PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN By C Kohn, Agricultural Sciences Waterford, WI PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN Repetition Variety Balance Emphasis Scale Sequence “R.V. BESS” REPETITION Similar use of colors, plants or shapes within an area or entire landscape. Repetition can be overdone Avoid becoming monotonous and predictable REPETITION Repetition involves repeating or using an element more than once throughout a design. It helps establish and add order and unity to a design. Repetition provides a common feature throughout the design that pulls the design together. Repetition: Similar use of colors, plants or shapes Repetition: Similar use of colors, plants or shapes VARIETY Variety = Lack of monotony Variety = Lack of monotony VARIETY V. REPETITION It may seem like variety and repetition are opposites that cannot co-exist Repetition = repeated use of design elements Variety = lack of repetition Repetition and Variety must each exist in a balance Too much repetition and the design becomes monotonous Too much variety and the design becomes overwhelming. Proper Design incorporates a balance of Repetition and Variety. BALANCE “Visual Weighting” This doesn’t mean that design elements have to be mirror-imaged Balance should consider the “fulcrum effect” BALANCE Balance is a design principle defined in terms of weight. It is the equalization of visual weight from one side of a landscape to another. In balance, the focal point is the fulcrum. Two distinctly different types of balance exist in landscape design: symmetrical and asymmetrical. SYMMETRICAL BALANCE In symmetrical balance, one side of the landscape is visually identical to the other. The same components are repeated on both sides of the composition. If a line were drawn through the middle of the form or space, each side would be identical. The visual and actual weight is equally distributed on each side. ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE Asymmetrical balance is an informal balance. One side is different but equivalent to the other side – i.e. while they are not identical, they have similar visual weight and components If one side of a landscape does not equally offset the other, an imbalance results. This is undesirable in landscaping The viewer should feel a sense of stability Balance – a focal point draws the eye and serves as a fulcrum to the rest of the landscape Balance – a focal point draws the eye and serves as a fulcrum to the rest of the landscape. Visual weight on the left of the FP should be equal to the weight on the right side. EMPHASIS EMPHASIS Emphasis is the special attention or prominence given to something In landscape design, it is the level to which your focal point stands out Emphasis: Major landscape components are highlighted more than less important ones. Framing, plant numbers, or creating an unusual focal point are examples of creating emphasis in the landscape. EMPHASIS EMPHASIS Notice the use of a) color, b) texture, c) line, d) balance, e) variety, and f) repetition to draw your eye to the center bush. SCALE Scale – plantings are relative to the size of their surroundings (e.g. bushes are below the windows in all cases) Scale – plantings are relative to the size of their surroundings (the house seems appropriately sized compared to the trees and bushes). SCALE This house is dwarfed and “sucked up” by the plants around it. Scale – We use trees and shrubs to frame a house, not to conceal it or draw attention away from it. Scale – plantings should be relative to the size of their surroundings Scale – these bushes are too small, making the house seem imposing and awkward Scale – these plantings seem out of place, like they’re in the middle of an empty expanse. Sequence – proper arrangement on the basis of size SEQUENCE Sequence – proper arrangement on the basis of size SEQUENCE Sequence – proper arrangement on the basis of size In addition to arrangement by size, sequence should be used to soften transitions from horizontal to vertical. For example, proportionate plants should be used to help a house “merge” into its landscape. SEQUENCE SOFTENS VERTICAL TRANSITIONS CONCLUSION RVBESS is necessary for any kind of landscape design and for all components of that design, living and nonliving. E.g. the colors in your plants should complement the colors in your hardscaping and structures Your lines are a mixture of all the substances in your landscape Be sure that each component is interconnected – your entire landscape should not be a combination of unrelated components but should flow together as one harmonious design.