Design by Nature Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-09-23
  • Publisher: New Riders
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The designer who understands a broad range of relationships can often create more aesthetic, effective, and relevant visual communications. This is particularly of interest to designers and students who want to take an active role in creating communications that encompass the common experience of being part of nature. In Design by Nature, author Maggie Macnab will guide readers though a series of unexpected a-ha! moments that describe relationships among nature, art, science, technology, and design. Through explanation and example, readers will learn about natural processes, consisting of familiar patterns and shapes that are often taken for granted, but can be used quite effectively in visual messaging. They will explore the principles all human beings know and share at a very deep level--and that all humans can relate to as intuitive tools to understand the world--and in so doing, learn to incorporate nature's patterns and shapes into their visual design. Less visible and common connections, for example, quazicrystalline formations and their relationships to highly ordered tessellating forms, will also be described. Each chapter includes definitions of new terms introduced in the chapter; a designer profile featuring a well-known designer discussing key concepts; and plenty of examples and exercises so readers can grasp the design concepts they are learning and put them into practice.

Author Biography

Maggie Macnab has been creating iconic logos and graphic design since the early 1980s, fueled by her passion for nature and her love of design and the creative problem-solving process. Maggie’s work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Print magazine, Step-by-Step Graphics, the American Advertising Federation, the New York Art Directors Club, and the AIGA. She speaks at conferences and schools in the United States and abroad, has owned Macnab Design since 1981, and teaches design theory at the University of New Mexico and Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She is the author of Decoding Design: Understanding and Using Symbols in Visual Communication.

Visit www.designbynaturebook.com for additional exercises and information.

Table of Contents

Section One

Memory: Remembering What We Know

Chapter 1 Aesthetics: Enjoy the Ride

Chapter 2 Efficiency: Go with the Flow

Chapter 3 Nature's Ethics: Everyone’s Business

Section Two

Matter: Understand and Create

Chapter 4 Patterns: Nature's Dynamics

Chapter 5 Shapes: Nature's Vocabulary

Chapter 6 The Elements: Nature's Sensuality

Section Three

Motion: The Experience Enhanced

Chapter 7 Structure: Building Beauty

Chapter 8 Symmetry: A Balancing Act in Two or More Parts

Chapter 9 Messaging: A Meaningful Medium


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