Floral design is the art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition. Evidence of refined floristry is found as far back as the culture of Ancient Egypt. Professionally designed floral designs, arrangements or artwork incorporate the elements of floral design: line, form, space, texture, and color, and the principles of floral design: balance, proportion, rhythm, contrast, harmony, and unity.
There are many styles of floral design. The Eastern, Western, Zebra and European styles have all influenced the commercial floral industry as it is today. Ikebana is a Japanese or eastern style of floral design and incorporates the three main line placements of heaven, man and earth. In contrast, the European style emphasizes color and variety of botanical materials not limited to just blooming flowers, in mass gatherings of multiple flowers. Western design historically is characterized by symmetrical, asymmetrical, horizontal, and vertical style of arrangements.
Permanent creations and components incorporating dried materials such as bark, wood, dried flowers, dried (and often aromatic) inflorescences, leaves, leaf skeletons, preserved materials and artefacts, are common extensions of the art floral design, and are of practical importance in that they last indefinitely and are independent of the seasons. Their materials offer effects, idioms, and associations complementary to, and contrasting with, fresh flowers and foliage.
Floral design schools
With the ever-growing interest in the natural world and flowers, the floral industry continues to grow. The increase in educational institutes providing training in floral design has expanded to many state universities as well as certified design schools worldwide.
Floral design promoting associations
Prominent industry associations that promote floral design worldwide include the American Institute of Floral Designers (AFID), the Society of American Florists (SAF), and the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies (NAFAS). These and other associations promote floral design through workshops, conferences, flower shows, and seminars.
Notable floral designers include Jeff Leatham, Daniel Ost, Judith Blacklock, Stanlee Gatti, Irene Hayes, Junichi Kakizaki, Paula Pryke, Jane Packer, Phil Rulloda, Constance Spry, Nichlas Vilsmark, Jennifer McGarigle, Dennis Kneepkens and the White House Chief Floral Designer.
Disciplines that can be related to floral design and floristry include botanical illustration and other art forms, botany, creative direction, floriculture, flower gardening, flower preservation, and landscape architecture.
- Book of Floral Terminology, AIFD