Balance in design is the distribution of elements across the design. Balance is a visual interpretation of gravity in the design. Large, dense elements appear to be heavier while smaller elements appear to be lighter. You can balance designs in three ways:

  • symmetrical balance
  • asymmetrical balance
  • discordant or off-balance


Symmetrical Balance:

Symmetrical balance is achieved by placing elements in a very even fashion in the design. If you have a large, heavy element on the right side, you'll have a matching heavy element on the left. Centering is the easiest way to get a symmetrically balanced page. But be careful, as it can be difficult to create a centered design that doesn't look flat or boring. If you want a symmetrically balanced design, it's better to create the balance with different elements – such as an image on the left and a large block of heavier text to the right of it.

Asymmetrical Balance:

Asymmetrically balanced pages can be more challenging to design – as they don't have elements matched across the centerline of the design. For example, you might have a large element placed very close to the centerline of the design. To balance it asymmetrically, you might have a small element farther away from the centerline. If you think of your design as being on a teeter-totter or seesaw, a lighter element can balance a heavier one by being further away from the center of gravity. You can also use color or texture to balance an asymmetrical design.

Discordant or Off-Balance:

Sometimes the purpose of the design makes an off-balance or discordant design work well. Designs that are off-balance suggest motion and action. They make people uncomfortable or uneasy. If the content of your design is also intended to be uncomfortable or make people think, a discordantly balanced design can work well.

Posted in: Web Design and Applications

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