Point, Line, Plane: Alex Gutzwiller

From the book, Graphic Design: The New Basics, Jennifer Cole and Ellen Lupton explain the basis for design comes from the use of point, line and plane elements. These elements combine to form textures, patterns as well as relationships within the image to create a design that promotes the movement of the viewers’ eye across the piece.  I chose a non-scripted image from the graphic novel; fax from Sarajevo, by Joe Kubert because I feel it illustrates this concept of eye movement across a design. This image uses lines that move horizontally and vertically throughout the image, which immediately caused my eye to move across the entire image by looking right to left as well as up and down. The horizontal lines form a plane because it is filled with a relatively wide field of white. As described in Graphic Design: The New Basics, a plane is trail of a line that moves. The white planes within this image I feel caused my eye to move from right to left because the thickness of the plane is greatest on the right edge, initially drawing the eye to this location. Becoming smaller as the plane moves to the left, my eye moved to the left. Additionally, because these planes contain only the color white, they seem to become a focal point within the image that is filled with color. My eyes initially looked at the white plane on the right first.  Also because this novel concerns the Serbian siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War, the use of the color white also becomes a focal point that is positive space because I feel it illustrates the absence of war and fighting.  Lines that create the war-torn tree trunks seem to be behind these planes of white and draw the viewers to look at


This image represents characters from the graphic novel fax from Sarajevo, by Joe Kubert

the image vertically as a tree would grow. Furthermore, the white planes could be interpreted as a fence that is keeping the war zone filled with the dead trees away from the soldiers, further adding to this positive space. Lastly, as discussed within Graphic Design: The New Basics planes can be parallel to a picture surface. Within this image the white planes are parallel to the soldiers in the foxhole that seems to further emphasize the positive space that is creating protection for the soldiers. Looking closely at the soldiers, several points are visible. As explained by Cole and Lupton a point marks a position within the space of the image.  The standing soldier has two points upon his right sleeve shoulder.  I feel these points high on the soldier mark the position that the soldier is standing up as opposed to those in ground within the foxhole.  Likewise, there are small points on the soldier’s hand that is in the foxhole that adds to the placement of the soldier within the ground contrasted against the standing soldier. Since there are few points used within this image their use is powerful because their placement is illustrating the location of the soldiers within this image and pushing my eye to these positions. As a result because of the use of points, lines and planes this design is active because it draws my eye to move across the entire image. The design also seems to contain depth as the white planes create a fence-type image, which illustrates a background and foreground. Depth is also created with the foreground of men in the foxhole, a standing soldier in the middle, which is followed by the white planes and trees that further caused my eye to move vertically up the image.



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