Yesterday I sang the praises of the circle and stopped short of saying that God is a circle. Today I would like to share my impressions of the triangle. The triangle to me indicates a catalytic force. It’s shape is a device that affects action. On a more coincidental level, the triangle often indicates that an action has taken place.
The definitive shape of a triangle are the angles at which the shape’s borders are situated. A trinity. Three sides, three angles The equilateral is symmetrical in that all three sides are situated at a 30 degree angle. There are triangles of all shapes and varying degrees however. One aspect of the triangle symbolizes to me a means to an end. It is a device used to affect another object. A wedge to hold open a door, a ramp to more easily move another object from one level to another or the fulcrum of a lever to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. In design, the triangle serves many purposes. It guides our eyes along the edges to the sharpest point beyond which you can usually find an important element to focus your attention. This is typical in advertising design were we see arrows pointing to an important message or object. The triangle also warns of the need for caution. The sharp corners of the triangle can elicit a cautionary feeling or provide an element of harshness. Many things in our natural world that contain such a point.
The other aspect of the triangle symbolizes to me evidence that a change or a reaction has taken place. The triangular shards of glass from a broken window speaks that something has taken place. We may not know what happened but we can infer with certainty that there was action that resulted in the breakage. The triangle indicates the inception or result of a change but not the actual change itself. The triangle gives us a feeling that something can, will or has happened. Given this, the triangular shape is a powerful one indeed.
On a side note, the pyramid is often symbolic of a device that collects and channels energy from its base up and through it’s top point. I won’t get all mystical, or ancient Egyptian on you but I thought I would just bring that up.
Today’s design does not illustrate the channeling aspect, but I get the feeling of a gear that could be used in conjunction with other gears to do an important job. So these triangles do represent catalytic power that can take action at any time. Or, maybe it’s just a dart board:)
So today and tomorrow look around, particularly in advertisements and see how triangular shapes are used to focus you on a particular area. In the world around you take notice of triangular shapes as well as how they make you feel. Tomorrow I will be back to sing the praises of the square.