VC: Lines, Planes, Rhythm, Time & Space

In Ellen Lupton's Graphic Design The New Basics, Lupton writes about how a line can be a positive mark or a negative gap, straight or curved, continuous or broken. In the beginning of our current project, we created basic lines studies using Illustrator to communicate progression, randomness, and regularity. In creating black lines, the spaces between the lines creates a white negative gap that also becomes a line.

In the next phase of the project, we combined our basic lines studies to create more complex and interesting compositions. In this portion of the process, there are multiple principles and techniques that occur that Lupton also discusses in the readings. For instance in overlaying line studies, when two lines are close they can create a shape or a plane. Planes can be parallel to the picture surface, or it can skew and recede into space. During the critique on Friday, a couple of groups created planes to represent progression, such as Jessie and McKenzie who created a plane with squares decreasing in size into space and thus illustrating progression. Another example of how Lupton's readings apply to the assignment is rhythm and time. As Lupton states, graphic designers create rhythm by repeating elements such as circles and grids, but in our project we use lines.

In the process of overlaying lines, figure and ground relationships are also created. There are three forms of figure and ground relationships are stable, reversible and ambiguous, which all apply to our project. In a stable relationship, a form or figure stands clearly apart from the background. In some instances, black lines may appear as the figure while the white lines reside in the background and vice versa. In a reversible relationship, positive and negative elements attract our attention equally and alternately so black and white lines can both be seen as either figure or ground. Finally, in an ambiguous relationship, there isn't a clear distinction of ground or figure. The figure is enmeshed with the ground, carrying the viewer's eye around without a discernible focal point.

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