The Principals of Design may seem esoteric or abstract to us non-designers, but the principal of repetition is undeniable and powerful in Lucia’s photograph.
This is an arresting photo for many reasons. The monochrome color scheme with weathered red accents is fabulous. The eye brow windows at the top add a touch of softness to the rising arc of the red boxes. The strong, textured vertical and irregular horizontal lines divide the space in a puzzling, intricate fashion. But it is the repetition that walks away with the interest prize.
What are the repeated design elements in this photo. They are: the red rectangles that seem to be climbing randomly up the building (what are they anyway? Boarded up windows?), the eye brows across the top that look down inquisitively on all below, the evenly-spaced vertical columns contrasted with the hodgepodge of randomly spaced horizontal lines, the delicate and variegated textures of the grey surface. It all adds up to an amazing photo find. I suspect that this building is not in its final state. It is either falling into further ruin, or being prepped for rehabilitation. Too bad it is unlikely to stay just as it is. There is mystery afoot here and it is just lovely.
Repetition Controls How the Viewer Experiences the Photo
Repetition is a design principal that guides the viewer’s eye across and through an image, reinforcing and reiterating a message. There is no way a viewer would dismiss this photo with one quick glance. The eyes will follow the path laid out by the repeated objects. This consistency helps reinforce understanding at a rudimentary brain level.
It is useful to remember the power of this principal when designing a presentation. If you use it, you too can direct your viewers eyes to see what you want them to see whether is it the next slide, a key element in a photo, a word in your text. Keep repetition handy in your presentation bag of tricks.
“Oh, look at this,” I said to my friend, Tracey, while walking around Auckland, NZ. I was immediately attracted to the mottled cement around the red windows. And, of course, it was the repetition that Susan so nicely described that compelled me to make this photo. Just to fill you in, this is the back of the St. James Theatre, which they are renovating. Tracey told me that they took the facing down to restore. I have no idea what it will look like then it’s done, but I sure like the way it looks now. What do you think?
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