Pinterest and the Elements and Principles of Design

As many of you know this blog is an offshoot of our book Design: A Beginner’s Handbook. In addition to this blog we also maintain a Facebook page and a set of Pinterest boards. The book contains real world examples of the elements and principles of design while the auxiliary resources showcase examples from the fields of art and design.

If you’ve read our book you know that we’ve divided it into fifteen chapters. Each of the first seven cover a specific design element (dot/point, line, shape, space, texture, value, and color) while the remaining eight chapters are devoted to one of the design principles (unity and variety, balance, grid, emphasis and focal point, scale and proportion, pattern, rhythm, and motion and time).

Today I encourage you to read the book as you look at the images I’ve plucked from our Pinterest boards. Try reading a chapter and then see if you can evaluate the image in light of what you’ve read. A next step would be for you to set up your own Pinterest boards (it’s free) and pin images that correspond to each of the elements and principles of design.

The 7 design elements:

Mona Hatoum art installation with green bottles

Chapter 1 Dot  Mona Hatoum  “Drowning Sorrows (wine bottles 111)”

Heike Weber art installations with topographical lines

Chapter 2 Line  Heike Weber  on left – “Isohypse,” on right “Whirlpool” 

Joseph Yoakum colored landscape drawing

Chapter 3 Shape  Joseph Yoakum

Aydin Buyuktas photograph that plays with perspective

Chapter 4 Space  Aydin Buyuktas  “Flatland Series”

Nick Cave textured sound suit

Chapter 5 Texture  Nick Cave  “Sound Suit”

Georges de La Tour oil painting

Chapter 6 Value  Georges de La Tour  “The Repentant Magdalen”

Sandy Skoglund photograph Radioactive Cats

Chapter 7 Color  Sandy Skoglund  “Radioactive Cats”

The 8 Principles of Design:

Marc Andre Robinson sculptural installation with chairs

Chapter 8 Unity and Variety  Marc Andre Robinson  “Right of Return (By Themselves and of Themselves)”

Kerry James Marshall painting of a couple in a nightclub

Chapter 9 Balance  Kerry James Marshall  “Club Couple”

Louise Bourgeois paint on sheet music presented in a grid

Chapter 10 Grid  Louise Bourgeois  “Lullaby”

Shirin Neshat photograph of man with fist on chest

Chapter 11 Emphasis and Focal Point  Shirin Neshat  “My House is On Fire”

Momoyo Torimitsu sculptural installation with huge inflatable pink rabbit

Chapter 12 Scale and Proportion  Momoyo Torimitsu  “Somehow I don’t feel comfortable”

Lucy T. Pittway quilt, quilts from Gee's Bend

Chapter 13 Pattern  Lucy T. Pettway  “Snowball quilt”

Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects “Ribbon Chapel”

Chapter 14 Rhythm  Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Architects  “Ribbon Chapel”

Damian Ortega sculptural installation in the form of exploding tools

Chapter 15 Motion and Time  Damian Ortega  “Controller of the Universe”

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