Online College Courses for Credit

2 Tutorials that teach Form
Take your pick:


Author: Mario Fierro-Hernandez

Recognize the Form element and how it is used in the visual design process.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

46 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Video Transcription

Download PDF

Hi everyone, my name is Mario. And I'd like to welcome you to today's lesson, which is going to be on form. So we'll learn about the form element and then touch upon why it's important in the visual design process. So as always, feel free to stop, fast forward, and rewind as you see fit. And when you're ready to go, let's get started.

So let's begin by defining form. Form is a three dimensional object that could be constructed by two or more shapes. So let's say for example, a simple box. You take one shape, slap it on to another, and now you've created depth. So let's try a different configuration where you add three shapes.

And if you put them all together, there's a better sense of that depth, which is the third dimension the differentiates form from shape. So this form becomes three dimensional, which is defined by an object or space having three coordinates, which is width, height, and depth. So it's no longer just height and width, like 2D planes.

And when you get a three dimensional form, you create volume. And volume is the amount of three dimensional space a form occupies. So simply put, it's the area that the form takes up. So if you have these two boxes here for example, the box on the right has more volume than the smaller box on the left. So you can sort of think of it the same way you would with cups.

If you had two cups; a really huge drinking mug and then a tiny espresso cup. And clearly, one would hold more fluid than the other. So one occupies more volume than the other.

Now when we're talking about forms, you can have different types. So you can have geometric or organic. Geometric is defined by its allegiance to mathematical construction. So you have our basic shapes like a sphere, cube, or pyramid that are going to be geometric forms. And typically shapes with angular and hard edges will be seen as geometric. And you'll see a lot of these forms in architecture, products like consumer electronics, shipping containers, and things like that.

Now organic form on the other hand, is defined by its simulation of natural substance. So basically instead of hard edged geometrical forms, you'll have irregular, complex, curvy, and varied contours, much like you see in nature with hills, and mountains, the folds, faces, hands, animals, and the list goes on and on and on really.

Well, that about ends our lesson for today. We'll end as usual with our key terms, which were form, three dimensional volume, depth, geometric form, and organic form. Hope you've enjoyed our lesson inform. My name is Mario. And I will see you next lesson.

Terms to Know

The third dimension that differentiates form from shape.


A three-dimensional object that can be constructed by two or more shapes.

Geometric Form

Form defined by its allegiance to mathematical construction.

Organic Form

Form defined by its simulation of natural substance.


Having three coordinates: width, height, and depth.


The amount of three-dimensional space a form occupies.