01 Feb The Aspects and Elements of Event Design
Before starting the event design process, it is essential that you start by brainstorming and exercising your creativity – this will allow you to expand your thinking and broaden your creative mind in order to focus on the aspects and elements of design. Also keep Feng Shui in mind, as it helps to design and create a healthy and balanced event space.
The aspects of design include: space, perspective, balance, harmony, unity, movement, and variety. For example, you can create a focal point within the room through perspective by arranging furniture or props in a balanced formal (symmetrical) or informal (asymmetrical) way. This perspective would draw the guests’ attention to the focal point that you’re drawing them into. In the example of a wedding, this would be the bridal couple. The various furniture, props and décor used in the design would create a harmonious environment in the room, forming a rhythm or pattern through the relationship of the objects. This not only would create a natural flow, but it would also bring a sense of unity and completeness to the event. On the other hand, while it is important to create harmony and balance throughout your design, you can also incorporate elements of contrast, which would enhance the overall affect. Below you can find an example of a wedding ceremony where the aspects of design have been utilized.
Photo via: Aaron Delesie Photography
The floral decoration in the example that lines the aisle, leading up to the altar, creates perspective, harmony, a sense of calm and balance. The simple white and light décor combined with natural elements such as the trees and wooden chairs create unity and add movement. The wedding arch made out of the same floral decoration and trees have been used to create perspective and balance drawing your eye and attention down the aisle to the alter. The use and placement of white floral, trees, and green surrounding, add variety to the design. The tree branches create the feeling of movement as they form a unity with the white floral.
The elements of design include: point, direct attention, composition, and value. The elements of design are more detailed and focused on actual objects, colours, lighting, texture, emotions and ambiance than the different aspects of design. The elements are essentially the finer details of the aspects and go hand in hand when designing an event.
The point, or focal point, highlights a certain area – creating perspective. This can be achieved through various points that working harmoniously together to create the focal point. The use of lines can create and enforce certain feelings and communicate subliminal messages. Horizontal and curved lines tend to create more of a peaceful and calming effect, vertical lines can create an elegant but more dominant feeling and diagonal lines can create tension. When designing an event it is therefore important to think about how these lines can be used to direct attention to focal points or areas of focus whilst maintaining the flow and ambiance of the event.
The composition pairs with the balance aspect of design, as it focuses on the symmetrical and asymmetrical forms, arranging elements in order to create a balance, whilst remembering what lines should be focused on to point to the focal area. There is also open, and closed composition, whereby open composition is ‘out of the box’ and flows past the boundaries of an event, and closed composition is more direct and solid (keeping in a certain form). Colours are also very important in the composition, especially when mixing various colours. Complementary colours on the colour wheel shouldn’t be paired together, as they can create a harsh visual contrast that is not aesthetically pleasing, whereas colours that do not greatly contrast with each other are far more harmonious and create a beautiful visual. Different hues of the same colour, or colours very close together on the colour wheel are far more pleasing and create a harmonious atmosphere.
Finally, the value focuses on the degree of light or darkness that an element or aspect of design gives off. Darker areas will create a far more gloomy feeling, with a sense of mystery and drama, however, lighter areas are much more happy and fun, creating a feeling of closeness, warmth and texture. Texture is an essential aspect of the overall design, because it can create certain feelings when guests touch and interact with the various textures. The draping effects of certain fabrics can also create a feeling of elegance, or calmness depending on what lightness of darkness they exude (i.e. velvets that are darker and rich in colour will create a sense of elegance, and a warm ambience, whereas a light chiffon fabric draped over the altar may create a feeling of happiness and calmness). It is necessary, as a designer, to interact with different fabrics when playing with the textures for an event, as they should go with entire flow and theme of the event.