Basic Design: Form

In this article the basic element of design to be explored will be form. A lot of the time shape and form are used interchangeably. Just as a reminder, shape is two-dimensional: length and width. Form is three dimensional: length, width, depth and mass and volume.

Design Element Form:

Forms are the outlying edges of a three-dimensional object. With shapes, lines intersect to form squares, circles, and triangles. When discussing the shapes in the context of forms squares become cubes, circles become spheres and triangles become cones.

A fragile or stable appearance may be conveyed by the form of an object. A form constructed of thin line weight and curved lines is going to appear delicate and formal. A form created with heavy, straight lines will visually carry more weight.

A design is more pleasing when related forms are consistently used. For example a design might have a Victorian influence. The Victorian era is generally characterized by curvilinear, delicate, ornate forms and a sense of formality. If a heavy, rectilinear, modern influenced form is introduced the design will feel dysfunctional..

The terms form and shape are understandably confused at times. Three dimensionality of forms is the distinct difference. A clear understanding of the difference assists a designer or artist to verbalize and apply these terms in proper context and contribute to a more effective design.

About the Author: Pamela is one of the co-creator of Creative Design Studios. She is also an Interior Designer. If you would like to know more about Pamela you can visit our About page here.

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