Knolling in photography is a process used to describe an arrangement of like objects in 90-degree angle, as a form of organization.
It was Andrew Kromelow who first used the term in 1987. While working as a janitor at Frank Gehry’s fabrication shop that designed chairs for Knoll, known for its angular furniture, Andrew arranged displaced tools at right angles. He later called such routine as “knolling.” The right-angled arrangement was similar to Florence Knoll’s angular furniture. With said arrangement, users can easily view like objects at once.
Tom Sachs, an American sculptor who used to work at Gehry’s shop, adopted and used the term knolling in this studio. In fact, his studio’s mantra was “Always Be Knolling.”
These days, many photographers are using it for their photographs.
If you want to use it on your design or projects, then you must learn the proper way of knolling. First, you’ll have to scan your environment and look for materials that aren’t in use. They could be books, music equipment, tools, and other things. If you aren’t sure, then simply leave and sort it out later. Then, start grouping like objects and align them.
To learn more about knolling in photography, here’s a list of examples that you can follow and learn the proper way to execute it.
1. Neatly Organized Shot by David Weir
It’s a photo about the photographer’s possessions that are neatly organized. He used a calico material to lay out the objects.
2. Sandwich Food Design Knoll by Nicholas Aufiero
As the title suggests, it’s a photo of different sandwiches. The arrangement is aesthetically pleasing and gastronomically attractive.
3. Carry-on Essentials by Jeff Sheldon
The photographer captured a photo of his carry-on essentials for his trip to Norway and Denmark. The things are neatly arranged and they’re separated by sizes.
4. Apple Store by iFun.de
This photo enables you to really appreciate knolling: its purpose and its main goal. It grabs the attention of the viewer while appreciating the complexity of the objects.
5. What’s In My Bag by Stuart
It shows everything found inside Stuart’s satchel. The photo produces different colors that might brighten your day.
6. 90 Degrees by Minimallyminimal.com
It’s a collection of knolling photos. You can find photos of medical equipment arranged side-by-side or Apple products grouped together on a clean, white table.
7. The Art of Clean Up by Geri Born
This photo is a book cover of The Art of Clean Up. Yes, you got it right. The book is about how to arrange things written by a Swiss artist, who is obsessed everything that tackles order.
8. Herbs by Tobias Bergdahl
This photo proves that knolling can also be done with plants.
9. Strat Knolling by Electricized.com
In here, you’ll find every piece of an electric guitar that has been disassembled and arranged in organized manner.
10. Things Organized Neatly by Austin Radcliffe
Whether it’s a walk-in closet for guys or from a display store, it doesn’t matter. It simply shows that guys do know how to arrange their things.
11. Heritage General Store
This photo allows you to appreciate each part of a bike. Although all parts were taken out, you can still see an image of a bike.
It’s a combination of different things: plants, a stick, paper, etc. Whatever they are, the photographer knew how to arrange them in an orderly fashion.
Whatever your purpose is in taking knolling photography, it’s a good way for you to show your creativity and how neat and organized you are.