Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Part 3 The Beginners Guide to the Elements & Principles of Design - Texture & Balance

Texture is the final 'element' of design that we are going to look at in this series of blogs, we have already looked at Colour in Part 1 and Line in Part 2.


When working on balloon decor it is often harder to create a design that has contrasting textures as the visual texture of a balloon is the same. However if we can include other components with a different textural difference we are able to create designs with greater impact, therefore we need to look at other mediums to help us achieve this.

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This is a great example of texture, this centrepiece design is based around the Peacock Accent Pattern Diamond AccentsTM Microfoil® Balloon #41227. To enhance this centrepiece design a feather boa, faux feathers and coiled metallic decorative wires have been used, all giving different visual textures that strengthen's the theme, making this a fantastic design.

This design can be found on the Qualatex website in the Wedding Business Booster along with the instructions on how to make it!

This wintery centrepiece uses a variety of different textures to enhance it's appearance.
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Winter Centrepiece created by Sue Bowler.com

This design includes using a 'Cracked Ice' foil to cover the containers. A glittered snowflake and 'glittered' balloons.

If you would like to learn how to make glittered balloons you can check out my blog 'A Sparkly Balloon Centrepiece for the Festive Season'.

When I design the 'Lamp inspired by Tiffany' for a competition a few years ago at BACI, I really wanted to create a visual texture that gave the impression of richness and strength of colour, as Tiffany lamps are always vibrant and elegant. I chose to use both foil - the 20" Starpoints and 5" latex together to give a contrast in visual texture, but to ensure that the latex balloons stood out well against the foils I double stuffed them to give them great depth of colour, which it really did! To make the Lamp stand look like it was strong metal colour we double stuffed black inside gold which gave it this great antique Gold colour. The lamp stood over 4 meters (approx. 12' tall) it was a huge challenge for me to designs and make but at the same time very satisfying once we had completed it!

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Lamp Inspired by Tiffany Designed and created by Sue Bowler CBA and Team at BACI 2012

So although visual 'Texture' may be considered to be difficult to create within a design, in fact it's quite easy. 

For centrepieces and arrangements we can use sticks, canes, ting-ting, foils, cellophanes, containers, feathers, glitter, raffia, ribbons, organza, tulle... my list could go on and on, all these offer contrasting and great visual texture! Look outside of our industry, maybe take a visit to a local floral wholesaler or a good craft store and see what is available, it really will help to stimulate your creativity... and don't forget Pinterest too, I find that when I need a little inspiration I just go to Pinterest and there is usually something that helps me... and never balloon related, it's then my challenge to create my design with balloons!

We are now going to look at the 'principles of Design', and we will start with 'balance'.


There are two types of balance that we need to consider when you are creating your designs and decor;

Visual & Actual

Actual balance is when we create a design we must ensure that the design is physically stable and therefore cannot fall over. 
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Balloon Flowers created by Sue Bowler CBA

This design is a great example to illustrate actual balance. These balloon flowers have been made on wires and are extremely top heavy, therefore the base and container that I have used to hold the flowers in place needs to be heavy enough so that they cannot tip over.

Visual Balance - this can be created in a number of ways. Darker elements should be placed towards the centre or focal point of a design, whereas lighter colours should be placed towards the outer edges of the design. 
Larger elements should be placed towards the base or focal point of a design, whereas smaller elements should be placed towards the outer edge of a design.

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This 'Reach for the Stars' design that is featured in the Graduation Business Booster shows great visual balance.

Large Black balloons at the base of this design indicates weight and makes the design look heavier at the base.

Three colours have been selected from the “Hats Off To The Graduate!” Microfoil® Balloon # 93191, once again the darker of the 3 balloons have been used closest to the base of the design.

This design is featured in the Graduation Business Booster on the Qualatex website along with instructions how to make it!

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Table arrangement by Sue Bowler CBA - This table arrangement also shows visual balance well. The largest and darker colours are towards the centre of the design, and the smaller lighter elements are towards the outer edge.

Designs do not need to be symmetrical to be balanced visually, asymmetrical designs can create what is known a informal visual balance. Asymmetrical balance is achieved when the focal point is the balancing point of a composition and is to one side of the centre, like the design above. Both sides of a line drawn through the focal area must be equal in visual and physical weight in order for the composition to be balanced. The sides are often different in size, shape and placement of materials.

Designs that are symmetrical can look static and lack interest, so creating an asymmetrical design can create a more exciting display.

Wow, so much to think about when creating a design, to be honest, many of you will be doing a lot of this naturally but there will be the occasions when you question what you have made and wonder how you could have made it a little better and it is at that point that you will start to consider the elements and principles of design I know that it really helps me!

There are still a few more 'principles' of design that we need to review, Rhythm, Proportion and Scale, Harmony and Unity, so watch out for the next part of this blog... coming soon!

Happy Ballooning!