1. Contrast

Contrast is an arrangement of opposite elements place on a piece of medium like paper, for example. 

Contrast can be differentiate from many elements like:

  • Patterns
  • Colours
  • Angle/ Shape
  • Typography
  • Size

It brings people’s attention to focus one particular thing in the piece of medium. Here are some examples that shows what contrast refers to. 

previous arrow
next arrow

We proceed in drawing out our ideas for our composition on contrast. We were not allowed to refer from the internet and our ideas had to come from ourselves. It was quite challenging at first, but slowly ideas kept flowing to me. We could only use black pens, pencils or black marker pens. 

I drew four different ideas for the contrast composition using my 2B pencil.


After going through my drawing ideas, I decided to go on with idea 3 and added some details to it. I thought of adding an influence of Sherlock Holmes to this composition. I searched images of Sherlock Holmes and found the objects he cherish: a smoking pipe, his detective cap and a magnifying glass. Here are some images that helped with me with my research.

I decided to combine these two ideas into one paper. I develop the composition a little more.


My final outcome is on how the curious little ant just came out of Sherlock‘s things after exploring. I showed a contrast in the sizes between the ant and the objects. Additionally, the pattern drawn in the hat silhouette is different from the rest. I used a black marker and black ink pen for this piece.


2. The Gestalt Principle

The Gestalt Principle is known as the principle of grouping or a unified whole. It also  It involves both the positive and negative spaces. It is also mentioned in the theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. It describes how people usually organise visual elements into groups or unified wholes when specific principles are used.

There are five different types of Gestalt Principles. They are figure-groundclosure,similaritycontinuation and proximity.

  1. Figure-ground: It is the type of perceptual grouping where it is the vital necessity to look at objects through our observation.
Image result for figure ground

2. Closure: this principle happens when an object is not complete or a space that is not fully enclosed. If the remaining shape is indicated, people conclude the piece by filling in the missing information.

Related image

3. Similarity: this occurs when any objects look the same with the other object. People often recognise them as a group of pattern.

Related image

4. Continuation: it happens when our eyes will naturally follow the flow of the object continuing at the other object.

Image result for continuation principle

5. Proximity: it happens when elements are put close together and usually recognised as a group.

Related image

We were asked to create a Gestalt composition with the use of positive and negative spaces on a A4 paper. We needed to create a negative space design on a piece of black paper first. 

I started off with sketching my ideas on my sketchbook first.


After sketching my ideas out, I picked the first sketch as my final idea.
 I used some image references to help me make out this composition. I combine the silhouette of a wine bottle as it associates with the ballet for elegance. And on the left pointed ballet shoe, I added  the ballet term “pointe” is a French meaning for the position of the ballet dancer standing on “the tip of the toe“.

For this piece, I am showing figure-ground and closure principle.


3. Symmetry, Asymmetry, Balance & Dominance

For this lecture, a group of my classmates presented their research onsymmetry, asymmetry, balance and dominance


  • Elements that are arranged in the same way on both sides of an axis.
  • A perfect symmetry occurs when elements are mirrored over the axis and are similar on both sides.
  • Sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance.
Symmetrical balance

There are three main types of symmetry:

  1. Reflection
  • Everything is mirrored around a central axis from one side to another.
  • It is often reflected vertically or horizontally.
  • Pure symmetry

2. Rotational

  • Every element rotates around a common center.
  • Happens at any angle or frequency as long as there is a common center.

3. Transitional 

  • Elements are repeated over different locations in space.
  • Occurs in any direction or at any distance as long as basic orientation is the same.


  • Arrangement of elements are different on either side of an axis.
  • Lack of equality or equivalence between parts or aspects of something.
  • One side of the composition is heavier than the other side.
  • More dynamic and interesting
Asymmetrical balance


  • Distribution of equal and visual weight of objects, colours, texture and space in a composition
  • Symmetry adds balance to any type of design
  • Elements are similar on both sides of an axis
Image result for balance design


  • One element or object that really stand out than the others
  • To emphasis visually in order to grab the viewer’s attention to something
  • Focal points are areas of interest which keeps people’s attention
Image result for dominance graphic design

We were suppose to create a composition based on either symmetryasymmetrybalance and dominance. We were only allowed to use watercolour

Before I chose which one to do on, I sketched four ideas.


After sketching out these ideas, I chose to develop on Idea 3. For idea 3, I was inspired by a Disney character, Tinkerbell. The background was inspired by the scene in Peter Pan movie and story. It is the scene where Wendy look out the window for Peter Pan and his mates. 

But I changed the Peter Pan idea to Tinkerbell instead. 


I decided to emphasise on Tinkerbell silhouette by adding depth to it. I used a light green, light blue and yellow colour paper and paste it with foam paper and PVA glue to create depth and bright colours to stand out more than a dark background.


4. Pattern, Repetition, Texture & Surface


A pattern is an object or symbol repeated on an artwork. It can also include repeating lines, colours, shapes on a surface.

