Rhythm is quite simple to understand, Rhythm means movement, which creates interest within a design, if you think of music it's like the beat, there is always an underlying beat that takes us through a song or piece of music and rhythm in design is the same.
There are four main ways of creating rhythm within a design:
The primary purpose of rhythm is to guide the eye to the focal area but without trapping it there.
Transition helps to create greater impact, similar shaped balloons can be graduated in size to add variety and therefore transition within the design, if you think about music again, the transition in music is when it changes from one key to another, so with balloons it can be when we change from one balloon size to another.
So looking at the 'Dolphin Arch' below, the transition in this design is where the balloons are decreasing/graduated in size from the base to the centre.
This design also uses repetition to create rhythm, this has been formed with the use of the 260Q curly spirals in the centre of the design.
• Repetition: Rhythm is created when repetition of a shape, colour or texture is used within a design. .
Both of these designs show great 'rhythm' through repetition, with the flowers above, the repeating pattern using the same shape (round), colours and texture which allows the eye to follow the line of the flowers easily. There is also transition within this design as the balloons graduate from smaller at the top and base to larger in the middle.
And again we have a great example of rhythm through repetition in the columns below, from the base right through to the top of the design, the same balloon pattern and use of colours makes it easy to follow the line of the columns.
This Taper Flower is a good example of rhythm through radiation, the flower at the top of this column has a strong focal point and from here your eyes travel outwards towards the Taper balloons.
• Variation is to increase movement within a design, Variation is used to create greater impact. Positioning like materials on either side of an imaginary central axis of a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line does this. We often see variation created by adding 260Q curly balloons to a column, this allows us to add interest to a straight rhythmic path.
It took me a while to understand each of the elements and principles of design, but once I 'got it', it has really stuck with me and it truly helps me when I am designing anything from an arch to a centrepiece!
I hope this series of beginners guides are helping some of you to understand the elements & principles of design as little more, I can assure you that it will help you to be a better designer in your every day work!