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:

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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!

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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.

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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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