September 28, 2023 – Apprentice

✏ Writing Assignment

While you’re watching the video on lines this week, take notes on it with the box method. Make sure you have at least 3 subtopics and 2 details about each subtopic and add as much detail as possible.


Intro – What is this class?

In this class we will study the basic principles and elements of Visual Design. Design itself encompasses many different fields including but not limited to Interior Design, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, UX/UI Design, Animation, Illustration, Photography, Technology, Media and Film. For this class we will focus on the basics of design and not focus on any one specific design field. We will explore the basic concepts and ideas that help us appreciate good design and maybe even cringe at bad design, look for lots of examples of good and bad design, and hopefully take advantage of opportunities to try new things. You will be creating art and designs each month. 

What this class isn’t– This is not a drawing class. You will not be graded on your drawing abilities.This is not a digital art class, or a how to use a specific art medium class. In fact if you do your assignments on a blank piece of paper with a #2 pencil- that is perfectly fine. Of course if you want to use a computer, tablet, photoshop, or another program- by all means- you may.    

So let’s get started. Before we get too far into it let’s see if we can answer a couple questions-

QUESTION 1: Why does design matter? Some view design simply as how stuff works- While that is an accurate definition of many aspects of product design, this class is focussing on visual design. So we will mostly talk about how things LOOK and how the way something looks can have an effect on us. What does it communicate to the viewer? Is the message clear?  Watch this short video:

Why do you think good design is important? For me it’s a lot like listening to a 3 year old pound on a piano versus listening to a concert pianist playing a beautiful composition on the same piano. The instrument hasn’t changed but the message is much more clear and pleasing to listen to. 

QUESTION 2: How does design make you feel?  You ever watch a movie and the CGI(computer-generated imagery) is so bad that you just can’t enjoy the film? Or read a book that has terrible typography? Typography is the way the words are designed from the chosen font to the size and spacing of the letters.  Bad typography can make a book difficult to read. Or how about a painting or a poster that makes you feel uneasy? Maybe you don’t know why you don’t like it. It just bugs you for some reason. Good design should be pleasing to the viewer. In this 13 minute video Don Norman talks about 3 ways good design makes him happy.

Think about why you like something? Is it easy to explain why? Can you figure out what it is that you like about it? Is it designed well?


The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture. Graphic designers use the elements of design to create an image that can convey a certain mood, draw the eye in a certain direction, or evoke a number of feelings. While the elements of design form the basics of any image, designers also lean on the principles of design, which are a set of practices of working with the elements of design that make a composition look pleasing to the eye.

There are a variety of design elements to consider when creating any visual work of art, whether it be for interior design, a logo, an advertisement, or web design. This week we will focus on three of the basic elements of design. Watch the videos from Mr. New’s Art Class on Youtube. You might enjoy drawing along with Mr. New. So grab some paper and a pencil.

  • 1. Line: Line refers to the way that two points in space are connected. Whether they’re horizontal lines, diagonal lines, or vertical lines, lines can help direct the eye toward a certain point in your composition. You can also create texture by incorporating different types of lines such as curved or patterned lines instead of just straight lines.
  • WATCH: All About Lines – Understanding The Elements of Art and Design

  • 2. Shape: In its most basic form, a shape is a two-dimensional area that is surrounded by an outline. Graphic artists can use other elements including line, color, value, and shadow to give a shape the appearance of a three-dimensional shape. There are three types of shapes: organic shapes which occur naturally in the world, geometric shapes which are angular and mathematically consistent, and abstract shapes that represent things in nature but aren’t perfectly representative.
  • WATCH:All About Shapes – Understanding the Elements of Art and Design
  • 3. Form: Form pertains to the way that a shape or physical configuration occupies space. Instead of creating form through three-dimensional physical shape, designers create the appearance of form on a flat surface by using light, shadow, the appearance of an object’s contours, negative space, and the surrounding objects around the subject matter.
  • WATCH: All About Form: Take Your Art to The Third Dimension – Understanding the Elements of Art and Design

FIND: Look for examples of design that utilize Line, Shape, or Form. 

  1. Bring 5 examples to class with you. Be prepared to explain how the design uses the basic elements of design. 
  2. Optional – You are always encouraged to find any examples of Design that you like. They need not be directly related to the subject at hand. Bring it with you to class and be prepared to tell us why you like it.
  3. Another Optional – Look for an example of bad Design. Something that just doesn’t work well. The message isn’t clear. You may start noticing some things. Bring it with you to class and be prepared to tell us why you don’t like it.

CREATE: Do some designs.

  1. Using lines only, create a representation of an object. (A shoe, a milk carton, a sandwich, etc.) Lines will create shapes. They may even look 3 Dimensional. Don’t worry about this.
  2. Using shapes only, create a representation of the same object. Some of your shapes will be created with lines. Some will look like lines. Don’t worry. You might try filling your shapes with color or cutting them out of paper.
  3. Using lines and shapes together, create a representation of the same object showing its form.

WATCH: This short video from Jake Parker is an important lesson. It is called Finished Not Perfect.  Finished Not Perfect


  HAVE FUN!! Design is fun. 

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