Using Abstract Art To Create Structure In Website And Graphic Designs

A while ago I saw a performance called “Louder.”  I wanted to see it primarily because of the story-high metal spider looming on-stage. I periodically dream about spiders, so I was half-hoping the performance would unlock some meaning to my dreams.

The visual/musical performance was so abstract and unpredictable that I was compelled to impose a meaning on it just to absorb the experience. Several reviews reflected the same loss of ability to express the experience in words, except for beautiful, peculiar, unpredictable, and loud.

I usually prefer to look at abstract art and see only shapes and forms. It seems like many people appreciate abstract art more by seeing something in the abstract shapes, something they can more easily identify with, like a head or animals or a landscape. This is how I felt about the music performance. I’m not comfortable enough with music to just take it in without putting some kind of meaning to it.

Wires were strung across the stage, which performers ran there hands along, or sharply pulled to created different sounds. Sometimes the sounds were unpredictably loud, which is why we were given earplugs upon entering the theater. I couldn’t help imagine that the wires were the spiders web, and if the spider could hear, or insects caught in its web could hear, how amplified and terrifying it would sound being wrapped in the lethal violinish web strings.

DDA designers often go through the process of creating structure and meaning on an abstract background when creating website, CD-ROMs, and graphic designs. Incorporating an abstract background into a design helps give a structural grid for text, layers, menu items, and other graphics.  A beautiful vector background can easily be manipulated for a specific design, and can suggest many different looks, from a corporate building, to a natural green forest of leaves to swirling paths.