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Design principles - Separating content from structure

Artists can separate content from structure. Most people can't do this, and that's OK, because, well, most people aren't artists. It would be a crazy world if they were! If you can separate content from structure, this blog post will make sense to you. If not, don't worry about it. Here are some examples:

A painting of a landscape has trees and mountains and flowers as the content. The structure is the canvas, the paint, the colors.

A drawing of a dog has a dog as the content. The structure is the paper that it is drawn on, the pencil or pen that is used, the technique of achieving the lights and darks.

A movie about aliens has aliens as the content. The structure is the lighting, the camera angles, the way the story is presented visually.

A band playing country and western music has country and western music as the content. The structure is the instruments used, whether the song is in 3/4 time or not, the key that it is being played in.

A dancer dancing the tango has the tango as the content. The structure is body movement and feet placement.

If you think that you can separate content from structure, try describing something, like a movie that you went to, without describing the content. Not easy! But if you can do it, you can think, and see things, like an artist.

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