Project Example: 4 Lines, 2 Circles, 1 Square

AD 175: Visual Structures

Project Example: 4 Lines, 2 Circles, 1 Square

Title of Project

4 Lines, 2 Circes, 1 Square

Methods and Concepts

Figure/ground, physical-visual structure, planar interpretation, self-critique


Figure/ground, size, shape, curvilinear, rectilinear, position, direction, groupings, repetition, balance, proportion


As a fundamentals project, create a design based on simple structures of shape, scale, and position using only lines, circles, and a square. The relationship between the elements creates new figure/ground relationships and exploration of these relationships are the focus of the project. Discussion of visual balance or unity as a kinesthetic response is appropriate to begin to determine personal preferences in the use of visual strategies.


Tracing paper, paper, black felt-tip markers, scissors, Xacto knife, adhesive, mounting board such as Bristol board or foamcore; computer software (such as Illustrator) could be used with the final versions printed

Physical processes

1. Create seven items, each on a sheet of tracing paper with felt-tip marker: 4 lines (as tall as the paper permits), 2 circles, and a square. Only the square should be filled with black. The circles may be varying sizes, but must be perfectly circular.
2. Place all 7 sheets of tracing paper over a sheet of paper and move them around to alter the relationships between the items. The lines may run diagonal, horizontal, or vertical. Items may touch and overlap other items. As relationships are explored, items may be removed and redrawn (use of a larger square, for example, would require redrawing the square on a new sheet of tracing paper).
3. After settling on a design, transfer the design onto a sheet of Bristoal board 12” x 16” with a 1” margin.

Critique approach

In process critiques with students individually during step #2 of the process. When finished, all boards will be posted and critiqued with an emphasis on shape relationships.

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