11.01_ Unity

Been Dancing, 2019; Wayne Hunt



Unity is an essential sensibility for any artist or designer. Unity helps to create order. Typical modes of unity include: proximity; grouping; alignment; repetition; alignment; closure, containment; overlapping and grids.

From the upper left, ■ DP101 Workshops poster features the workshops.com text as an overlapping link between two letterforms. Closure appears when the white text “disappears” into the white background but with enough of it remaining easily readable against the brown letterforms. Angel’s Hearts is comprised of a pattern of heart shapes in close proximity with one another which also align both vertically and horizontally. ■ Queen of Spades is an example of containment, alignment and overlapping. ■ DADADADA poster’s irregular pattern of repeating words calls attention to a tumbling arrangement while in detail, the words exhibit containment and alignment. ■ The visual elements in Oldsmobile 88 are in proximity with one another enough to appear contained at an off-center focal point. Their unity is further expressed by the repetition and variation of elongated shapes – specifically the Oldsmobile 88 letterforms and the similarly proportioned rocket. The bulbous mass of the yellow vehicle is repeated by the mass of the similarly proportioned body text in close proximity underneath it. ■ The document 5% Hierarchy utilizes a grid which controls type placement through underlying intervals of columns and rows. ■ Wayne Hunt’s Been Dancing utilizes a grid as a means for guiding placements as well as for enabling a well-paced and vibrant rhythm. A thick frame acts as both a virtual stage and a means for containment.

On the bottom left, ■ In Cielito Lindo, the color bands overlap the Frida Kahlo image and the black text overlaps the color bands, connecting the trumpeting angel to upper region by alignment from bottom of text to the top of the angel. This same black text also aligns flush right with the white text directly above it. The angel on the right is repeated and overlapped with its muted clone. ■ In We’re Back! the larger salmon is repeated and varied by its similar kind. Alignment connects headline and text to the key figures. ■ In Rose Parade 2023, the circular rose and palm tree elements repeat and vary from one to the other. They also align diagonally. They are also contained by the pattern of green vignettes. The cluster of three green circles are grouped. ■ Lastly, a comprehensive diagram depicting nine modes of unity is downloadable for quick reference.

Modes of Unity: Part one
Modes of Unity: Part two (+ Quiz)

Back to: Exercises in Unity & Composition > 11_ UNITY