Basic Elements

9 01 2008

The Elements

These elements are the bare essentials and hold the greatest importance in a work. There are 6 main elements and form, space are some of them. The other 5 more elements include dot, line, shape, texture, and colour. All works should incorporate these elements in the design because it defines the creation on the platform of art and functionality it stands on.



A dot is a mark that is shows the beginning of a work or the end of it. It is the very basic element whereby an art work or a design starts. Nothing will be done without the dots. It’s the basic. One dot marks a point where people will look and concentrate at as it directs attentions. Dots are used to amplify perception and it does not mean one dot, a dot in architecture can mean a center or a mole or a concentration of forms or objects near or close together. Dots that are aligned together create a line. Dots are use to create feel or texture to create form, space and texture. Dots are used to create tones and more. One dot is a point, a number of dots create different elements that are important to showcase a design. A dot does not mean that it is rounded, it dot can have any shape imaginable. A dot just means a point or a mark and that mark could be a circle, triangular, square or uneven shapes. The main purpose of the dot is there regardless of its shape.



A line is a combination of a series of dots that are continuous, with an exact distance in between each dot. They are a number of lines that are all around us, they vary from size of its thickness to the smoothness of the line: lines can be jagged, twisted, bold or anything.  Line can be the outer layer of a form. It defines a shape and also space. Lines creates shapes, Lines could also show texture, lines creates patterns, Lines create color tones, lines create texture and space, line creates form and texture, line creates form and patterns and most importantly lines creates form and space. By using the right lines in a work, you are able to create something that has all of the elements which include the above: form, texture, tone, pattern, space and movement.

They are many materials that creates lines, from pencils, ball point pens, brushes, technical pens, or even charred coal.  Line shows emotions or has a theme with the intended stroke that has been done. Rough line shows masculinity, strength, and power. Fine line shows sensitivity, sharpness and speed. Lines with edges reflect worries, in-stability, un-finished works. Fine wavy lines shows softness, flexibility, happiness, and fluidity. They way lines are done tell a meaning and that is what architecture is, it should be able to relate to people.

A combination of lines tell a different theme when they are put together. Take for example with a combination of straight, rough, and fine lines that are arrange in vertical, horizontal and twisted will create a image that is energetic, strong and accurate.

If fine lines were use instead, where the line is allowed to flow freely creates an image that is smooth, quiet, peaceful and stylish.

Lines that are horizontal normally reflect peacefulness, and serenity: these lines regardless of the thickness or appearance are flat. The architecture term horizontality refers to the landscape and the building being flat and long allowing the building to be with nature and the surrounding, it does not seem to challenge nature. Straight lines are dominant in showing horizontality, and horizontality means humbleness and closeness to the surroundings. s

Vertical lines are lines that are straight up, these lines shows strength, and stability. Verticality in architecture means that a building is there to make a statement and to challenge the norm. It is a strong bold element that contrast the surrounding.

Lines with points, angles or edges show direction. It shows the focus point of the movement that should be followed. These lines are used in directing to an important space of order. It serves as a sign and movement.

Lines that are radiating from a center, these lines give an impression that of an energy source, light and attention. It radiates from an important center to allow the impression for us to concentrate on the center. It could show direction, movement and connection. Its is a node and shows importance.



Shape is the creation when the end of a line meets the start of that line itself. Shape can be just a flat plane that is surrounded by outer line and does not hold any mass. Shape is perceived as an idea of the form or how it looks. Shape is composed in positive and negative shapes. Positive shapes mean the shape of the object on the area it is located. Negative shapes is the shape of the area the object is on. Normally to emphasize on the object or area, they are usually darken to show concentration.

There are 2 types of shapes, Geometrical and Organic Shapes. Geometrical Shapes are shapes that have exact angles at every edges and they are design to be that way, they were done on intention. These shapes include circles, squares, triangles, rectangles etc

Organic Shapes are shapes that does not have a proper angle to its edge and are made to be natural. They were not intended to be that way and usually drawn with the guidance of intuition and free-handed.

The arrangement of shapes in repetition creates a pattern using the grid method. Taking one simple pattern of geometrical shape and differentiating the next pattern by using its negative shape. Arrange them one after the other and repeating the pattern will create a motif as a whole.

Patterns that are interesting are based on one shape that is identical and this could be created by using techniques such as separation, touching, over-lapping, see-through over-lapping and anything that you believe could create a new motif or pattern.

Shape can be developed more by using 3 simple techniques. Over-lapping, Adding, and Subtracting.

Shapes can be simplified from the original shape to form logos. These logos are normally presented in negative or positive shapes.



From the evolution of dot, to lines, and to shape; it evolved from 1 dimension (dot &line) to 2 dimension (shape) and form is the 3 dimensional combination of the previous products. Form has an area, height, mass and more then one surface. The outline is a forms structure and form will have a different perspective from different point of view, front, left, right, rear, top and bottom. In terms of presentation of form, it is done by using a few elements such as lines, renderings, texture and tone value.

They are 2 types of forms, the Concrete form and the Illusion form.

Concrete Form is the form of the real object it self. It is a 3 dimensional character which mean that I can be seen, touch, and feel.

Illusion Form is the form that is 2 dimensional in characteristic whereby you can only see. This type of form uses elements such as texture, rendering, lines and color tones to create the shape and from on a piece of paper.



Normally we define texture as feel of the surface of an object. Texture is everywhere from every material and object whether it was man-made or natural. Texture give a sense of individuality on the material and using the right material on a design will help emphasize and create a feel that is called home or anything that the space is design for. Texture tells a whole lot more then just feel, it tells emotions and thoughts. Rough edges tells of anger and masculinity,  and smooth surfaces is the opposite.

