Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to create emotionally intense graphics

(Illustration by Molly Bang)

I recently stumbled upon a great tutorial by illustrator Molly Bang on how to use shapes, positions and colors to change the emotional intensity of a graphic.

I highly recommend looking through her presentation–it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, and the illustrations are enlightening.

Here's the synopsis without the pictures.
  1. Smooth, flat shapes give a sense of stability and calm.
  2. Vertical shapes are more active and exciting.
  3. Diagonal shapes are more dynamic because they imply movement and tension.
  4. The upper half of a picture is a place of freedom, happiness or triumph. Objects placed in the top half of picture feel more spiritual.
  5. The bottom half of a picture feels more threatened, heavier, sadder or constrained. Objects placed in the bottom half also feel more grounded.
  6. The centre of a page is the most effective "center of attention". It is the point of greatest attraction.
  7. The edges and corners of a page are the edges and corners of the picture-world.
  8. White or light backgrounds feel safer to us than dark backgrounds because we can see well during the day and only poorly at night.
  9. We feel more scared looking at pointy shapes, and more secure or comforted looking at rounded shapes or curves.
  10. The larger an object is in a picture, the stronger it feels.
  11. We associate the same or similar colors much more strongly than we associate the same or similar shapes.
  12. We notice contrasts, or, put another way, contrast enables us to see.
Bonus: Wide space can create tension between two objects. And so can a sliver of space.

But again, it's much better with pictures! Take a look.

1 comment:

Howard said...