Compendium of Design

A Body of Knowledge
Learn from those who designed before you.

Perspective Frameworks

The perspective frameworks are the way in which vanishing lines and vanishing points are arranged to position the viewer to the object or within the environment being illustrated. There are three perspective frameworks:

  • One Point Perspective
  • Two Point Perspective
  • Three Point Perspective


One Point Perspective

One point perspective allows objects and environments to be drawn so that at least one plane of the object or environment is perpendicular to the viewer's line of sight. Of the three perspective frameworks, it has the advantage of being the easiest to master and produces suitable interior perspectives for the communication of scale, portion and space.




Two Point Perspective

Two point perspective provides a great amount of flexibility for designers and visual communicators. This framework of perspective allows an object or environment to be drawn from unique viewpoints and can be arranged so that three external surfaces can be shown at the one time. Although two point perspective is somewhat more difficult to master it can provide more interesting illustrations relevant to human experience.




Three Point Perspective

Although not commonly used as it is the most difficult to draw, three point perspective is the most dramatic framework of perspective. It allows an object or environment to drawn as though the observer's head has been tilted up or down, mimicking the view a camera gives if a wide angle lens is tilted up towards the top of a building. However, this has the side effect of making the object disproportional and unrealistic.