Works of art differ from one another in terms of style, theme, or technique used to create them. However, there is one thing that connects images, drawings, photographs, sketches and graphics –the composition of the design. In the visual arts, this concept means a positioning of the elements of a work, arranged with each other in a specific way. The purpose is to create a coherent and harmonious whole.
Design composition can be classified into certain types, distinguished by the layout of the elements of a given work. The component parts of the whole can be distributed on the plane in the following way:
What characterizes each of these layouts? Read on!
Open and closed composition
The open layout is very often used by artists in many different projects. They apply it for various reasons, the main of which is how it appealsto the recipient. Creating an open layoutdesign implies creating it in such a way as to leave a lot of room for interpretation. The open layout presentsa part of a larger whole and thus suggests that there is something more outside of its framework. It can be said that an image, photograph, or graphic shows only a fragment of a world that extends further and contains many unknown elements. It stimulates the recipient’s imagination and creates numerous possibilities for interpretation.
The opposite of open composition is closed composition. In this case, the design of the work assumes finitude, clarity, and a logical arrangement of elements. In a closed composition, all the components of the project, necessary for the interpretation of the whole, are included in the work. The recipient’s task is to focus on the arrangement of the elements and relations between them, and not to ponder what is outside the presented world.
Central composition in design
This kind of composition is often used in photography, when creating a company logo or movie posters. Its purpose is to focus the viewer’s attention in the center of the work, where most important element of the whole is placed. It can be a photographed flower, the name of the company, or the photo of the main character of the film. Typically, in order to accentuate the center even more, the presented object is the only element of the work and is placed against a smooth background, with a contrasting color.
This type of composition assumes the creation of a design in which individual elements are arranged in a horizontal direction, and the entire work is extended in breadth. The individual elements of the whole are arranged horizontally, parallel to each other, on horizontal lines. This effect is achieved by integrating the elements such as ceiling, floor, roofs, table, sea, etc. into a picture or graphic.
A vertically arranged design is the opposite of a horizontal layout. While the lines in the composition discussed above were arranged horizontally, here they are arranged vertically. Verticality is achieved through the multitude of elements that make up the work. Vertical lines can be incorporated by the images of standing people, trees, tall buildings, columns, and other tall objects. Typically, the picture, photograph, or poster takes the form of a “standing” rectangle with the lower side being shorter. Thanks to this, not only individual elements, but the entire form of the work emphasize the verticality of the arrangement.
The visual arts havealso developed a kind of arrangement that can be described as dynamic. In this kind of layout, the elements of the work are arranged on diagonal lines, i.e. they are inclined diagonally. This concept also applies to the diagonal representation of an object. Such arrangement of elements aims to create an impression of movability and dynamism of the work. We can see this layout in works where galloping horses, dancing pairs, etc. are presented.
The opposite of the dynamic type of layout is static composition. Its principle is that the elements of the work should create the impression that they are stationary or temporarily not in motion. This type of layout is often applied when presenting, for example, a still life, a person sitting on a bench, and similar elements.