Three To The Power of Three

by Susan Janvrin

Three To The Power Of Three is a piece in a numbers series inspired by the graphic design textbook, Decoding Design, by Maggie Macnab. The book theorizes what numbers and patterns mean to the human subconscious, regardless of age, nationality, or culture, and how they translate to us at a glance with no additional thought or comprehension necessary. Because this happens on a subconscious level, it becomes a powerful communication tool in graphic design and marketing.

This piece is based on the equilateral triangle. The number 3 is associated with some very powerful meanings, such as…

The Primary Colors From Which All Other Colors Are Made

The Father, Son and Holy Ghost

The Beginning, The End, and The Middle

The Great Pyramids

3 Dimensional World

3 Chances

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Macnab uses a recycle symbol as an example in the book. When one sees this symbol, no explanation is necessary for one to know the meaning. It communicates instantly, making it a well designed logo. This could be because it utilizes information that is already embedded into our primitive beings.


Three To The Power of Three, 48x52", LP's on plywood


Although I love the negative space and simplicity of this piece, I’m going to recreate this and take it a step further by adding more triangles. The triangles will be carved out of the background plywood and painted. About 10-12 color studies are made before choosing the best one. Here are a few of them.


Three To The Power of Three (photoshop sketch for color study) 48x52"

Photoshop color study

Photoshop color study

One of these days, I’d love to make a black & white piece. When it comes down to the final hour though, I can’t resist using color for some reason.