The Language of Graphic Design by Richard Poulin

September 5, 2012


In the book The Language of Graphic Design by Richard Poulin the chapters give a break down of elements that should be included in graphic design.  A chapter that instantly caught my attention was Chapter 19 on Contrast.  The book states that contrast is the juxtaposition of dissimilar elements (as color, tone, or emotion) in a work of art.  The contrast in a work creates a focal point for the eye.  It instantly grabs attention and makes the piece stand out in the clutter of all of the other designs.  It is the opposite of visual harmony and can be done by manipulating size, shape, color, and texture between the elements on the page.  The most common form of contrast in today’s society is the use of color.  The image above is a poster for a symposium of “impure architecture” at the Guggenheim in NYC.  The poster is eye catching because of the apparent contrast between the bright yellow and the dark black.  The layout of the piece causes the reader to concentrate on the words due to the angular structure as well as the choice of font.  The typography adds to the theme of the poster by mimicking the font of caution tape.  The contrast in this poster employs all of the necessary factors to create an effective, standout piece of graphic design.

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