Here’s the recap of the Graphic Design Lessons so far :
-What is Graphic Design
-History of Graphic Design
Next I introduced the Elements of Graphic Design, starting with Positive & Negative Space.
These kids are seriously creative and they love to draw. In teaching the elements of design, I am aiming to show them how to hone their skills within certain rules to make their designs more effective in communicating to an audience.
We all understand the impact of positive and negative space. Its a concept that doesn’t just apply to design but all of life. First I showed the kids several pictures. A cluttered bargain clothing store vs. a clean and well-ordered store. A crowded city street vs. a beautiful landscape. I asked them what the difference between the pictures were and how the pictures made them feel. These differences, I explained, were because the amounts of positive and negative space in each photo.
In designing, we need to resist the urge to fill up all of the space. Even though it is called negative space, it is actually a good thing! When used effectively, negative space gives our eyes a place to rest, leads us to the focal point of the design, and guides us through the maze of information. A great designer pays attention to both the positive and negative space in the layout. And when he can get the two to work together - he has a great piece!
Next I taught the kids the Japanese artwork called “Notan”. In Notan, you take a solid piece of paper, cut out shapes and flip them across the canvas. Its a great example of how negative space works in the design. You can see a full tutorial here.
During this activity, I also took the opportunity to squeeze in a short lesson about balance. The kids were already familiar with symmetry and asymmetry, so I briefly mentioned that in graphic design, asymmetrical layouts are typically more interesting and engaging than a basic symmetrical layout.
Lastly, I assigned a project for them to create a logo where both the positive and negative space are meaningful. There are some amazing examples out there that I showed the kids to help them understand the concept.
Luke and I are married and have four little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, education and graphic design.
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