Let's talk about CRAP. It's an unlikely word to associate with creativity, right?
One of my teachers in design school introduced me to this acronym, which has stuck with me over time. It's an easy guide to improving a visual design, which I think can be applied to any creative project, or even life in general. CRAP stands for:
CONTRAST adds interest to a composition. Some examples are: light and dark, curvy and straight, rough and smooth. Darkness makes the light stand out brighter. Straight lines bring stability to the motion of curves. Smooth textures gives our eye a place to rest from the bumpy rough patches. This is definitely an example of art imitating life. Contrast often teaches us what we really want, through experiencing the opposite.
REPETITION provides a sense of rhythm. Whenan element is repeated, it unifies a composition. For example, take a look at the leaves in my logo. These repeated shapes unify the design. In life, think about the tasks we repeat each day and how they form the rhythm of our life. Practicing, repeating something helps us improve until the task is as natural as a heartbeat.
ALIGNMENT is an easy way to improve a design. Placing scattered elements along an invisible spine pulls the composition in to focus. The next time you take a photograph, look for ways to align the elements in the frame. Rather than cropping the tree out of the image, notice how it aligns with the edge of the house, for example. In life, aligning our actions with our intentions can be a potent practice.
PROXIMITY is the final word. Bringing elements closer together unifies the composition. For example, in the clay pot exercise, a palpable synergy occurred when we placed our pots in proximity to each other; a community formed. Think for a moment about your creative life. Whom do you like to have in close proximity to support you? Do you have the support you need? Give yourself permission to ask for more if you need to.
So, the next time you're feeling stuck, remember CRAP!
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Kim Flowers Evans is a visual identity specialist and creativity coach who is passionate about helping individuals and business owners find expression, enjoyment, and flow in life, art, and enterprise. Learn more at Kim Evans Studio.
Kim's memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content. I offer
personalized coaching programs designed to help my clients tap their inner wisdom, craft their message, and reach their ideal customers.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.