Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Balance in Design - The Most Fundamental Element of the Arts

Balance is in everything and everything is all about balance. Art is about balance and design as well. Even order in the Universe is possible because of balance.

Balance is the most fundamental of the design elements. Balance in design is achieved by simply putting two similar objects on the opposing sides of an axis. Meaning what is on the left of the axis must also be present on the right. Or what is on top must have a counterpart below. If one is observant, balance is evident in the works of the Masters. In the application of colors, in the subtle display of objects, even the interplay of shades and shadows all add-up to create the masterpiece. Although, when looking at one, harmony dazzles more that balance looses its importance to the visual spectacle.
Formal and informal balance happens coincidentally in works of art, designing structures and even in music. In the real world formal balance in design seldom occurs. Everything wallows in informal balance. Only precision can create formal balance in laboratories. Formal balance is dead and static, while informal balance is alive and moving.  A pound of rock on one side and a pound of cotton on the other is an expression of informal balance. They may look differently but had balance still.  That is why this form of balance is never quantifiable in the works of art, but is the essential element to create harmony.
Art is about balance. And when principles of design balance are put into a canvas, it creates a stunning masterpiece. A work of art is not dead per se, but a moving rendition of the artist’s capability.  The artist exploits the enigma of informal balance. That is by putting into the canvas the static state of images comes in motion.  This allows the onlookers to experience the confined environment of the images. Informal balance drives the depth to fully appreciate the current state of the images. When a scene is depressing it gives onlookers a chill. But when it is about a momentous occasion, onlookers partake of the mood.

Architecture is all about informal balance as observed. This is the trend, unlike in the past where designers were totally engrossed with formal balance design.  The structures built in Acropolis, Greece are all examples of the design principle. Look closely at the images of the Parthenon and formal balance is the obvious conclusion. Michaelangelo even followed the principle strictly in the design of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Other masters followed. But with the advent of the modern movement everything changed. Frank Lloyd Wright particularly made the principle sit back. 

Remember, that balance is everything! It is the most fundamental of all the design principles.  

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