Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

Contrast in design

A fundamental overhaul of design theory took place during the 1920s in Germany at the Bauhaus. Because of its questioning and experimental approach to the principles of design, this school of art, design and architecture has had a major influence in contemporary design.

Johannes Itten

Johannes Itten ran the basic course at the Bauhaus and it became famous as the foundation for modern mass media design. Itten's theory of composition was rooted in one simple concept: contrasts.

Contrast between light and dark ( chiaroscuro), between shapes, colours and even sensations.

While the first exercises he set for the students was to explore contrast which included large/small, long/short, dark/light, smooth/rough, transparent/opaque and so an was for art, they also relate to photography very well. His intention was" to awaken a vital feeling in the student for the subject through personal observation".


For these images from the Last Rivers Song, I played with contrasts of: black - white, hard - soft, rock - water, still and moving, long - narrow




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