A Lesson in Composition–with LEGOs

"Holland Tunnel" by Christoph NeimanSo we were just discussing the basic building blocks of great composition. Well, designer and author, Christoph Neiman, seems to have taken those lessons to heart. Literally.

In his new book, Neiman showcases his spot-on impressions of life in NYC, composed with nothing more than a few LEGOs and simple hand-written captions. An award winning illustrator, children’s book writer, and graphic designer, Neiman hatched the idea during one particularly dark and dreary winter in Berlin. He began posting the vignettes on his New York Times blog, where their minimalist yet richly descriptive aesthetic piqued the interest of New York lovers around the world.

Covering everything from the iconic Empire State Building to a routine traffic jam at the Holland Tunnel, Neiman’s creations are a perfect lesson in the power of simple composition. Really, he uses way fewer LEGOs than one would think necessary, and uses them brilliantly.

Without any special effects or wildly complicated arrangements, Neiman manages to create compositions with emotional depth that are incredibly evocative of the Big Apple experience. And the success of the images lies in their adherence to the very basic principles of balance and composition; the elements are reduced to their most simple forms. There’s wonderful contrast between the electric brightness of the LEGOsĀ and the wooden table that serves as their background. And even though many images depict busy scenes, they don’t feel busy–there’s plenty of white space to let the composition breathe, and let us take it all in with a smile.

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