I Think We Could Use Some Space.

Posted: September 1, 2012 in Fund. Visual Literacy

What is space in the terms of images? There is format, positive, negative and illusionary space. Each one needs to be considered when creating an image, so what are they?

Format space is the physical aspects of the image. This type of space is very important for a designer to recognize when considering how they want to project their work. Size is important to consider because one image size may look good on one display device, but either too big or too small on another one. It is all dependent on how many pixels the image is. Monitors may be the same size but have a different resolution. Resolution is the number of pixels for the width and the height of the screen per inch. There are cases where more than one format may be needed to achieve multiple views on different devices.

Once the format space of the image is decided upon, positive, negative and illusionary space are next to consider. Positive and negative space are similar in the fact they are opposites. The object of main focus is your positive space, while everything else in the background is your negative space. Negative space can be hard to understand because of everything that can be placed in the background. All you have to do is figure out what is the object of main interest and everything else is negative. These two spaces are important because it is how we perceive our world everyday. Once one space is defined the other is defined. They are dependent upon each other so be careful when designing your positive and negative spaces.

Illusionary space is next once you’ve decided on what is your positive and negative space. As one of the most important elements of imagery, illusionary space gives our images a sense of depth. Being able to add illusionary space to your visual design brings your work to life.

How can you achieve this third dimensional space? How do you know which object is closer? Is it the smaller, bigger, lighter, darker, lower, higher, in focus or out of focus object?

The key rules to remember to achieve illusionary space and answer all of these questions are size matters, the lower the closer, and the farther the darker.

The larger the object, the closer the object is. Though two objects are the same size the one closest will appear bigger because of how are brains interpret objects in the distance. When an object is closer it will usually appear lower on the vertical axis of the image than those farther away. Finally, objects in the distance are darker. Closer objects will be lighter because there is less atmosphere to disturb the reflection of light off the object. There are particals in the atmosphere which disrupt the reflection of light the farther the object is. 

Knowing all of this will help a designer create better visual designs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s