Neither can be perceived except in relation to the other, and changing one is impossible without changing the other as well.

    The figure-ground relationship is also complementary. Figure and ground can enhance or detract from each other, and organizing the two in relation to each other is one of the more important aspects of design. It sets a context for how your design communicates and how it will be interpreted.

    White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.Jan Tschichold

    Consider the three panels in the image above. On the left, we see a series of black lines with an equal amount of white space between them. Together, the black lines and white space form a gray field, each contributing equally to the result. Removing the space (in the second panel) completely changes the field, rendering it as a solid-black shape. Not only is the space gone, but the individual elements have become a single element.

    In the third panel, two of the black lines have been removed. This activates the space, making it appear to be sitting on top of the gray field. The ground has become the figure and adds more depth to the design.

    Depending on which relationship you set up and how you balance both figure and ground, you direct the audience to look at different parts of the design and interpret what they see in different contexts.

    Figure-ground is not the only gestalt principle in which space plays a prominent role. Two others are these:

    [list type=”unordered”]

  • Proximity

    Proximity uses space to connect and separate elements by enclosing some elements in space. An example we might take for granted is paragraphs of text on the page. The space between paragraphs is greater than the space between lines of text within a paragraph.

  • Closure

    This makes use of space as gaps between elements. Viewers fill in the gaps with their own information to complete a whole from the parts. Too much space and no closure occurs. Too little space and no closure is needed. Only the correct balance between space and filled-in space will activate the space and lead to closure.

  • [/list]

    Space As A Design Element

    Think about music for a moment. If every note or chord were played at the same time, you wouldn’t have music. You’d have noise. Music occurs when sounds are contrasted against silence. Varying the pattern of sound and silence creates rhythm and melody. Without the silence, there is no music.

    Space performs the same function visually. It gives positive elements room to breathe. It gives the eye freedom to move through a design and to discover the elements it’s looking for. The positive is seen only in contrast with the negative. Without space, you don’t have design. You have visual noise.

    Unless noise is what you’re trying to communicate, lean toward space. People are less likely to complain about too much space than about too little.

    Credit: Smashing Magazine

    ]]>
    A design philosophy https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/01/a-design-philosophy/ Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:45:31 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/thedesigner/?p=182 Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. In addition to these central problems for design as a whole, many philosophers of design consider these problems as they apply to particular disciplines (e.g. philosophy of art).

    Design is an arrangement of both shapes and space. To work more effectively with space, you must first become aware of it and learn to see it — learn to see the shapes that space forms and how space communicates. This is second part of a series on design principles for beginners. The first part covered an introduction to gestalt; the rest of the series (including this post) will build on those gestalt principles and show how many of the fundamental principles we work with as designers have their origin there.

    The Figure-Ground Relationship

    The gestalt principle that applies most to space is that of figure-ground. Everything in a design of yours will be seen as one or the other, and the relationship between them is mutually exclusive. Neither can be perceived except in relation to the other, and changing one is impossible without changing the other as well.

    The figure-ground relationship is also complementary. Figure and ground can enhance or detract from each other, and organizing the two in relation to each other is one of the more important aspects of design. It sets a context for how your design communicates and how it will be interpreted.

    White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.Jan Tschichold

    Consider the three panels in the image above. On the left, we see a series of black lines with an equal amount of white space between them. Together, the black lines and white space form a gray field, each contributing equally to the result. Removing the space (in the second panel) completely changes the field, rendering it as a solid-black shape. Not only is the space gone, but the individual elements have become a single element.

    In the third panel, two of the black lines have been removed. This activates the space, making it appear to be sitting on top of the gray field. The ground has become the figure and adds more depth to the design.

    Depending on which relationship you set up and how you balance both figure and ground, you direct the audience to look at different parts of the design and interpret what they see in different contexts.

    Figure-ground is not the only gestalt principle in which space plays a prominent role. Two others are these:

    [list type=”unordered”]

  • Proximity

    Proximity uses space to connect and separate elements by enclosing some elements in space. An example we might take for granted is paragraphs of text on the page. The space between paragraphs is greater than the space between lines of text within a paragraph.

  • Closure

    This makes use of space as gaps between elements. Viewers fill in the gaps with their own information to complete a whole from the parts. Too much space and no closure occurs. Too little space and no closure is needed. Only the correct balance between space and filled-in space will activate the space and lead to closure.

  • [/list]

    Space As A Design Element

    Think about music for a moment. If every note or chord were played at the same time, you wouldn’t have music. You’d have noise. Music occurs when sounds are contrasted against silence. Varying the pattern of sound and silence creates rhythm and melody. Without the silence, there is no music.

    Space performs the same function visually. It gives positive elements room to breathe. It gives the eye freedom to move through a design and to discover the elements it’s looking for. The positive is seen only in contrast with the negative. Without space, you don’t have design. You have visual noise.

