Graphic Design Principles – Balance

Balance is a design principle which could be interpreted in many ways. It could break seen as linear scale:

Design principles balance
Using linear scaling to create balance; sizing object propotionately

It could be alignment:

Design principles balance
Three boxes aligned proportionally with text being centre aligned to each box

Or even symmetry:

Symmetry can be used to create an equalibrium

But balance in a design doesn’t need any of that to be balanced.  A design could be balanced by being unbalanced!

Assymetric design: Where two sides are different but the overall balance is created by parts.

The idea is to arrange or design a document to create a visual pattern in order to create or keep a balance using line, shape, position and colour.  The balance could flow in a horizontal, vertical or radial layout but the idea of balance may not be typically structured. ie. not symmetrical.

The best way to see if a design is balanced is to observe and see if the design tips over in any given way.

The big arrow on the left should topple the image over but the smaller arrow to the bottom right provides a counterbalance.

Using grids or the idea of symmetrical and asymmetrical positioning is a great and easy way to plan and produce a design with balance but more often then not I find that balance pretty much comes down to a designers gut instinct.

Design principles balance

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