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Point, line, and plane are the building blocks of design. From these elements, designers create images, icons, textures, patterns, diagrams, animations, and typographic systems.
Point A point marks a position in space. In pure geometric terms, a point is a pair of x, y coordinates. It has no mass at all. Graphically, however, a point takes form as a dot, a visible mark. A point can be an insignificant fleck of matter or a concentrated locus of power. It can penetrate like a bullet, pierce like a nail, or pucker like a kiss. A mass of points becomes texture, shape, or plane. Tiny points of varying size create shades of gray.
Line A line is an infinite series of points. Understood geometrically, a line has length, but no breadth. A line is the connection between two points, or it is the path of a moving point. A line can be a positive mark or a negative gap. Lines appear at the edges of objects and where two planes meet. Graphically, lines exist in many weights; the thickness and texture as well as the path of the mark determine its visual presence. Lines are drawn with a pen, pencil, brush, mouse, or digital code. They can be straight or curved, continuous or broken. When a line reaches a certain thickness, it becomes a plane. Lines multiply to describe volumes, planes, and textures.
Plane A plane is a flat surface exten–
ding in height and width. A plane is the path of
a moving line; it is a line
with breadth. A line closes to become
a shape, a bounded plane. Shapes
are planes with edges. In vector–based
software, every shape consists of line
and fill. A plane can be parallel to the
picture surface, or it can skew and
recede into space. Ceilings, walls,
floors, and windows are physical planes. A plane can be solid or perforated, opaque or transparent, textured or smooth.