Home > User Experience > 8 Essential Visual Principles Explained | by Andrew Wilshere | Jun, 2021

8 Essential Visual Principles Explained | by Andrew Wilshere | Jun, 2021

8 Essential Visual Principles Explained | by Andrew Wilshere | Jun, 2021


“Design is as much an act of spacing as it is of making.”
-– Ellen Lupton, designer, writer, curator, and educator

Spacing in design is similar to the spaces between notes, phrases, and movements in classical music. Just as music is made up of gaps and pauses as well as sounds, design is composed of visual spaces as well as visual elements.

Spacing serves a number of purposes. Where there is a lot of content, space is an important tool for breaking it up, organising it, and making it easier to absorb. And going back to the first principle in this list, spacing is what allows us to create visual groups.

For example, the image below shows a mockup of a book spread without any spacing. To organise the text, we can create visual groups simply by adding space before and after each heading, and by adding space to the first line of each paragraph.

↑ Some text without any spacing
↑ The text with spacing added
↑ Where the spacing was applied

In the film scene, there is a large area of space in the centre, which helps guide our attention to the two areas of focus identified in the previous point. Can you find other ways that spacing is used in this scene?



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