Figure - Ground is one of the Gestalt Principles widely used in Graphic Design, especially in Logo Design. The perceptual factors of Gestalt are creating visual frames of references that provide the designer with psychological basis for the dimensional organization of the graphic elements he is working with. By using contrast between elements the "Figure-Ground" principle is fundamentelly allowing the viewer's eye to "read" imagery. Figures are the positive elements defined by spatial relatinships which exist among all of their parts. Ground stands for background, white space and negative space format that composes the visual image. See examples below.
In the past, graphic designers have had to put a lot of effort to precisely illustrate figure - ground concepts. Luckily we live in technologically advanced times and Adobe Illustrator is making the process way easier...
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a simple figure - ground vector. All you need to do is to overlap letterform elements and create the spatial relationship between them by using one of the shape modes in Adobe Illustrator.
For example, I will use the letterforms "V" and "A".
1) First, create a new file (print or web).
2) Select the type tool, choose a typeface, and black for color, then type the first Letterform.
3) With the same tool, type the second one (you can impovise by changing the font but I will stick with the same - Myriad Pro Bold 60 pt).
4) Using the selection tool select the second letterform (in our case "A").5) Move the "A" over the "V" in a way that parts of the letter forms overlap.
5) Open the pathfinder palette - Window>Pathfinder or Ctrl+Shift+F9 / Command+Shift+F9 (Mac).
6) Select both letterforms with the Selection Tool and then click on "Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas".
Before you finish, you can go back and experiment with different fornt. When you're satisfied click on the Expand button and save your work.
Imagery by PsuedoDragon
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