Harmony & Unity
Grouping Visual Elements to Create Interest
This chapter is all about using commonalities in color, shape, angle, distance, pattern and much more to unite or differentiate elements in a page to draw our attention or to form our intuitions of certain compositions.
Chapter 2: Unity
This chapter is all about using commonalities in color, shape, angle, distance, pattern and much more to unite or differentiate elements in a page to draw our attention or to form our intuitions of certain compositions. I've provided some modern examples below that demonstrate how unity is used to bring elements together as one or to stand out by not being unified.
I've included this audio recording which will guide you through the text and the lesson. Please listen to it as you go over Chapter 2. I figured this is the closest thing to going over the book with you in person.
Harlem Shake was a pretty explosive trend on the internet last year. One of the most popular examples was this group of soldiers. Pay attention to how during the first part of the video, all the soldiers are united based on factors like uniform, posture, positioning, angle, spacing, and the use of the grid system. The single soldier becomes the focal point by breaking that unity. During the second part of the video, there is no longer unity. Every soldier is doing something different and our attention has now been scattered.
Schools of Fish
Fish will use uniformity in their swimming pattern as a defense mechanism against predators to create confusion and disorientation. This is a perfect example of unity through repetition.
One of the main goals of an army is to create a solid sense of unity through almost every aspect. Soldiers are trained to behave and look in as similar a fashion as possible so that they can work together as a single unit. This is another great example of unity through repetition, but also through proximity, rhythm, and use of the grid.
Negative Space in Logos
Negative space is a powerful graphic design tool that will allow you to expand your possibilities without adding additional colors or line work. Many famous logos have incorporated this tool. Most notably is the hidden arrow in the "FedEx" logo between the "E" and "X".
Another great example is the Girl Scouts logo which ties in the image of girls with the four-leaf clover. Not only that, but by alternating between black and white faces, it additionally conveys the message of multiple ethnicities and skin tones.
This link provides several more clever uses of negative space:
Emphasis on Variety
The Incredibles is a great example of how you can have a variety of extremely unique characters that are all stylistically unified at the same time. You can tell that all these characters below in the same universe based on the visual aspects that they have in common, yet each of them is completely distinct.
Visual Rhythm in Zebras
Zebras will use their repeating stripe patterns to create confusion for predators when they are all running in a group. Their stripes allow them to become a single, chaotic visual mass.