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Series: What They Are and What They’re Used For

In today’s post, we are going to have a look at series: what they are and what they’re used for.

What Are Series?

Any sequence of objects that we’ve put into an order which follow any kind of criteria. The criteria that determines the object order can be one that we make up or it can be one that’s already established. We are going to look at some examples: ascending or descending order and pattern-based sequences.

Ascending or Descending order

These series consist of sequencing a group of objects, using a certain attribute, in ascending or descending order. For example…

Height, in ascending or descending order:


Length, in ascending or descending order:


Or according to other attributes, like capacity:


Or width:


Pattern-Based Sequence Series

In these series, the objects are ordered according to one or various attributes, following a specific pattern. We’ll start by looking at a series of only two elements, using two different attributes:







But series can also have more elements and can be made with more complex images, like these examples here:


What are they for?

Picture series are used a lot as a resource to point out something, or sometimes they make good decorations because series are repetitions and therefore, aesthetically pleasing.

Strolling down the streets, we can find series on the pedestrian crosswalk, where they alternate between black and white lines, or white and red depending on where you are. Or maybe you can see them on the fences of houses, parks, or schools:  for example, a fence that has alternating thin and thick posts, or smooth and textured posts.

At home you might find some too. For example, in the kitchen, you might have black and white floor tiles (like a chessboard), this is a two-dimensional series. You might also find this kind of pattern on your bed sheets that have the same picture repeated over and over again in the same order.

Now that you’ve seen some examples, what they are and what they’re used for, how about you tell us:

What things have you seen at home, or in any place, that have a series of pictures or objects?

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Diane Ackerman
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