Visual Hierarchy

Visual Hierarchy

Dominant, Sub-Dominant and Subordinate

By definition, visual hierarchy refers to a group of visual elements arranged according to emphasis. This emphasis is achieved through contrasts, which stress the relative importance and separation or connection of 3-D elements (the gestalt principles of proximity and similarity). The study of visual hierarchy is the study of the relationship of each part to the other parts and to the whole. It emphasizes the relationship of each element within the entire composition. This emphasis can be broken down into three levels; dominant sub-dominant and subordinate.  A visual hierarchy of elements is governed by relative scale, use of color, and activated space to manipulate the principals of design. 

Dominant, Sub-Dominant and Subordinate
3-D Design Project 
Problem: Create three preliminary dominance studies, each using one plane, one line and one volume. 
Objective: To begin to learn the basic principles of design, to become familiar with 3D drawing, and to understand the importance of compositional hierarchies. 
Materials: Recycled cardboard, masking tape, X-acto knife, paint. 
Strategy: Do at least 10 drawings exploring various compositional possibilities.To see how your designs will    look constructed, make three 3D maquettes using cardboard. 
Each maquette must have a different dominant element. (One maquette will have a dominant plane; the second will have a dominant line, and the third a dominant volume.)
Focus on the craftsmanship of the objects. Make each flat plane cut from cardboard as exact as possible and apply the masking tape evenly to both edges.
-All corrugated edges of cardboard must be covered with tape
-All line components must be ¾”X ¾” thick and the length must not exceed 7”
-All plane components must be ¾” thick and either dimension of the plane must not exceed 7”
-All volume components must be a minimum of 1”X1”X1”
-All components must connect at right angles (the edges of each component will be parallel)
-At least one of the components in each design must intersect or appear to go straight through one other form
Accuracy of measurement will be important.  In the second part of this assignment you will be making a scale 3-view drawing of one of your objects on graph paper
 Line Dominant Example

Solid Dominant Example 

 Plane Dominant Example

sketch example using Google SketchUp 8

Dominant, Sub-Dominant, Subordinate Assignment
Part 2
3-View       Drawing
Problem:          Create a 3-View drawing accompanied by an Isometric View Drawing and 4     thumbnail photos that represent your best maquette from part 1 of the assignment
Objectives:       Learn how to evaluate a 3-D design and make a  2-D schematic that con be interpreted by another person for the re-creation of your maquette.
                            Learn how to maintain proportion while changing scale using a grid system
                            Learn how to make an Isometric view drawing
                            Learn how to quickly photograph 3-D objects in a professional manner
Strategy:          Use the 3-View drawing handout and thumbnail photographs provided to create a schematic sheet of your best maquette
                                STEPS IN THE PROCESS:
1         Using graph paper provided, make a scale 3-view and isometric drawing of your maquette.  Start with pencil and then do the drawing in pen.  NOTE: all edged of your form should be represented with a solid line and all obscured edges should be represented with a dotted line.
2         Photograph your maquette using the photo backdrop in studio with a good camera on a tripod and use the timer on your camera for the best quality. 
3         Using Word/A photo editing program/photo copier/scanner, scale the photos to be printed so they fit on the bottom of your design page
4         Print your design page and present it with your maquettes.
-Must have your name and 3-D design at the top of the page along with the title of the assignment and the type of design you have chosen.
-Must fit onto an 8.5”X11” page and be photo copied
-Must have 4 photographic views of the maquette at the bottom of the page