Contrast

14 09 2009

In graphic design, the word C.R.A.P. (created by Robin Williams) stands for the 4 different elements of good design: Contrast, Reptition, Alignment, and Proximity.

As defined by Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics by Linda P. Morton, “Contrast is the element that permits one item to stand out clearly from others”.  Contrast is the differentiation of color in a document.  For example the color white would be a complete contrast of the color black. This is important because the contrast in colors leads your eye through a document and makes you focus on the most significant part.  Because of the importance of contrast, it should be involved in all of your publications, not only to bring attention to certain sections, but to also make your work look pleasing to the eye.   As you can see in the photo of supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the contrast is very high and accentuates the model herself and makes the photograph extremely aesthetically pleasing.  This high contrast also adds a certain sense of style to the work.  While not all of your works have to involved this intense type of contrast, it is always advisable to contrast different parts of your publication. In the second example of contrast (above), the advertisement by Dior exhibits a slightly-less drastic form of the concept.  The main portion of the photograph they want you to pay attention to is the woman.  Many fashion companies try to sell their products by appearance of their models, which is why the word “Dior” contrasts less with the background than the model does.  Yet again, as is obvious, the contrast in the photo to quite pleasing to the eye.

So to effectively make use of the concept of CRAP, by Robin Williams, make sure to include contrast.

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