NCERT Class 12 Graphics Design Fundamentals of Visual Composition

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We have studied that a sensible arrangement of components makes a design functional and attractive. We also know that to select and to arrange is to compose. A composition can be two dimensional, three dimensional or temporal. A good composition, like an organic entity does communicate and offer a unique experience of its own. At one level it effectively communicates the message and at another it aesthetically influences the viewers. For a designer it helps show a cohesive oneness among different parts along an implicit order.

It helps navigate the attention of the viewers through its explicit hierarchy and hence introducing a proper order to read it as per his/her interest. An effective composition entices and affects viewers making it so to be seen again and again, leaving a lasting impression and as a result, consolidating its recall. Disorderly and chaotic arrangements of parts fail to function or to communicate hence leaving viewers confused and disinterested in seeing it. Preciseness with affective aesthetic quality of work is a decisive factor in visual communication. A sensitive designer is conscious about it and hence is respected for this talent. In graphic design, knowledge and sense of good composition is a prerequisite for every graphical work.

letting them to disperse or collapse. And secondly, on the conceptual level as an intension, a thought, theme, an idea or story that inspires the character of relationship among the forms and forms with space. In visual communication, compositions are usually of two dimensional natures. In graphic design format is flat and it is a given space to overlay text and images as component parts on it. Often forms like typeface and text boxes are also flat and wherever needed, an illusion of third dimension and visual hierarchy is achieved by application of visual devices like depth, gradation and perspective.

Pictures and photographs showing volume and depth are more realistic in nature and are treated as spaces within the space of the given format. You will study the principles and skills of making layouts consisting words and images in chapters on layout design. Let’s look into the concept of‘ frame’ or ‘format’ and its relationship with the ‘form’ and framed space or the ‘field’. By framing we select or isolate our design from the rest, just like segregating different thoughts by boxes in a flow chart. Inside a frame a thing acquires emphasis and it helps viewers to concentrate upon and appreciate it comfortably.

In the process of perception frame supports our selective attention on a thing. More so, otherwise loose thoughts and commonly overlooked visual gestures become noteworthy and beautiful when positioned properly in a frame. There are certain basic ways with which relationship among the frame, forms and field is exploited in communication design.

Those are broadly consolidated in the following manner:

• In painting and graphic arts, Frame and Field are passive (static) and forms are active (movable).

• In photography and observational drawings, Frame is active and Field and Forms are regarded as passive.

• In cinematography and animation, Frame, Field and Forms all three can be simultaneously active.


Principles of Composition

An appealing composition contains universal aesthetic principles in it. Principles are those aspects which are implicit and active in the structure and appearance of a composition. All work of arts that offer an aesthetic experience are based on these principles, such as music, dance, architecture, fine arts, design etc. Principles are present in all the effective art forms in different nature and importance. There are various schools of thoughts about the numbers and order of principles in visual composition however, there makes an interesting sequence of gradually increasing complexity of experiences in an order. For clearer understanding aesthetic principles can be grouped according to their relative effect in two types. In first type they are physical and visible in the composition, and in second they are, felt and invisible in a composition. Generally, there are seven principles considered in an order of growing complexity — pattern, rhythm, contrast, unity, proportion, balance, and harmony wherein:

Rhythm is repetition with variation.

Contrast is dissimilarity between the elements brand on some criteria.

Unity is complimentarity among all the elements.

Proportion is relative ratio among elements.

Balance is sensed equilibrium among elements based on some criteria.

Harmony is similarity among elements based on some criteria.



1. How can appropriate use of Visual Devices result in an effective visual composition?

2. Discuss the interdependence of principal and elements of design on each other for creating a good composition.

3. What are implicit and explicit elements of a composition?

4. Explain the relationship of space, form and structure in a composition.


Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 12 Graphics Desig Fundamentals of Visual Composition



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