weekly[2] & exercise[1]

lim jia sheng,

.Design Principles
::weekly[2] & exercise[1]

lecture[1]: Contrast & Gestalt (& Design Principles)

Design Principles

    • Balance — the ways design subjects are placed, according to visual weight
      • Symmetrical — balance is achieved by having parts of a design be compositionally/literally mirrored through a center axis.
      • Asymmetrical — balance is achieved by having the visual weights distributed in a uniform way, with no real mirroring axis through the piece of work.
    • Emphasis — the focal point or center of interest in the design
    • Repetition/Rhythm — the repeating of similar design subjects
    • Movement — the act of directing the viewer's eyes
    • Proportion — the relationship of sizes between objects
    • Contrast — the difference between design subjects in a piece of work
Figure 1.1.1, Design principles, n.d

    Contrast (...continued)

      • Can refer as well to differences in, values, colours, textures, shapes...

    Figure 1.1.2, Examples of contrast-ful images, 3/4/2021

    Gestalt Theory/Principles/Laws

      • Describes humans' perception of patterns, logic, & structure.
        • Similarity — similar objects are grouped.
        • Pragnanz/Good Figure/Figure Ground — objects are viewed to be as simple as the context allows them to be & then extracted to be perceived (eg. the Olympics logo is 6 circles instead of many curves & bends, and graphics with information in both negative & positive spaces can be perceived differently).
        • Proximity — close objects are grouped.
        • Continuity — objects arranged/connected with lines are grouped.
        • Closure — incomplete strokes that seemingly can complete into an entity, are completed upon perception.
        • Common Region — objects in the same confined regions/spaces are grouped.

    Figure 1.1.3, Examples of Gestalt Laws, n.d



    lecture[2]: Contrast & Gestalt++

    This live lecture started with visuals, and what they are. Visuals are what we see, and what is used by the brain to decipher the world. Elements, Principles, & Perception (Gestalt Theory) of Design, are among the anatomy of a visual.

    We then continued on to breaking down the Elements of Design, as well as main & supporting Principles of Design. This all acted as preface for further exploration into the Gestalt Theory.

    Gestalt Theory++

    Figure Ground 

    Is found through Contrast. Contrast can be found through the difference between the chroma & luma of the foreground & the background; Figure Ground can be extrapolated from the contrast difference from the foreground & background.

    let 1 + 1 = _, where  _ = Gestalt Theory, when the mind fills in "2" automatically.


    Then, Similarity was brought out, and explained further to be — what items look like & not what they are like. These similar objects are likely to form group. A few properties (eg. size, value...) that differentiate between similar object can create subgroups as well, that are distinct. These objects that refuse to be fully grouped, create another phenomenon of "variety".

    Figure 1.1.1, Example of a group of grouping-resistant visuals, 7/4/2021


    Meaning & context is created through the relative positioning of the children in a group of objects.

          • Near/Close Edged — created using small margins/gutters; creates tension.
          • Touch — created by two subjects touching; resolves tension & creates an effect of merging, harmony, & strong relation
          • Overlap/Layering — created by... overlapping, creates a sense of unity


    Alignment is created through the positioning of objects, with mind to the positioning of their edges.

          • Edge Alignment — creates an effect to perceive lines
          • Centre Alignment — creates an axis 


    Is the artifact of when the brain tries to complete an image — the completion of the image.


    Is the artifact of when there is a space where it's expected something to be there. Creates a puzzle for the mind to solve; creates tension.

    Figure 1.1.2, Example of Deletion in use, 7/4/2021

    Other Influences

        • Eye direction
        • Paths
        • Perspective 


    Repetition != Similarity


        • Has the same properties and values between object instances
          • Object.entries(group.instances[0]) ~ Object.entries(group.instances[1]);
        • Must be Rhythm-ic
        • Arranged in repeated fashion
        • Can be found in a sub property(s) of a set of objects


        • Has the same properties but different values between object instances
          • Object.keys(group.instances[0]) ~ Object.keys(group.instances[1]);
        • Can be not Rhythm-ic
        • Arranged in repeated fashion
        • Can be found in a sub property(s) of a set of objects


    Feedback was given for exercise one, which is listed down below.


    exercise: Contrast & Gestalt



    Create two pieces of design on paper using black & white paper, and glue; one showcasing contrast, & one implementing Gestalt principles.



    The first step in my research, was just me looking out the window xd. My main inspiration for contrast was all things sky. It's the main provider of light for land, thus when bringing things that absorb light (literally anything) up to it, the difference becomes apparent.

    Figure 2.1.4 , A few images showcasing sky-created contrast, n.d 

    Now, you might notice they're all buildings. This is because they're simply the most abundant object that is regularly contrasted with the sky, due to their heights, & being outdoors (technically they're indoors?????). Unfortunately, regular buildings are kinda boring in 1-bit, thus I decided to look a little more.

    Figure 2.1.5, A few images showcasing contrast from sky-created artifacts (shadows/reflections), n.d

    I decided to take the whole sky thing, and twist it around, now focusing on the things that it caused to have contrast.


    Figure 2.1.6, A few images showcasing contrast from general light, n.d

    Here's even more inspo, now deriving from the light itself. They show both contrast, and Gestalt principles. With all these resources collected, I moved forward with sketches.



    Figure 2.1.7, Sketch that uses Contrast, 7/4/2021

    Figure 2.1.8, Sketch that uses Gestalt Theory, 5/4/2021


        • 7/4/2021
          • The Contrast sketch possessed enough contrast and was overall, ok.
          • The Gestalt Theory sketch was noted to be strong, and a suggestion was to add something to signify human presence in the "shadows"
          • Both of them were given the go-ahead to translate into paper.


    Figure 2.1.9, Final physical artwork that uses Contrast, 9/4/2021
    Figure 2.1.10, Final physical artwork that uses Gestalt Theory, 9/4/2021


    Overall, was a pretty eventful, but hectic week for this module. The concepts taught were really mind boggling at first, as they brought tons of abstractions over more conventional design "looks". The exercise though, was an interesting way to get to know about the theoretical side of design, even though I still think weekly exercises isn't the best way to absorb information (our frontal cortex shuts down under stress like some 2006 Windows XP machine).