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Exploring Visual Design

Exploring Visual Design
by Joseph A. Gatto, Albert W. Porter, Jack Selleck

A dynamic introduction to
the building blocks of art

Can be used in Grades 7-12

“Exploring Visual Design” is an introduction to the “grammar” of art.  Through this study, students learn how diverse cultures and times have used a common visual language to express their own unique perspective.  As students become fluent in this language, a wealth of studio opportunities help them find their own voice.

Each chapter is devoted to a single element or principle of design.  6 chapters covering elements, and 6 chapters covering design.

Contents for Exploring Visual Design

Chapter 1  Line

Line Types
Line Personality
Line Quality
Line as Texture and Pattern
Line Combination
Studio Experience: Wire Sculptures from Gesture Drawings

Chapter 2  Shape and Form

Categories of Shapes
Qualities of Shape
Form and Light
Studio Experience: Shape Collage

Chapter 3  Value

Using Value in a Design
Light Values
Dark Values
Value Contrast
Another Look at Value
Studio Experience: Still Life Value Study

Chapter 4  Color

The Source of Color
The Properties of Color
Color Harmonies
Warm and Cool Colors
Another Look at Color
Studio Experience: Color Harmonies with Pastels

Chapter 5  Space

Three-dimensional Space
Two-dimensional Space
The Illlusion of Depth
Another Look at Space
Studio Experience: An Event in Clay

Chapter 6  Texture

Surface Qualities
Texture and Light
Artists and the Use of Texture
Another Look at Texture
Studio Experience: Coiled Baskets

Chapter 7  Balance

Symmetrical Balance
Approximate Symmetry
Asymmetrical Balance
Radial Balance
Studio Experience: Balance in Nature

Chapter 8  Unity

Repetition of Visual Units
Use of Color
Surface Quality
Studio Experience: Putting It All Together

Chapter 9  Contrast

Contrasting Materials
Line Contrasts
Using Shape, Form and Size
Contrasting Dark and Light
Color Contrasts
Contrasting Textures
Contrasts of Time and Style
Contrasting Ideas
Studio Experience: Pop-Art Sculpture

Chapter 10 Emphasis

Emphasizing One Element of Design
Using Simplicity
Using Placement and Grouping
Emphasis Through Isolation
Using Size and Repetition
Studio Experience: Emphasis in a Photomontage

Chapter 11 Pattern

Patterns in Nature
Patterns in Manufactured Design
Basic Types of Planned Patters
Random Patterns
Studio Experience: Pattern Prints

Chapter 12 Movement & Rhythm

Actual Movement
Recorded Action
Compositional Movement
Types of Rhythm
Studio Experience: Action!

“Exploring Visual Design” - A Complete Dynamic Program”

Student Books

Captivating Images from fine art, architecture, and nature
In-depth profiles of individual artists and artwork
Informational interviews with professional artists
Samples of student artwork
Studio activities that promote collaboration and self-experience

Studio Resource Binder

60 additional studio options
  5 for each desgin element or principle
  2 basic, 2 intermediate, and 1 advanced idea per chapter
Full-length interviews with professional artists from a range of occupations.

Teacher’s Edition

Correlated to the National Visual Arts Standards
Chapter Organizers tailor instruction to your schedule
Concise, at-a-glance lesson plans
Full-size annotated student pages
Built-in Professional Handbook & Resource Guide

Assessment Masters

12 tests - 1 test for each element and principle of design
True & False, Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank, and Short Answer questions
Studio rubrics for teacher and peer review


12 sets - Each set contains 6 slides, and is correlated to a specific element or principle
Accompanying Guide includes an introductory essay about the element or principle, information about each slide, and an activity.

Large Reproductions

2 Sets:
  Elements of Design and Principles of Design
  12 reproductions per set (2 per chapter)
  Accompanying Guide includes a design analysis, contextual information, and an activity for each large reproduction

In addition to all of the above, each chapter takes an in-depth view of a related artists, artwork, and careers in art. These profiles include:

Profiled artists include:

Imogen Cunningham
Henry Moore
Isamu Noguchi
Jacob Lawrence
Jan Vermeer
Rosa Bonheur
Louise Nevelson
Piet Mondrian
Want Yani
Georgia O’Keefe
Henri Matisse
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Profiled artworkds include:

Taj Mahal
Flying Ant Dreaming
Navajo Beeldlei
Guell Park
Le Pont de Courbevoie
Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last”
Janel and Audrey
Benin plaque, Warrior and Attendants
Banquet of Officers of the Civic Guard of St. George at Haarlem

Profiled carrers in art include:

Type Designer
Web-site Designer
Gallery Owner
Industrial Designer
Art Therapist
Storyboard Illustrator


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