• Charmaine Crasto

Line up for the line art


It all begins with a line! Don’t agree? Well, let’s go back in time and think about the first time we picked up a pencil, crayon or a pen, and started making our little marks on the world. What did we all begin with? undoubtedly, a line. And once you’ve unmasked the link between holding a crayon and the wobbly line that appears on paper, there’s no going back. Whether self-learnt, through experiments or navigated by others, we determined how something as inherent as a line, defines form, inspires structures and directs the eyes from one part of work to another at a very young age, a process that builds up as we transition from random scribbling on paper to drawing pictures of objects and people. However, a little more intricate than joining point A to point B, line art is a collection of definite lines against a principally solid background, be it two-dimensional or three, descriptive, implied or abstract. All in all, line art truly is the foundation of every great design.

Although the earliest known form of line art dates back 73,000 years, it is the extensive evolution seen by art forms over time that has led to the expansion of our knowledge on line art and its application. So much so that some of the most powerful works of art created by remarkable artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and many more have come to exist through the simple yet planned maneuvering of lines.

Many times we fear to venture into the field of art as it is believed that artistic ability is something that you are born with and not something you grow into over the course of life. However, contrary to all beliefs, line art is not a skill granted to a few polished craftsmen. A command over the craft of line art can be gained through habitude and proficiency, and once you develop a knack for it, it comes in handy more than you may even think of. If you come to think of it, line art has far more depth than just its ability to build up majestic pieces of artwork. Lines, on a regular basis aid in simple communication. It doesn’t necessarily have to be lines drawn on paper, it could also just mean hand gestures given in the form of lines, even something as trivial as a road direction. Time and again it has been proven by the scientific community that the uptake of knowledge is far better when imparted through visual means, with line art playing a highly underrated role. The crux lies in the fact that creativity is the bridge to learning, and lines can convey a lot of information quickly, and in manners aiding in far better retention.

In today's times, art has evolved far beyond a two-dimensional sketch on a piece of paper. Moreover, technology and art are proving to be a match made in heaven. But the nuts and bolts of these evolving art forms is still a line. Simple yet inventive, a line is still one of the most important and basic aspects of design, even managing to override the world of graphic designing and never running out of style.


Urban black & white line art graffiti

Every great franchise begins with a logo and a captivating logo can work wonders without a text. Thus, the most in-vogue field of line art is indeed logos, working well in black and white as well as in color. Furthermore, creating a pattern without a line is practically impossible, as impossible as it is to walk through a store these days without coming across an enormous amount of line art in the form of patterns, appealing to both a younger as well as an older audience. Ever been tempted to buy a new product just because of the way it's packed, even though you’ve never heard of it before? Well, you could probably credit this to the entrancing, trendy use of line art in product packaging, since line art is practically everywhere. Apart from these growing line art trends, web designers were what brought line art back from lingering in the side stands to center stage, the true pioneers of this artistic fiasco.

As rightly said by Leonardo da Vinci, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” While it is often the intricate elaboration of a design that is largely credited, many times the decoding of this complexity exposes the foundation as just a line, primitive, yet the most powerful form of artistic expression. Just like all art forms, the secret to great line art is tapping into the magic of your own imaginations and unwrapping it one line at a time. And always remember, artistically, less is always more.

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