The Aspects &
Elements of Design
The aspects and elements of design should not be thought of as a recipe for creating the perfect event, but more as knowledge and tools that open doors to countless options and opportunities that otherwise would remain hidden in the depths of your mind.
ASPECTS OF DESIGN
Aspects of design include: space, perspective, balance, harmony, unity, movement and variety. Whilst thinking about these different design elements, it is also impertinent that you are mindful of Feng Shui within the overall design as this will help to further harmonise the different elements and pull them seamlessly together into one design.
For example, in an ideal world you’d want to create a focal point within the room through perspective by arranging furniture or props in a balanced formal (symmetrical) or informal (asymmetrical) style. This would work well for the altar of the ceremony room or the top table in the reception room. This perspective would draw the guests’ attention to the focal point that you’re drawing them into, in the example of a wedding, this would be the bridal couple. The various furniture, props and décor used in the design would create a harmonious environment in the room, forming a rhythm or pattern through the relationship of the objects. This not only would create a natural flow, but it would also bring a sense of unity and completeness to the event. On the other hand, whilst it is important to create harmony and balance throughout your design, you can also incorporate elements of contrast which would enhance the overall affect.
Below are a few photographic examples of weddings that have utilised the aspects of design in a beautiful and inspiring way.
The example on the left uses candles, draping, floral decoration and the petals that line the aisle leading up to the altar create perspective, harmony, a sense of calm and balance. The simple white and light décor combined with the rustic stone and wood of the room create unity and add movement.
Where as in the example on the right, candles and lighting have been used to create perspective and balance drawing your eye and attention down the aisle to the alter. The use and placement of chandeliers and trees draped in crystals, add variety to the design as well as creating the feeling of movement as they glisten in the light. The darkened design of this room also allows full attention to be given to the bridal couple at the alter as that is where the lighting focal point is.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Elements of design encompass: point, direct attention, composition and value. The elements of design are more detailed and focused on actual objects, colours, lighting, texture, emotions and ambiance than the different aspects of design. Therefore the elements are essentially the finer details of the aspects and go hand in hand when designing an event.
The point or focal point, highlights a certain area or element of the design in turn creating perspective. This can be achieved through multiple points working harmoniously together to create the focal point or by simply using one point of interest. For example, the use of lines can create and enforce certain feelings and communicate subliminal messages. Horizontal and curved lines tend to create more of a peaceful and calming effect, vertical lines can create an elegant but more dominant feeling and diagonal lines can create tension. When designing an event it is therefore important to think about how these lines can be used to direct attention to focal points or areas of focus whilst maintaining the flow and ambiance of the event.
Below are some photographic examples of ceremony and reception venues that play with lines and focal points.
Below is an example of two weddings that use lighter, more romantic and elegant details whilst incorporating texture and ambiance.
Here is an example of a wedding that uses darker and richer textures in addition to utilising composition and colour.
As you can see from the above examples, composition goes hand in hand with the various aspects of design as it focuses on symmetrical and asymmetrical forms, arranging elements in specific orders to create balance and draw attention to a point or focal area. Composition can also be open, where the composition and design appears to flow out with the boundaries of the event, or closed, which appears more direct and solid in terms of form.
From the examples I’ve included above, you’ll also see that colour can also play a very important part when it comes to composition, especially when incorporating more than one colour. For example, complementary colours when paired together in a design or colour scheme can create contrast buy can also create a harsh visual impact that is not aesthetically pleasing over longer periods of time. Whereas a more harmonious effect can achieved by using colours that appear very close to each other on the colour wheel or different hues and tones of the same colour. These are more pleasing to the eye and create a softer more pleasant environment and atmosphere. Colours can also be arranged and incorporated into a design in temperature. For example blues and purples can appear cold and reds and oranges can portray a sense of warmth.
Value is created by focusing on the degree of light or darkness that an element or aspect of the design creates. Lighter areas or compositions appear happy and fun and create a feeling of closeness, warmth and texture. Whereas darker areas or compositions create more of a gloomy and enclosed feeling, creating a sense of mystery and sometimes drama.
Lastly, texture is also an important aspect of the overall design as it can depict certain feelings when touched or interacted with. Draped materials can create a feeling of elegance or calm, depending on the composition. For example rich dark velvets can create a sense of elegance and class as well as exude a warm and comforting ambiance, whereas light and airy fabrics like silk or chiffon drapes can create a sense or romance and elegance, whilst conveying a calm and relaxing ambiance. Therefore it is necessary for the designer to interact with different fabrics when incorporating fabric into the texture of the design, to make sure the fabrics flow with the other elements of the design.
In conclusion, it is vitally important to review and try to incorporate the aforementioned aspects and elements of design when creating the design of an event. As you can understand from the above examples I’ve given, each aspect and element work hand in hand with one another to help create depth and add ambiance and feeling into the overall design, which will only help to leave that lasting impression with your guests.
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