• A shape is a visually perceived area. Is is created by either an enclosing line, or, by a colour and/or a value change defining its outer edges. A shape can also be called a form. The two terms are generally synonymous and are often used interchangeably.
  • Shape is a more precise term because form has other meanings in art. Shape as a term is more specific. Form may be used in a broader sense to describe the total visual organization of a composition. A composition's artistic form refers not just to shape, but also to colour, texture, value pattern, composition, and balance.
  • A shape can be very defined, hard-edged, and geometric - as we might find in something manufactured, or, soft, organic, and irregular - as we might find in nature. The point of a shape in a visual communication is to guide the viewer's eye through the composition. A shape also visually organizes a design and sets the tone of the communication.
  • Line also has a vital role in art as it has been used to delineate shape. Afterall, lines are one of the devices that create shapes and forms.
  • In designing your own patterns you must develop the ability to look beyond interesting subject matter to the basic element of shape. In design, seeing shapes is primary. Reading their meaning is interesting, but secondary.
  • Shape is considered a two-dimensional element. The words volume or mass are applied to its three-dimensional equivalent.
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