Sometimes people wonder how I layout my designs or if there are certain rules that I follow. The answer is yes! I studied Fine Arts in college and learned some basic, but crucial design principles that I apply to every project I create. A super standard design principle that everyone knows, is symmetry. But you may not know that asymmetry is an equally important tool. Read on!
Symmetry has long been touted as the gold standard of design. By definition, symmetry allows a composition to be balanced on all sides. This is visually easy on the eye and therefore, great for organizing content in a logical way.
But don’t rush to choose symmetry as your default design tool. The downside to symmetry is that it can feel a bit boring, especially when used in excess. It becomes predictable and oversimplified.
Asymmetry, when used thoughtfully, can break up the uniformity to create a composition that is visually exciting and complex. There is a still a need for balance between design elements in order to even out the visual weight, but when used deliberately, the effect feels modern and dynamic. Take this ombre pineapple for example (because, if we’re going to have an example, isn’t it better if it’s an ombre pineapple?!). The body of the pineapple is completely symmetrical, but it’s offset by the top of the pineapple’s asymmetrical leaves. This creates visual interest AND balance.
Both symmetry and asymmetry can be used in a composition to create a balanced communication framework. And while these are important design principles to keep in mind, they are simply the groundwork for creativity. Maybe your ombre pineapple is completely symmetrical with a crazy patterned background. Use the design principles as a framework, but don’t be afraid to get creative!