Besides a series of visual researches for geometrical shape, I also investigated some picture books which adopt the idea of figure and ground. One of the books is Richard Mcquire’s What Goes Around Comes Around. The story is quite simple, mainly about a journey of a bouncing doll interacts with a chain of events. The illustration is formed by various kinds of simplest graphic element, i.e., dot, line and shapes. Overall visual is clean and simple yet dynamic (Fig. 1 to Fig. 4). Mcquire makes good use of white color (paper color) to contrast the depth of figure and ground.
Ann Jonas’s Round Trip (Fig. 5) is a different approach in utilizing merely black and white tones. Using the ambigram idea, Jonas’s illustration could be perceived in inverse direction (Fig. 6 and Fig. 7), means when reading the book upside down, the reader will interpret the story and visual with a new perspective.
Another one is Jennifer Yerkes’ Fun Little Bird. The little is invisible, in which it is blend in with the negative space indeed, reflects what it felt at its heart. Only when different object are placed behind the bird, it will be noticed. It is a very interesting approach in using figure and ground idea which reflects one’s inner being.
Mcquire, Richard (1995) What Goes Around Comes Around. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc.
Jonas, Ann (1983) Round Trip. New York: Greenwillow Books
Yerkes, Jennifer (2013) A Fun Little Bird. Naperville: Sourcebooks