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96 The Principles of

96 The Principles of Beautiful Web Design Volume and Depth Figure 3.13. The economy of line test on Speed Kids' website We’ve talked about point, line, and shape, but now it’s time to take this chapter to another dimension. The elements we’ve discussed so far only exist in two dimensions: width and height. They’re just marks on paper or a screen, without any indication of depth; however, as we live in a world of three dimensions, we’ve learned to rely on visual cues that help us to determine the width, height, and depth of the objects around us. Perspective When we see a path that disappears into the horizon as the Great Wall of China does in Figure 3.14, we don’t think that its width actually decreases to a single point. Similarly, when we look at an open door, we’re aware that the top and bottom of the door are parallel, even though they seem to converge towards the door frame. We’re not fooled by these spatial illusions because we know (consciously or otherwise) that objects tend to look smaller as they become further away.

Texture 97 Figure 3.14. Perspective on the Great Wall of China Proportion In Chapter 1, I mentioned that altering the proportion of objects was a good way to create emphasis. This is true because we humans rely on the relative proportion of adjacent objects to determine not only the size of those objects, but also their location in three-dimensional space. Although the horses in the background of Figure 3.15 are proportionately smaller than the horse in the foreground, our eyes tell us that they’re about the same size in reality. Figure 3.15. Proportion in design is more than just horseplay

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