Shape Grammar (point, line, plane): process


Create a composition using three basic shapes in a 8 by 8 square and invert the composition with another 8 by 8 square beside the first one (one will have a black background the other will have a white background).


The research that I conducted for this assignment was on our power point and our lecture videos. I used the list of principles of design to figure out which ones I wanted to implement in my project. I then researched “point, line, plane, shape compositions” and saw this really cool design using different shapes and sizes. looking at other compositions helped expand the ideas in my head to create my very own version.


Exercise 1

hand drawing perfect shapes
Creating new shapes


During this exercise we constructed a composition of six three by three boxes. We then cut out symmetrical shapes to trace into these boxes. The goal was to create a new shape using the shapes that we cut out to create a composition. my biggest challenge was making my shapes proportional and precise cutting. I used a ruler and my compass to create the outline of my shapes and then used my cutting knife to cut out each shape. The paper that I used to cut out my shapes was my Bristol paper, it was very helpful because the paper is thick and sturdy.

Exercise 2


For this exercise we created a composition similar to exercise one using implied shapes however, we focused on a composition with static and dynamic positioning. Another rule that we used was to create shapes that represent Geometric, curvilinear, send any form (free style) and in that order. I created my digital composition first then I used the sizes of the shapes that I used on illustrator and cut them out using Bristol paper. I used tracing paper to help find some cool shapes that I could possibly use for my composition. The design principals I used were harmony and balance and I also named my shapes based on what I thought they looked similar to.


I mapped out what shapes I wanted to use and from there I started drawing where I wanted them to go in my square. My intention was to create a composition that communicated new shapes in contrast. I kept my original design principles and added contrast as one and I did this because even if I was satisfied with how my exercises came along, I developed a liking for those principals and they stuck with me throughout the project.


The first thing I did was create my composition on illustrator and it went really well. I was able to create the shapes on a more proportional scale and turn my sketch into my final composition.

To create my perfect 8 by 8 squares, I drew out my composition with the help of my ruler and t-square to make sure my lines were straight and my measurements were correct. I used very light line weight then went over my line weight with my cutting knife with a very light line weight also. After this I repeated the same thing for my black shape cutout and started to map my shapes onto my perfect 8 by 8 squares (black and white). Once I was satisfied with the positioning, I then glued down my cutout onto my black and white 8 by 8 squares. I wasn’t satisfied with just the inverted depth of shapes on each 8 by 8 so I took the inverted shapes and put them all together like a puzzle.



Creating this composition by hand was very challenging but help me develop better skill in line weight and cutting with the exacto knife. What I enjoyed the most about this project was learning how to create a visual effect using contrast. If I were to make adjustments to this project, I would make sure that my cutting is more precise and that I take more time positioning my squares so I don’t get glue all over the top of my composition.