    Unless noise is what you’re trying to communicate, lean toward space. People are less likely to complain about too much space than about too little.

    Credit: Smashing Magazine

    ]]>
    Dieter rams 10 principles of design https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/01/dieter-rams-10-principles-of-design/ Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:38:57 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/thedesigner/?p=178 Rams began studies in architecture and interior decoration at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1947. Soon after in 1948, he took a break from studying to gain practical experience and conclude his carpentry apprenticeship.

    He resumed studies at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1948 and graduated with honours in 1953 after which he began working for Frankfurt based architect Otto Apel. In 1955, he was recruited to Braun as an architect and an interior designer. In addition, in 1961, he became the Chief Design Officer at Braun until 1995.

    Rams introduced the idea of sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime in design in the 1970s. Accordingly he asked himself the question: is my design good design? The answer formed his now celebrated ten principles.

    Good design

    Is innovative – The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself.
    Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it.

    Is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
    Makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

    Is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

    Is honest – It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

    Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

    Is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

    Is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

    Is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec ac purus nec diam laoreet sollicitudin. Fusce ullamcorper imperdiet turpis, non accumsan enim egestas in.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec ac purus nec diam laoreet sollicitudin. Fusce ullamcorper imperdiet turpis, non accumsan enim egestas in.

    ]]>
    The right typeface can make all the difference https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/01/the-right-typeface-can-make-all-the-difference/ Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:33:33 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/thedesigner/?p=175 In traditional typography, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font was a matched set of metal type, one piece (called a “sort”) for each glyph, and a typeface comprised a range of fonts that shared an overall design.

    In modern usage, with the advent of digital typography, font is frequently synonymous with typeface. In particular, the use of “vector” or “outline” fonts means that different sizes of a typeface can be dynamically generated from one design.

    Font Characteristics

    In addition to the character height, when using the mechanical sense of the term, there are several characteristics which may distinguish fonts, though they would also depend on the script(s) that the typeface supports. In European alphabetic scripts, i.e. Latin, Cyrillic and Greek, the main such properties are the stroke width, called weight, the style or angle and the character width.

    Different fonts of the same typeface may be used in the same work for various degrees of readability and emphasis.

    The regular or standard font is sometimes labeled roman, both to distinguish it from bold or thin and from italic or oblique. The keyword for the default, regular case is often omitted for variants and never repeated, otherwise it would be Bulmer regular italic, Bulmer bold regular and even Bulmer regular regular. Roman can also refer to the language coverage of a font, acting as a shorthand for “Western European.”

    ]]>
    Writing more efficient CSS https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/01/writing-more-efficient-css/ Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:32:38 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/thedesigner/?p=172 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation semantics (the look and formatting) of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can also be applied to any kind of XML document, including plain XML, SVG and XUL.

    CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content from document presentation.

    CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation, including elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content (such as by allowing for tableless web design).

    [code].post code {
    background: #90979F;
    color: #fff;
    padding: 40px;
    }[/code]

    CSS can also allow the same markup page to be presented in different styles for different rendering methods, such as on-screen, in print, by voice (when read out by a speech-based browser or screen reader) and on Braille-based, tactile devices. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content (such as by allowing for tableless web design).

    [code].post pre {
    background: #F9F9F9;
    font-family: “Courier 10 Pitch”, Courier, monospace;
    font-size: 15px;
    line-height: 1.6;
    margin-bottom: 1.6em;
    }[/code]

    ]]>
    Choosing the right business cards https://arbustwerk.com/2014/12/01/choosing-the-right-business-cards-2/ Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:29:43 +0000 http://themes.simonbouchard.com/thedesigner/?p=165 Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver’s name, company or business affiliation and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number, fax number, e-mail addresses and website.

    Before the advent of electronic communication business cards might also include telex details. Now they may include social media addresses such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Traditionally many cards were simple black text on white stock; today a professional business card will sometimes include one or more aspects of striking visual design.

    Construction

    Business cards are printed on some form of card stock, the visual effect, method of printing, cost and other details varying according to cultural or organizational norms and personal preferences. The common weight of a business card varies some by location. Generally, business cards are printed on stock that is 350 g/m2 (density), 45 kg (100 lb) (weight), or 12 pt (thickness).

    [carousel_image]
    [carousel_item]Ivan-Dilberovic-Business-Cards-l[/carousel_item]
    [carousel_item]Tactic-Business-Cards-l[/carousel_item]
    [carousel_item]Triumph-Business-Cards-l[/carousel_item]
    [carousel_item]Yaroslav-Basov-Business-Cards-l[/carousel_item]
    [carousel_item]Cheese-Coalition-Business-Card-l[/carousel_item]
    [/carousel_image]

    ]]>