What Designers Can Learn From Nature
Nature can teach us a lot about design.
Everything on our planet is built around nature’s principles of symmetry and beauty. Being the most complex design system we know, nature is bound to be our main inspiration source.
From city structures, architecture, and sculpture to different types of auditory and visual designs, nature can be incorporated in any artwork.
The Golden Ratio: The Foundation of Nature Design
Every little detail of our planet’s structure revolves around a series of rules that build nature as we know it. The Golden Section is a specific ratio between two or more adjacent objects. It’s found everywhere in nature and it’s used for achieving balance and coherency in art. Think about the way that flower petals are arranged harmonically onto the stamen. Or the perfect wind swirls that are formed by cyclones and tornados.
The Golden ratio is all around us and it’s the fundamental principle of nature design.
Takeaway: In art, the golden ratio has been used widely in the 20th century. Artist and architects relied on this simple rule to build monuments, edifices, create sculptures, and picturesque drawings.
Color: The Only Palette You’ll Ever Need
There are dozens of color selection principles like the Analog, Triad or Monochromatic rules. They feature vivid palettes with high contrast that are easily distinguishable.
Nature’s colors are often lower in contrast and use muted “Earthy” shades rather than the brighter, saturated spectrum of color.
Bold colors can be extremely attractive but they can also be distracting and overwhelming. Nature’s color palette is characterized with soft, pastel shades that are easy on the eyes and gives every design a touch of raw realism.
Takeaway: In nature, different tints and shades represent a variety of emotions. When correctly combined together, colors can tell rich stories that beautifully entangles visual elements with symbolism.
Texture: An In-depth Design That Puts Realism On a Higher Level
While we’re currently in the Era of minimalist design where solid colors and high contrast are a leading principle of design, the texture will always have a place in every design composition. It gives art a certain depth and affluence that can never go out-of-date. The texture is one of the fundamentals of nature-inspired design.
The texture is one of the fundamentals of nature-inspired design. It allows artists to build their own 3-dimentional world into a 2-dimentional art piece.
Takeaway: Every object in nature has its own texture and as an artist, it’s your duty to discover those textures and find ways to apply them to your own artwork.
Forms: The Shapes & Silhouettes Of Nature Design
We’ve already discussed the Golden Ratio and how it affects the geometry of nature. Just like we can use this ratio to create balanced visual compositions we can also take forms directly from nature. Relying on shapes and elements that build nature’s appearance is a great way to create realistic artwork.
Forms can be found in different elements such as leaves, clouds, mountain silhouettes, blooming flowers, animals, and plants.
Takeaway: Using various natural forms as the foundation for your design will help you create a beautiful and symbolic art piece.
Learn more about nature-inspired design
If you want to learn more about how nature can boost our creativity and inspire us to create different types of artwork, head to these articles: