Visual Design Principles

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General Design Principles

  • Aesthetic-Usability Effect - Attractive things actually work better.
  • Face-ism Ratio - The closer to a face you crop an image, the more you emphasize their personality over their physical appearance.
  • Von Restorff Effect (Isolation Effect) - When multiple similar objects are present, the one that differs from the rest is most likely to be remembered.

Gestalt Principles

  • Closure - The mind sees complete figures or forms even if a picture is incomplete or partially hidden
  • Connectedness - Elements that are visual connected are perceived as more related than elements with no connection.
  • Continuation - When two objects intersect, people tend to perceive them as uninterrupted objects that overlap
  • Common Fate - When visual elements move in the same direction at the same rate, we assume they have the same stimulus
  • Figure & Ground - The medium is the message. A communication technology (the medium or figure) necessarily operates through its context (or ground)
  • Form - We tend to group together forms of similar shape, pattern, color, etc.
  • Proximity - Objects that are near, or proximate to each other, tend to be grouped together
  • Similarity - The human eye tends to perceive similar elements in a design as a complete picture, shape, or group, even if those elements are separated.


These principles are produced by combining the Gestalt Principles

  • Law of Common Region - Elements tend to be perceived into groups if they are sharing an area with a clearly defined boundary