ten·sion ‘ten(t)-shen n : a balance maintained in artistic work between opposing styles and elements
the principle of tension (not between YOU and the graphic designer, company or creative agency) in visual communications is critical to effective graphic design. tension is primarily a visual, as well as psychological, attention-getting tactic. for a creative director on an AD campaign as well as the graphic designer and artist – this difficult balance is maintained between opposing formal elements, often causing anxiety, stress, angst, or excitement, exuberance and joy for the viewer.
this is why we generally loathe using stock photography for anything other than story-boarding or proof of concepts. we can have the greatest concept and design execution on an AD, in marketing materials or brand touch points – but if the visual does capture the necessary emotion and achieve an accurate balance – everything falls apart.
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