Combining the 5 principles of design and animation
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Combining the 5 principles of design and animation

Author: William Marler | Posted on: 24 February 2017

Combining the 5 principles of design and animation

So far in this series, we’ve seen how each principle individually can present its own set of meanings. However, just by combining two principles of a design or animation, brand new imagery can be created.

Let’s say for example you want to show different flavoured drinks; rectangles in various colours sitting in grey containers can do that with ease. Change the rectangles to circles, and the gray container to a gray stick, and you get different flavours of lollipops. 

Principles of design and animation: Shape and colour

It’s worth noting here that not only is the colour change effective, but also the lack of colour change with the gray. In this example, the emphasis is placed on the colours and their differences, hence highlighting the range of flavours they represent.

The real life size and colour of certain objects can make them recognisable, even when using similar shapes.

Principles of design and animation: Size and colour

2D circles may appear flat when evenly distributed in space, but make them closer together and gradually smaller, and 3D perspective can be achieved.

Principles of design and animation: Size and space

In part two, we explored how size can carry certain meanings such as strength and importance. A growing or shrinking object communicated these meanings but does so by emphasising the change in size. A large circle feels much larger when it starts off small.

Principles of design and animation: Size and movement

In part five, we saw how personality and realism can be given to an object through movement. Just changing the colour and the arc of a movement can show the sun traveling across the sky and a tennis ball falling.

Principles of design and animation: Colour and movement

Remember, powerful imagery is created through the use, but more importantly, the limitation of these principles. The most engaging and intelligent uses of design and animation are achieved by saying a lot with very little. Think about how you can communicate your message with two circles of different size, or red and blue triangles, or maybe even a small quick square and a large slow one.

In case you missed a part, you can catch up here:

Part 1: Shape

Part 2: Size

Part 3: Space

Part 4: Colour

Part 5: Movement


Author: William Marler

William Marler gravatar avitar
William is the Animation Lead at Ember Television. He graduated from Birmingham City University in 2016 with first class honours. In that time, he had already completed work for prestigious clients including the BRIT Awards and Fujifilm, and was selected by Adobe as part of their student showcase.
Combining the 5 principles of design and animation

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