Hello! Design team member Aly Dosdall here again with another principle of design to share with you. If you missed last week’s post, I introduced this blog series and shared some examples and tips about the rule of thirds.
This week’s design principle is balance. Balance in general refers to a sense of equilibrium. Balance in design can be achieved using visual equilibrium, or by controlling the weight or visual interest of an image.
One way to achieve balance in design is through symmetry. Symmetry means that if you divide an image in half with a central axis, both sides of the axis are equal. Symmetry is very appealing, orderly, and formal. It has a more static and classic feel.
The card I created above using the Achievements 6x6 Stack Pack and Title Stickers is a good example of symmetry. Take a look at the image on the right where I overlayed the central axis, and notice that one side of the card is an exact mirror image of the other (minus the letters in the sentiment). Symmetry works well here since this card has a more classic theme.
Another type of symmetry is near or approximate symmetry. This type of symmetry allows for a slight difference in the two halves of the design providing more visual interest, while still maintaining a strong central axis and mostly mirror images. The scrapbook page I created below using the Enchanted Power Palette is a good example of near symmetry. (Click image to enlarge)
Take a look at the image of the layout with the imaginary axis overlay. You can see that the patterned paper background and ribbon borders are symmetrical. The photo, title, and journaling are all centered and symmetrical (again, minus the text). But the fussy-cut floral patterned paper on either side of the page is a bit different. Balance, however, is still achieved through the placement of embellishments, etc.
Another way to achieve balance in design is with asymmetry. Asymmetry, or informal balance, means without symmetry. It is more dynamic and visually interesting, allowing the designer to call attention to an element in the image by creating more visual weight surrounding it.
Example: You and Me
The above scrapbook page is a good example of asymmetry. In order to draw attention to the photo of my handsome hubby and me, I clustered lots of embellishments around it and below it along the left side of the page. To achieve balance, I added a small cluster of embellishments and journaling in the opposite corner. The larger cluster is well balanced by the smaller cluster, though the design weighs heavily on the photo. The empty (or white) space on the right side of the layout together with the small cluster provides the perfect companion to the busy left side.
Example: A Beautiful Spring Day
The page above also demonstrates asymmetry well. On this page I placed my main elements (photos, title, and journaling) in the bottom half of the page. I created asymmetrical balance by adding the banners to the top half of the page. I wanted most of the weight on the bottom of the layout to keep the focus of the page on the photos, so I kept the colors in my banner subtle and the size of the shapes similar.
Remember, balance on a scrapbook page can be achieved effectively using symmetry, but can be more dynamic and interesting using asymmetry. Play around with your page designs and see what type of balance appeals to you.
Be sure to come back next week when I share another design principle. Here’s a hint…Roy G. Biv. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments section below.