There are 2 types of texture. Texture that you can feel and texture on paper whereby you can see but you cant touch. Some paintings are made to be touchable and felt.

Textures that could be felt are like sculptures, assemblage, collage, embroidery, etc

Textures that are made to be seen are like paintings and drawings.

Using texture in architecture creates the feel that all of us need which is to feel belonged and trusted. Using the right material to design is important thus learning and understanding the materials make a difference in design concepts and presentation.   


Color is the most important element in the creation of a work. Color has the power to influence and brings out our feelings. Take for example, bright colors creates a sense of joy and happiness. Dark and gloomy colors create a sense of sadness and dread.

There are 3 groups of colors that are dominant in the color wheel. Primer Colors, Secondary Colors and Tertiary Colors.

Primer Colors

The Primer Colors or Basic Colors are the main colors that everything exists on. It is always perceived as the strongest and powerful colors and there are used in logos, posters and ads that needs to have energy and strong statements. The primer colors are Red, Blue, and Yellow. These three are the core colors whereby they are unable to be generated by mixing other colors together to produce it. No combination of colors can create any of the core colors and thus they are known as the Primer Colors simply because they are the original colors.


Secondary colors

Secondary colors as its name state, are the combination of the primer colors to produce another color. There are 3 secondary colors, orange, Purple, and green. Orange is the product of mixing yellow + red, Purple/ indigo is the mix of blue +red, and green is the product of blue+ Yellow. The mixture ratios for the colors are equal. The secondary colors are dap with a decline in its power, yet it is brighter then the tertiary lines.


Tertiary Colors.

Tertiary  Colors are made from combining the secondary and the primer colors together and usually with the color next to one another. There are 6 colors on the tertiary line, light green: green + yellow, Light orange: Orange + Yellow, orange red: red + orange, violet: purple + Red, indigo: blue + purple, dark Green: blue + green. The tertiary colors creates a sense of softness and has the ability to lower the intensity of the primer and secondary colors if they are used together in a good composition.


Color Composition

There are 3 groups of color composition: Harmonious Colors, Contrast Colors and Tonal Colors.

Harmonious Colors are known as a set of colors alike and are located next to each other on the color wheel. These colors are able to create a comfortable feel, interesting, and also a balance environment.


Contrast Colors  are sets of colors that are located on the opposite of each other on the color wheel. These colors when put together will create a refreshing and energetic feel. It creates a contra, vibe, and movement.  It’s a perfect media to use to create a statement and to relay an idea across fast because it attract attentions.


Tonal Colors are also known as Monochrome colors and it is made out of one color but in different tones ranging from the softest to the darkest tone. The more white is used to lower the tone value and to increase the value black is used. This color composition creates a harmonious and comfortable vibe but will be a boring sight after sometime.


Color Value.

The value of a colors are divided into 3 groups: color tones, chromo colors, and neutral colors

Color Tones are the effects of the light beams that effects a colors tone from the brightest to the darkest.  It’s the same with tonal colors where white and black are used to create different color values, the lightest value contains more white and the darkest contains the most black. Color tones are very important and useful in producing space and 3 dimensional spaces.

Chromo Colors is the creation from mixing 2 contrast colors in certain ratios that creates a tonal value that flows from the two colors. Chromo colors creates a dull color from the original colors and these colors are used to show longings, sadness and are able to bring back the nostalgic feel.

Neutral Colors normally refers to black and white. Black and White are neutral because they have no strength and power yet they are able to lower or increase a colors value. The two colors have value when mixed together and the tone value change from white to black, where white turns into grey and to turns into black. Neutral Colors also mean chromo colors where the creation from both mixtures produced colors that have lost the originality of its core colors. Neutral Colors are colors that have no power or strength but it has the ability to lower the intensity of other colors when composed well with other colors. Neutral colors are powerless but they are able to create a comfortable and less stressing environment.


Color Temperatures

The temperature of colors are felt through the emotion of the viewer and occupants. There are 2 color temperatures: Hot Colors and Cold Colors.

Hot Colors are colors that are bright and vibrant which creates a strong, bold and hot vibe. These colors are shades of yellow, orange, and red. Hot colors are used to show anger, rage, unevenness and to portray mess, madness etc.

Cold Colors are colors that cold to the eye, they are not strong, gentle, soothing and pleasant. These colors range from the shades of green, blue, and purple. Cold colors create a fresh, cold, distant, and sad feel. Normally to show great emotions.


Color Action

When a color is put on a background that is different will create a different feel but when 2 colors create a contrast combination it is called a Positive Action. But when 2 colors create a tone and feel that are almost identical it is called a Negative Action. Positive is when the color overwhelms the background and Negative is when the background takes over the color put on it. The composition of color to create the right action is important to stress on an idea and to relay a message.


Perspective Colors

Perspective colors are colors that creates an illusion of space, distance, and most importantly perspective. Objects that are close are clear and dark in tone where farther objects have blurrier images with a brighter tone. A good perspective effect is with the use of harmonious colors and tonal colors. Understanding tone value and the use can create works that capture eyes around.





9 responses

11 03 2008


21 10 2008

thanks for this site……im done with my report…!!!!!
thanks again and more power….

10 09 2009

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

11 01 2010
Jenny S.

Really good!!!It helped!!!

4 04 2010

thanks 4 ur website i am complete my notes

27 11 2011

thank you…

13 12 2011

its a best result for elements of architecture

18 06 2012
Md imran


26 07 2012
Queenie Grajo

tnx for the more info. 🙂

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