Design Techniques

There are numerous design techniques that can be used to reduce the visual impacts from surface-disturbing projects. The techniques described here should be used in conjunction with BLM’s visual resource contrast rating process wherein both the existing landscape and the proposed development or activity are analyzed for their basic elements of form, line, color, and texture (FLCT).

This discussion of design techniques is broken down into two categories:

Design fundamentals are general design principles that can be used for all forms of activity or development, regardless of the resource value being addressed. Applying these three fundamentals will help solve most visual design problems:

Design strategies are more specific activities that can be applied to address visual design problems. Not all of these strategies will be applicable to every proposed project or activity:

The fundamentals and strategies are all interrelated, and when used together, can help resolve visual impacts from proposed activities or developments.

The techniques presented here are only a portion of the many design techniques available to help reduce the visual impacts resulting from surface-disturbing activities or projects. Further research into planning and design references and/or consultation with professional designers and engineers will help to further reduce the visual impacts of any development.