asymmetrical (uneven) balance

Notan loosely translates as “the balance of light and dark”. This project is all about Balance, both symmetrical and asymmetrical.

symmetrical design

Check out this instructional video on NOTAN.

symmetrical (even) balance

symmetrical design

Students will draw designs on each of the 4 shapes, then cut out the shapes they have drawn, placing them outside the square they were cut from. Your designs can be almost anything!

Think about geometric (straight lines) vs. natural (curved) designs or non-representational vs. abstract images. The most important rule of NOTAN design is this: if a line is drawn starting on one side of a shape, that line must return to the same side to finish the design.

  • You will make five (5) NOTAN’s total, that includes our practice one.
  • One NOTAN must be black and white.
  • Two (2) of your designs must be perfectly symmetrical (even left to right or top to bottom)
  • Two (2)can be asymmetrical (unbalanced).
  • At least one of your shapes cannot be a square.
  • At least one of your notan’s must be folded.

asymmetrical design

Here is a small gallery of NOTAN’s:

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