Graphic Design Projects > Dominant vs Allover Composition

This unit focuses on the principles of composing for a single surface. Composition is the whole spatial property and structure of a design. Consider the purposes of composition: visual interest; clarity of visual communication; organization of graphic space; holding the design together, a kind of armature; visual articulation of a design concept; visual expression and communication. When composing a design, it’s essential to consider the guiding design principles: visual hierarchy, unity, balance, and rhythm.

Learning Objectives
-- Learn the fundamentals of composition
-- Learn how to create the illusion of spatial depth
-- Grasp the importance of grouping
-- Understand the compositional process
-- Be aware of composing for a single static surface
-- Grasp the role of type and image arrangements and relationships
-- See the point of arrangement
-- Know the purpose of guiding a viewer through design

Part 1: Dominant Composition
-- Find or take a photograph of an object or person, which will be the dominant image in the final composition. Then find or take photographs of related images, for example, a person (dominant visual image), and subordinate visual images: such as a suitcase, an umbrella, a puddle, a dog, and a fire hydrant.
-- Convert all the photos into silhouettes.
-- Create a minimum of 5 unique silhouettes
-- Build a composition around one dominant image (using size, shape, color, or value contrast), where all other graphic elements form relationships with that dominant image.

Part Two: All-Over Composition
-- Using the same silhouettes, now build a composition where there is no single overtly dominant image; here relationships are built among several shapes or forms through some unifying principle. No visual element dominates. In a multiple composition, all movements have equal or close to equal force.
-- Consider various ways to organize space.
-- Inspiration: the grid, De Stijl movement, Bauhaus, patterns, symmetry, repetition, rule of thirds, leading lines, framing within your frame
-- Compare the graphic space in both compositions.

-- Illustrator
-- Letter 8.5x11” portrait or landscape orientation
-- 2 Art-boards
-- No bleed
-- CMYK color
-- 300 ppi