Shape Design

shapedesign good vs bad

Do your drawings feel stiff and awkward?
Consider these tips on shape design!

shape design repetitive vs playful
shape design distracting vs simple

shape design flat boring vs livelyshape design tangents vs simpler

Why does this work?
And why does it matter?

These simple rules depend completely on what you are trying to communicate and what you would like your audience to experience. My goal with the examples above is to optimize for “appeal“.

I am using a psychological mechanism called “processing fluency“. We tend to judge something as more appealing (and more positive) if it is easy to understand. This is true for writing, painting, company names, and – shocker – ethnicities. Processing fluency has been used to describe people’s negative attitude towards migrants because they are more difficult to process than non-migrants. Of course, this can backfire, in life and art, and it’s helpful to be aware of this bias.

Alright. Geek hour is over. Now let’s get to work.

Shape Design Practice

A great way to practice is to fill a page with simple shapes.
Here is a round by Gabriel Carson with my annotations and corrections. Click the arrows to compare.

Now make your own page of shape studies to train your design sense!

Start timer
PS. I was thinking about shape design in this video: how to design with symmetry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.