elements of type


the idea

In this Elements of Type project, I used principles that I learned in process studies to create a final poster image that utilizes the Golden Ratio, as well as implied forces.  This poster brings together elements of typography, imagery, and graphics to achieve a final composition.

the process

To get to this final image, it was important for me to first understand the basic principles of aesthetics in design.  Throughout the semester in my Design Aesthetics class, I created various studies to lead up to the Elements of Type project.  These studies varied from spatial studies, to implied studies, to color and value studies.

form theory 1

My first study was the most simple.  I was to take a six inch by six inch square and use lines to create different ordering systems. (Such as regular and alternating as well as increasing and decreasing sequences)

Seen here is a study that displays figure ground reversal by increasing both black and white in opposite directions.

5 increase b&w opp dir-01.jpg

form theories 2 & 3

4 form study 3-01.jpg

In my second study, I began understanding the inherent forces. (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, the circle, and the center point) In this study, I used point and line.

In my third study, I focused again on the inherent forces, this time using point, line, and shape.

color theories 4, 5 & 6

In the next three studies, I began to explore color.

First, I studied value and hue, creating three value scales. (One grayscale, and two with chosen hues)

Second, I studied chroma and saturation, showing the progression from certain hues to a middle gray.  This study helped me to understand more how to distinguish strong from weak colors.

Next, I observed chroma and saturation again, but this time I used equal value compliments. The goal was to find the most neutral middle color between the two hues. 


color theory 7

In this study, I created a three tier structure.  Each tier displayed contrast hue, value, or saturation, using one of the classic color hierarchies.  

Tier 1: Equal Value; Contrast in Hue 

Tier 2: Equal Saturation; Contrast in Hue

Tier 3: Equal Hue Family; Contrast in Value and Saturation

 (from top to bottom)

slide show

form theory 8

Here, I created color studies using the form theories that I created earlier, to help me understand how color can affect perception of form and layout.



form theory 9

In this form theory, I went back to black and white to further my understanding of the inherent forces.  Here, I used right angles to enhance the compositions.  

The axis in these studies were rotated, but the 90 degree angles themselves were kept.

This study was done first using point and line, and then shape was added to the mix.

form theory 9

In this study, I learned more about spatial divisions.  I was given a rectangle to divide using my knowledge of inherent forces.

This study helped to practice divisions in a rectangular space as opposed to the squares I was used to working with, and helped to practice for the final step.


slide show


the final image

In this final study, I used the Golden Ratio to divide space.  I then used the principles of inherent forces that I had learned throughout the semester to complete the composition.  I chose an animal and a word describing that animal (a magical narwhal) to be the subject of my poster.  

Below are some the earlier iterations and ideas for the narwhal and the poster composition.