Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Using Balance: Part 2

Asymmetrical balance (also known as informal balance) is our topic this week. Again, if we imagine our pages divided evenly in four sections, it is a little easier to work on this. The center point (where the lines meet) is the axis. The goal is to make each section around this axis equal in visual weight. Thinking about the weight of items will help us be able to balance easier as we make pages. As mentioned before, light items are less weighty or dominant than dark items; large heavier than small; patterned or heavily textured items are heavier than non patterned or non textured elements. This can also mean that a small dark item might balance out a larger item that is of a lighter color. Or a textured item of a light color will balance out an item that is darker but without texture. Putting words or thought to this process makes us more aware and will help us create a better balance on our pages.

Let's look at some examples to help us understand this process. If we look at the page in portions and fill up one half of the space with a large picture. Then, in the other half of the paper something of equal weight is placed. In the examples by Isla and Annette in this post, the larger picture is balanced by either several smaller pictures or with journaling.

It might be easier to picture the asymmetrical balance by dividing the page differently than the four equal spaces discussed above. If you think about the page in three portions and still use the same idea of similar weight you might have picture(s) in one section and very different elements in the other sections, but it all balances. Here are a couple of pages that might be easier to see if thought of in three equal columns, rather than the four portions at first. It will work on the four portions as well, but is not as easy to see right off.

Sometimes it is taking items and moving them around and around on a page before the balance becomes clearer. At this time we are only focusing on the pictures and elements on the top of the page. We're trying not to look at the way the paper is put together under it. That will come later in the series. Take a look at billboards and magazine ads this week. See if you can name the way that they acheived balance in their designs. Did they use symmetrical or asymmetrical balance. Did they balance items in an informal style by using the same colors and sizes? How did they use light and dark or textures or sizes of items to acheive balance. If you try a simple assymetrical design this week. Link your examples here if you want. We'd love to see them. Next time we will continue to explore this topic with examples and the building of a page showing the many balance factors mentioned this week.

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