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Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition
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Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  362 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
At last, a mathematical explanation of how art works presented in a manner we can all understand. Kimberly Elam takes the reader on a geometrical journey, lending insight and coherence to the design process by exploring the visual relationships that have foundations in mathematics as well as the essential qualities of life. Geometry of Design-the first book in our new ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Princeton Architectural Press
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Jack Keely
Oct 28, 2015 Jack Keely rated it it was amazing
Designers and artists will be intrigued by Kimberly Elam’s visually rich investigation of proportion, form, and composition. I tend to draw intuitively, placing elements in a picture where they seem to “fit”. My ability to illustrate was definitely sharpened by my years in design school working with grid systems and analyzing the composition of posters and page layouts. Kimberly Elam’s book echoes that experience by closely examining everything from a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair to a ...more
Aug 31, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: design
The golden ratio in design - it does a great job of highlighting the use of the golden ratio as it has vellum pages illustrating the design proportions overlaying a photograph of the actual object.
Lorenzo Diaz campos
No existen manuales para medir la estética y belleza en las creaciones de diseño, eso es cierto. Aun así este interesante tomo explica con sencillez y con una vasta cantidad de ilustraciones los elementos de proporción y composición que contribuyen indudablemente a crear objetos y construcciones notables. La autora revisa conceptos matemáticos y geométricos ancestrales que explican el talento humano para entender la naturaleza misma de la belleza.
Con delicadas inserciones en papel velum, elabora
Jul 19, 2008 Don rated it really liked it
This is a short book on design and composition that focuses on a handful of popular ratios and geometrical constructions and then overlays those constructions on professional design work and architecture to reveal the geometric framework underpinning the works of art. The initial geometric portion of the book focuses on the golden rectangle and root rectangles, showing how they are constructed and subdivided. After this initial material, the book launches into a series of examples involving art ...more
Rebecca Perry
Nov 16, 2011 Rebecca Perry rated it it was amazing
I'm obviously guessing at the date I finished this book. I remember taking it out of the library at University and hanging it on to it until they wouldn't let me renew anymore.

I loved the velum paper overlays of the geometry of well know pieces of art and design. I always love to know that what I'm doing, where I'm putting something in a composition is for a damn good reason, like a law of mathematics! It's obviously not always the case that I do everything to strict geometric rules, but it's a
Mariana García
Feb 22, 2016 Mariana García rated it it was amazing
It is a brilliant collection of design examples and how they follow proportion and composition rules. It covers pieces from classic paintings to architecture starting with a digestible theoretical ground that holds the hand of the reader through the vast ammount of examples. The displayed pieces are analysed through several glasses and the use of semi transparent paper on top to overlay the relationship between elements. Well achieved and a great reference book, I recommend this one to everyone ...more
May 18, 2013 Pj rated it liked it
I'm not a person that is trained in design, but I love the correlation between nature and geometry. The book started out with those comparisons, but went into geometry and key posters of the past as well as furniture....Mies van der Rohe, Jules Cheret, A. M. Cassandre. I enjoyed learning about Root Rectangles and Golden Section rectangles and triangles, but that was only the first 42 pages of the book. I'm guessing this book might be a short study for a graphic designer.
May 11, 2008 Erik rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: graphic designers, artists.
Yet another essential volume for a graphic designer's library. It's small, it's quick, it's priceless.

I generally dislike graphic design books. They tend to be written by knowledgeable folks who love reading their own incoherent words (coughRANDcough). Kimberly Elan's books--Grid Systems being another--are worth every penny you pay for them as far as I'm concerned.
Mar 03, 2012 Lorraine rated it liked it
Bought this after taking it out of the library. Worth having as a reference, but honestly, this whole Golden Section debate is absurd. She justifies its use when the overlays don't even line up the way she describes. But a good exercise.
Jessie Moberg
Apr 02, 2013 Jessie Moberg rated it really liked it
If you like math and design, pick this book up.

It's nerd-tastic.

(The lovely images and diagrams are just an added bonus)
May 03, 2008 Joshua rated it really liked it
Another great from Princeton Architectural Press. Makes proportion in design dead simple, and doesn't expect visual people to learn via math equations. Just show me, and I'll get it. And I did.
Mkd rated it did not like it
Sep 06, 2007
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Jan 21, 2008 Meagan rated it really liked it
Really sweet illustrations of the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio.
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Kimberly Elam is a writer, educator and graphic designer. She currently chairs the Graphic + Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL, where she has developed an academic minor in the Business of Art and Design. Her previous design education positions include the Kansas City Art Institute, North Carolina State University and The Ohio State ...more
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