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Design Laws: Part One

by | Jun 13, 2010 | Articles, Basics | 2 comments

In design there are principles out there that make our designs interesting and there are others that are valuable aspects to consider when creating a design. These principles can be used to your advantage, making your designs stronger.

One aspect of design is that our brains group things that are alike together. This is called the law of similarity. In the example, we group the circles in the middle together to form a diamond. This is because we process alike objects together, to easily organize them and take in the information. We also process the formation of triangles to form a squared, so we see a diamond of circles inside a square of triangles.

The law of closure is another great one, because instead of simply drawing a circle, you can use the edges of different shapes together to make our brain create one. This works well with most shapes. In the example, the 4 square shapes have rounded edges, and together, they make our mind see the circle in the middle. It automatically completes the shape for us, with no outlines needed. I have seen this used in a few designs, and it really makes an impact.

So when do we use these principles in our design work? Can we work these principles into our work for an interesting effect?  Here is a well known example of the law of closure:

We see IBM, because our eyes draw the outlines for us, so we see each individual letter: I-B-M. This concept can be used infinitely to create other imagery.

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