Develop visual understanding of the Elements of 2D Design.

Work in collaboration.



Magazines Pencil Eraser Ruler Scissors Glue Stick Bristol Board



The formal elements of two-dimensional design can be found around us every day. It is utilized in the images we see on the Internet, on television, on the packaging of the products we buy, the clothing we wear, the architecture we occupy, and the art we make.

Check the presentation Structure of Design



In groups find images or advertisements online (or use photos of your work) that utilize each of the major elements of 2D design listed below. Work together as a group to find the most appropriate examples for each term. Combine your images in one document, like in Google docs. Your group will then present its findings to the class. This is a timed exercise.


Elements of 2D Design

Line A visual element of length, it can be created by setting a point in motion. Lines can vary greatly in character.

Shapes Shapes are a visually perceived area created by an enclosing line or by color and value changes defining the outer edges. Here you will look for Abstract shapes which may have little resemblance to the real world. Abstraction can occur through a process of simplification or distortion in an attempt to communicate an essential aspect of a form or concept.

Space The space between objects or the “empty” space is called Negative Space or Negative Shapes. The arrangement and organization of negative spaces s as important, if not more important, as the arrangement and organization of positive shapes in any successful composition.

Texture The surface quality of objects that appeals to the tactile sense.

Value The lightest and darkest areas of value in a particular work is called Value Range. A full range of values extends from white through infinite steps or gradations of grays, all the way to black. Find an image that incorporates a broad range of value (white, black, and many grays in between).

Color A property of light; objects have no color of their own but merely reflect certain rays of white light, which contain all the colors. Designers often utilize color to evoke a feeling, give an impression, and/or create meaning. Find an image that uses color to help communicate an idea or emotion.



1. Choose a different image for each element of design.

2. Work together as a group to find the most appropriate examples for each term.

3. Cut out with scissors the images that best represent the elements of design.

4. Using the glue stick, glue the cut outs on to the provided Bristol board. Pay attention to how you are composing these images on the paper.

5. Write the name of each element of design in pencil under the image.

6. Present the elements of design you found.

7. Take a picture of your group's collage and individually upload to Brightspace "Projects & Exercises" under Exercise 1 | Elements of 2D Design.

Related Presentations

Exercise 1 | Brightspace

Self-Critique Questions
Artwork Documentation
Writing Assignment
Brightspace Notes