When considering a floral composition, it is essential to have the proper attention to the Principles and Elements of design. These are the general guidelines that govern all designs from floral to home décor to everything in between. Once the mastering of these are complete, it is time to move forward to consider which design techniques will best be used to attract the viewer’s eye and elevate your level of design. Understanding and applying more sophisticated techniques in your design presentations will give you a creative edge and your floral compositions will be more chic and refined.
Design techniques are a number of specialized procedures and methods for placing plant materials and decorative accessories into a floral composition.When determining the choices, of which there are many, it will be important to choose and execute only those which will support each other without being too visually competing. Think of design techniques like spices to culinary. If you overload a dish with too many competing spices, the result is disastrous because too many competing flavors are vying for the attention. The same is true in floral design. A select few techniques executed well will have a much greater impact than many unrelated presentations.
Take BUNDLING and BINDING for example. As defined in THE AIFD GUIDE TO FLORAL DESIGN – Terms, Techniques, and Traditions book, one is considered a decorative technique while the other is a functional technique. Yet, both can be displayed in the same composition in harmony with each other. Same can be said for BASING, which is defined as the process of finishing the foundation of a composition with intricate, textural details, providing a decorative surface of materials from which the design emerges. BASING can be accomplished by employing techniques such as CLUSTERING, LAYERING, TERRACING, and PAVE. When combing techniques, it is important to know when there are enough without visually confusing the viewer.
Other design techniques that are easily achieved are GROUPING, LACING and SEQUENCING. Grouping is placing like materials in a specific limited area similar to planting plants in a flower garden. By using the technique grouping, it gives more impact to the individual components versus having them spread out throughout the design. This is especially true when you are using smaller less impactful components that may otherwise get lost because of their size or color. Lacing is a method of crossing or interweaving stems to form a framework for holding plant materials in position within a container or hand-tied bouquet. Sequencing is the process of placing flowers or other materials in an orderly succession, with a gradual shift in either color ( lighter to darker) or in size (smallest to largest). Either choice creates transition as well as rhythm.
ZONING is the process of segregating materials to specific levels or growth areas in a floral composition. This technique is often seen used in Vegetative or Dutch Exhibition style designs. The use of negative space with was discussed last week is very important to the success of this type of floral styling. The empty space around the positive components gives them importance and does not clutter the eye.
There are many more techniques defined in the AIFD Terms book. Mastering these techniques is a fun challenge that will keep your design skills as fresh as the flowers you order from Florabundance!