Image result for owen jones artwork

There are four different types of pattern:

1. Branching– usually a form of patterning for plants and seen in geological formation like river deltas and certain crystalline formations.

Related image

2. Spiral– seen from scale of galaxies to the opening “fiddlehead” buds of ferns, to the forms of microscopic animals.

3. Flow– it follows the path of least resistance. You can relate flow to real life such as waterfall, river or even a flow of music.

4. Packing and Cracking– a way where compacted cells define its shape.


Basically, it is repeating single elements many times in a design. The principle of repetition is reusing same or similar elements in a design. It works with patterns to make an artwork active and creates unity.

  • Use of similar or connected pictorial elements (examples: same shapes,colours,lines used more than once)
  • Regular, irregular or uneven forms
  • Form of gradation where repeated elements can either be small to large or visa versa.
Image result for vincent van gogh


It is the quality of an object which we can touch. It can be referred to as a surface that we can see, feel or imagine like we are really touching the real surface. It can be displayed as an image, visual memories from our mind or imaginary. They can create contrast and balance the composition of a design.

1. Bristly, rough & hard
2. Smooth, cold & hard
3. Smooth, soft and/or warm
4. Wet & dry


Outermost or uppermost layer of a physical object/space. It is where any medium is applied on and allows people to see things in 2D perspective but only we know what it is made of.

We are suppose to create a composition of either pattern, repetition, texture or surface. The media we had to work with is anything that can be used as rubber stamps. For example, vegetable/fruit print, sponge, sticks and so on.

I have decided to do on patterns. I chose a geometric pattern as the concept for my composition. I gathered some references to help me create my own patterns

I reused my lino cut design from my printmaking class during foundation as the final pattern. I decided to work out creating patterns and texture to it as well.

After the lino printing, I added some shades of soft pastels to make it more colourful rather than a plain red pattern composition.


I also did another piece by using different things that have circular patterns. I used a half onion, carrot, a circular plastic lid and a wooden stick.


I was not satisfied with only having one coloured stamping for each layer, so I added some depth using colour pencils to make the pattern stand out more.


5. Alignment, Hierarchy, Placement & Direction

Alignment: arrangement of visual elements lined up in a composition.
There are different types of alignment:

1. Edge alignment: arrangement of elements that correspond to the edges of page/canvas. It can either be vertical or horizontal alignment.

2. Centre alignmentelements are aligned to the centre. It can be centered to a page/page section (horizontally, vertically or others). It can be often used to emphasis graphics of a work.

3. Visual/Optical alignment: to fix problems with other alignments of varying shapes of letters or graphics. It does not have to be accurately aligned but to the eye, it appears to be lined up.

Visual Hierarchyarrangement/presentation of elements in a way that suggest importance. It plays an important role in design.

4 basic tools to create hierarchy:

1. Scale– large objects that attracts the eye.
It shows the whale is enlarged to make it stand out and important.

2. Colour/Contrast (Emphasis)- objects are different compare to their surroundings.

It looks like the red grapefruit creates emphasis and attracts the viewers first rather than the other oranges.

3. White Space– draws attention by setting an element apart from the rest. Isolation helps it stand out. 

4 . Proximity– nearness to eye-catching element which affects hierarchy.

Placementchange and position of shapes/objects affect visual depth and artwork composition. Objects are placed higher in order to show that is further away.

Visual Direction: leading an eye to the next location. It can mean an element that looks like it is actually moving in motion.

3 types of direction:

  1. Horizontal direction– make the composition look calm and stable.
  2. Vertical direction– adds sense of formality, alertness and balance.
  3. Diagonal direction– suggest movement and action.

we had to do an artwork based on either using alignment, hierarchy,placement or direction. We had to use collage from any sort of item as our medium. 

I did an artwork based on edge alignment. The theme for this artwork is based on food and travel. I search for some images that could captivate and show the theme in my old magazines I collected. 


I did another artwork on hierarchy using the colour/contrast technique. While I was searching for ideas on Pinterest, I came across of ideas of creating surreal portrait collages.  That’s when I decided to create my own version of it. 

I used a portrait I drew using pencils and a few pieces of magazine pictures combined together. I want to show contrast between the monochrome drawing and the colourful pictures.


Lecture 6: Dot, Line, Size, Scale


  • Smallest and fundamental element in graphic design
  • Designing with dots create a wide variety of visual effects
  • Elements needed to create a shape, form, mass, or blob with a center
  • Point of focused attention
  • Dots form a movement/direction which combines to a line

There are different ways to position dots:

1. Single dot/point in the centre shows calmness.

2. A dot placed on the edge shows tension.

Image result for dot

3. Repetition of dots (e.g. Pointillism, Optical Illusion, Texture)

4. Relationship between dot to dot

  • 2 dots gives structure
  • As the dots gets closer, it is seen as a single object
  • One dot overlapping to the other is a figure/ground relationship
Image result for relationship between 2 dots


There are many types of lines:

1. Straight lines- can be often used in perspective drawings.

Related image

2. Curvy lines- can be form in strains of hair or a pattern