Reverse Engineer: Repeating Edges, Repeating Color

Nina Geometrieva made this brightly colored beauty full of repeating shapes and edges. Looking through a list of graphic artist portfolios, this one called my attention (and not because it’s really tall). Looking at each individual shape, the design is simple, but it is organized in such a way that it leads the eye back and forth from the top to bottom as the bright colors attract the eye back to the middle of the image.

What space really looks like
Many bright colors and a great use of repetition in this piece, which is titled, “What Space Really Looks Like.”

Color and Shape Repetition

The very clear element of design used in this is repetition and unity. First, we see the same colors being used throughout the design. The image on the right is a sample palette of the colors repeated throughout the picture:

color swatch
Color Swatch by similar planets. 1st column: basic colors
2nd column: variant colors
White: Only used in one shape

With the spaceship in the middle, it seems that this could be the focal point, however, the bright blue of the first comet seems to battle with the spaceship. There is only one use of the color white, which is surrounded by another of the brightest colors. (same blue as comet tail) This was an effective decision because white could have been a distraction without being used sparingly.

Another thing about the palette is that the space color is not solid black, but blue, and has many different colors from the radiating planets. This is especially seen in the large red planet and the small blue star that radiates light blue is one of the smallest circular shapes, but its light around it is about as big as the red-orange planet above it.

Anyway, that’s enough about color. 

Let’s talk about shape. 

When designing, it helps to repeat shapes, patterns, or colors in order to create unity. This picture was a great example of repetition in shape because of the shapes used in transition of color and object edges.

the repeated shapes
Three different samples of the repeated shape edges for color transition

On the right is the thickened lines as the repeated shape. It is used for all transition of color, and also to give planets shadow and texture.

The only thing that doesn’t have this type of edge is the ship in the middle, but it still has a rounded edge.

A couple other notes about design, etc.

Everything is oriented to about a 45 degree angle, and some edges point and lead the eye by being thicker or by having less distortion from the repeated edges.

There are opaque shapes surrounding some of the planets. and offsets where planets intersect with this opacity (these are the variation colors in the second column).


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