Chapter 1: Primary Elements

The basic elements of form are point, line, plane, and volume. Respectively they are used to create each other.


A point is a position in space. It doesn’t move, or appear to move. A point is static. Points can be used to serve as the focus of a visual, highlighting or drawing attention to important information. Several points can represent a more complicated object, by being the object, or surrounding the object. Two points can create a line, several points can attract attention, the closer they are together the more the move the viewer eyes.


A line can be thought of as points that are so close they create a new identity. Since lines can be straight curved or irregularly shaped, one can think of a lone as the track of a point in motion. Vertical lines can stop the eye, while curved lines move the eye. Vertical lines can show power, horizontal lines symbolize rest and relaxation, and diagonal lines are dynamic and action oriented.

Lines like points can direct attention to a specific location in a image or space. Thick lines are more powerful than thin lines.


A plane is a line extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction. Planes conceptually have length and width but no depth. In identifying planes, shape is the primary identifying character. Two parallel lines have the ability to visually describe a plane.


Volume suggests dimensionality, specifically depth.  It’s the size, bulk and dimension of an object.  Its usually an object that is thick, nontransparent and exist solidly and three-dimensionally in s[ace and not flat. Volume is closely related to mass, but mass implies weight. And example of the differences is a blown up balloon, and a rock. The Balloon has volume but no mass, and the stone has both volume and mass.