Relations Part II


In this section of Leborg’s book, Visual Grammar, Leborg discusses the different ways in which a designer can choose for objects to interact, or relate, to one another within a composition. The varying ways in which a designer can chose to place or manipulate objects can alters the perception or meaning of a composition.

When developing a composition it is important to take into consideration the point of view and distance in which the audience will be perceiving ones work. Coordinating objects will achieve a perceived similar perspective, while not coordinating similar objects will cause one to be perceived closer or father away from the viewer. It is also important to be purposeful in the angle at which you draw lines or place objects. Parallel lines, if not drawn true, will eventually intersect one another, and from a distance, may look as if the artist is insinuating depth.

There are several different ways a designer can chose to have the objects within a composition interact as well. Overlapping of objects can create a sense of depth in two dimensional renderings. Compound shapes can create a new form out of two objects, thus adding visual interest. And modification or variation can create a sense of change over time, or movement.


In this section of the book, Visual Grammar, Leborg is talking about the interrelationships of form. One art movement which was strongly based on principles of interrelationships of form was the De-Stijl movement. In the article, De Stijl Movement: Theo van Doesburg & Gerrit Rietveld, the author talks of how “during the De Stijl movement (founded 1917), a new aesthetic proposal called for ultimate abstraction, simplicity, clarity, harmony, and equilibrium…De Stijl art forced the viewer to ponder about their relationship to the world, relating to the form, color, and space surrounding them.”

I found this interesting as it relates to Leborg’s discussion of object relations, in that during the De-Stijl movement everything rested on the basis of formal interrelationships. De-Stijl focused on simplicity and a different way of seeing through abstraction. As Leborg talks of the use of penetration, extrusion, and coincidence, these were all concepts the De-Stijl artists would use to create visual interest in a unique way while not relying on embellishments or complex forms.

This artist has used overlapping of shapes to create a sense of depth in this two dimensional piece. They have thus created a foreground and background by placing the musical instruments over the leaves.

Here transparency is used in the red circular objects above the black line drawings. Using transparency allows the objects in the background to still appear and hold visual weight, while adding a touch of color.

Coordination is used in this example to make certain squares appear to have the same value, focus and perspective. While other squares, which are not coordinated, appear to be closer and farther away from the viewer.

I love how the artist has used a tangent here to create visual interest. While all of the other objects, which are similar in size and position, are flat, by tilting the orange square and having it tangent to the corner of the dark blue square, movement and anomaly has been achieved.


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