In examining the use of scale in design, this page taken from Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories provides many elements of scale. Objective scale is referred to as a literal representation of something. In this example the correlation of the sizes of the buildings to each other are relative, as one can interpret the buildings all being of a large size in comparison to other objects that surround them (i.e people, houses). The artist creates a static image in which the scale of objects compared to others, whether larger or smaller, are identifiable to us and are not extreme or imaginative. Subjectively, the artist explores scale through the tracks to the right and the human hand using some kind of technology interface. By creating a track that seems to extend for a farther distance and large hand that seems closer to the viewer than the other characters in the image, the artist plays heavily with depth. With this created depth, a scene is set and and emphasis is made through the scale of the objects the artist allows us to see. We see this hologram-like screen which is meant to grab our attention through its larger scale in relation to the rest of the image and through human interest (it makes us wonder what kind of technology it is, and what it’s used for). Beyond using scale to make the image seem realistic in terms of size, this emphasis on certain elements gives more scale to the importance of the image, and the message the artist attempts to convey. The smaller images in the bottom third of of the page give us examples of contrast of scale. With the size of the images and implied depths differing, these changes in scale helps mix the rhythm of the page, keeping the viewer’s focus at high alert and giving emphasis to each smaller image by making them different from one another.
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- 336 Spring 2018
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